The 2018 GMC Terrain is going to be an extremely important car for the brand when it comes to dealerships this summer. As the market desires crossovers and energy vehicles, GMC will provide a more classic option to the normal compact CUV.
The product didn’t come without its difficulties, however. Car sat down with Mark Cieslak, chief engineer for the 2018 Terrain, who explained a few of the challenges his team conquered during the development.
Scaling down the Terrain to become a compact crossover suggested safety had to be reconsidered. Cieslak explains lightweighting as one of the main objectives with the Terrain, however advised his group to never ever jeopardize.
Getting the base right from a security viewpoint, is one. Once again, we wished to pull mass out of the vehicle. The convenient way to arrange the security requirements is to include mass back in. That’s not creative engineering, he stated.
“It’s one thing to take out 400 pounds but I told engineering not to come back to me with propositions to add more metal here and there. We tortured ourselves as far as some extremely solid engineering. Requirement is the mother of invention. We did not give up the mass target, which was the requirement for creativity and invention.”
After that, there was the noise and vibrations obstacle from the new 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel engine to be provided with the 2018 GMC Terrain.
“Obviously, we had to deal with the typical diesel NVH concerns. We worked hard for a really refined combination, not simply hitting the fuel economy objective. We call this diesel the Whisper Diesel inside General Motors. The guys in Torino (GM Powertrain Torino, Italy) did an excellent job.”
Lastly, and probably the most controversial move with the 2018 Terrain, was the positioning of the Electronic Precision Shift’s push buttons. Cieslak mentioned engineers and his group looked at numerous placements, consisting of a vertical orientation or off to the side. However, in the end, designers and engineers alike believed maximizing the center console was the best move.
“We looked at the back of the console. It boiled down to getting rid of the shifter and maximizing that (center console) area.”
GMC believes it has done enough to truly distinguish the Terrain from its 2018 Chevrolet Equinox sibling, however consumers will be the actual judge when they start cross shopping both later on this year.