GM May Shrink Lambda Crossovers to Make Room for Unibody Chevy Tahoe Replacement

A story broke this week over at Bloomberg about GM's efforts to squeeze more fuel efficiency out of its highly profitable and popular fullsize truck-based sport-utility lineup. The article noted that its very likely that GM will transition those models from the pickup truck chassis used today to another architecture that features a lighter unibody construction.

Moving them to a variation of the company's critically acclaimed Lambda architecture is a logical choice, but Leftlane News speculates that if that was to happen, the company may need to shrink the physical size of its current crop of large unibody Lambda crossovers, like the Saturn Outlook, to make room for the former truck-based models. Its interesting to note that while the Outlook is lighter, more fuel efficient, and has smaller exterior dimensions than the Tahoe, the big Saturn is just as spacious on the inside as the Chevy.

The Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade – among others — are up for a redesign and in 2012, and GM engineers are seriously considering switching the SUVs to a unibody platform. Those SUVs currently ride on GM's body-on-frame GMT900 platform, which also underpins the company's full-size trucks. The switch to unibody construction would up the SUVs' fuel mileage, but would significantly reduce their towing and hauling capacities. GM already has a plethora of CUVs, thanks to its Lambda range, but we could see room for larger vehicles as the Tahoe and company will no longer be around in their current forms. GM could also downsize its Lambda CUVs over time to make more room for the full-size replacements. However, GM is considering continuing at least one body-on-frame SUV to satisfy the needs of those who need a heavy hauler.

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