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NewSpeak From Detroit: GMC Pitches “Tool For Urban Living”

Granite.jpgNothing represents city life like a miniaturized SUV. Image: NYT

In a turn of phrase straight out of "1984," Detroit is touting a new concept car as a "tool for urban living."

At this week's Detroit auto show, the industry's premier showcase, GMC revealed its Granite concept car. The truck and SUV manufacturer, which owes its very existence to government largesse, put forward this subcompact-sized car styled as a full-size SUV as a way to rebrand itself as modern and urban.

GMC seems to equate "urban living" with "parallel parking" --  the Granite would be two feet shorter than GMC's next-smallest vehicle. It's no Yukon XL, but the basic big truck aesthetic with its boxy shape and monster grille remains unchanged.

Imagine walking across the street in front of this thing. Imagine being a third-grader walking to school in front of it. Would you even be able to make eye contact with the driver? Not that you're likely to find out, as "production is a long shot," according to Wheels.

Sadly, New York City once used GMC buses  -- real tools for urban living -- as part of its transit fleet. The division also sells a brand of bike, each creepily named after one of its SUVs.

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