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Spied: GMC's subcompact Granite concept coming to life?

by Byron Hurd

Rumors and trademark filings have pointed to a future for the small concept.

We've seen neither hide nor hair of the GMC Granite concept since it was trotted out before the gathered media at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, but spies in Arizona believe that they've caught GMC's latest subcompact crossover in the early stages of production testing.

Given GM's silence on the matter, we don't really have much to go off of when it comes to determining the Granite's production direction (or, for that matter, whether it will even be called that). Based on these photos and what little we've heard from the rumor mill, we're expecting something a little less wagon-like--perhaps more in line with the Jeep Renegade or Hyundai Kona in terms of styling and capability.

The concept (pictured above) was more of an upright hatchback than a full-on crossover. It's pretty clear that the test vehicle in these photos sits higher off the ground and has a more rounded-off shape than what GMC showed us eight years ago.

By the same token, we have eight years of platform development and product releases to use as a foundation for speculation. With that in mind, we'd expect an eventual production vehicle to share quite a bit with Buick's subcompact Encore, likely including the 1.4L turbocharged engine and available all-wheel-drive.

Keep an eye out for more information as we get closer to this year's show season.

Photos by Brian Williams.