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GMC Adding 301-hp Terrain Denali

Upscale version of crossover will also offer high-mileage option.

by on Mar.15, 2012

GMC adds another Denali to the line-up.

GMC is adding another Denali to its line-up.  Or should that read: GMC is adding another version of its Terrain crossover?  Actually, they’re both accurate, as the popular CUV is set to get the upscale Denali makeover for the upcoming model-year.

It would appear to be a good combination.  GMC can barely build the Terrain fast enough to meet surging demand, and the same holds for just about anything currently getting the Denali badge, which is why the maker also unveiled the 2013 GMC Acadia Denali during its Chicago Auto Show preview, last month.

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We’ll get a closer look at the 2013 GMC Terrain Denali at next month’s New York International Auto Show, but the maker provided an advance look to a select few brought to the Big Apple this week.  And while it might have kept the specifics secret, the basics are familiar to anyone who has checked out the other Denali offerings.

There's the signature Denali grille on the 2013 GMC Terrain Denali - as well as a 301-hp V-6.

That starts with the trademark chrome honeycombed grilled, along with 19-inch wheels on the V-6 Denali, dual exhaust, satin chrome accent, new head and tail lamps, and body-colr front and rear fascia and rockers.

Inside, the Terrain Denali gets embossed leather seats, illuminated Denali sill plates, mahogany wood accents, a leather-wrapped wheel and other, more upscale touches.

On the high-tech front, there’s the new IntelliLink infotainment system, which can access Stitcher and Pandora, as well as satellite radio, by pairing up with a smartphone.  Safety technology includes the usual array of brake intervention systems – including now mandatory electronic stability control – as well as blind spot and lane departure warning and forward collision alert.

But the big news is the upgraded 3.6-liter V-6, which replaces the stock 3.0-liter six-banger.  It pumps out 301 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 37 hp and 50 lb-ft.  Surprisingly, that added power comes with no penalty, according to the GMC Terrain Denali’s EPA rating, at the same 17 City/24 Highway as the 3.0-liter V-6.

As previously reported, the current surge in fuel prices has led to an equal upturn in demand for the GMC Terrain inline-four (much the same happening with the sibling Chevrolet Equinox crossover).  That has actually prompted parent General Motors to ratchet up incentives, giving potential V-6 buyers $1,000 in cash to offset the engine and fuel premium.  (For the full story, Click Here.)

Denali buyers are a different lot and we don’t expect to see a particularly large pile of cash sitting on the hood when the Terrain Denali comes to market next year, but nonetheless, for buyers who want the look of the more premium edition yet still want to maximize mileage, GMC will also make the Terrain Denali available with an I-4.

That thriftier 2.4-liter engine makes 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, and yields highway fuel economy of 32 mpg – the sort of number you might have expected from a subcompact sedan only a few years ago.

“Denali is growing fast,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of GMC Marketing. “With seven different models, sales for this brand within a brand increased 79 percent from 2010 to 2011. With this in mind, the decision to create a more-upscale Terrain was an easy one.”

DiSalle noted pricing and availability will be revealed closer to the launch of the 2013 GMC Terrain Denali during the third quarter.

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