Why this engine and this hybrid system? According to GM, "The specific characteristics of the Denali XT allowed the synergistic evolution of GM's small-block V-8 and two-mode hybrid beyond the recently introduced in GM two-mode hybrid products, such as the GMC Yukon Hybrid and Sierra Hybrid. The integration of the advanced internal-combustion engine technologies and two-mode hybrid system on the Denali XT reinforces GMC's Professional Grade position as a brand that continues to exceed customer expectations."

Is this the next wave in pickup-truck technology? While it does use some amazing technology that will make it into a truck in the next few years, we're not sure people are looking for pickup truck that's really not a pickup truck. And are sedan people really looking for their cars to do more truck things? This all remains to be seen. Certainly the Honda Ridgeline and Ford Explorer Sport Trac sell well, but whether GM can succeed by bringing back the El Camino or Caballero has to be considered a longshot at best. If nothing else, a Holden Ute in this country with a Corvette motor and optional six-speed manual will be fun to romp around on our test track.

GMC Denali XT
Base price range $25,000-$40,000 (est)
Vehicle layout Front engine, 4-door, 5-pass SUT
Engine 4.9-liter D.I. V-8, AFM
Horsepower, hp 326 (mfr est)
Torque, lb-ft 350 (mfr est)
Transmission 2-mode electric variable, 4 fixed gears
Suspension, f/r IFS/IRS double A-arm, coil springs
Wheelbase, in 125.4
Length x width x height, in 205.0 x 76.5 x 62.5
Tires Kumho 285/35R23
Base curb weight, lb 3872 (est)
Max GVWR, lb 5000
Max payload capacity, lb 1100
Max towing capacity, lb 3500
Max cargo volume, cu ft 36.2
0-60 mph, sec 8.7 (TT est)
60-0 mph, ft 134 (TT est)
Fuel econ, city/hwy, mpg 16/23 (TT est)
On sale in U.S. 2011, maybe