Every three or four years, two cars enter into heavy media rotation in stories about supposed new competitors. The headings go something like, “X automaker working on a vehicle to eliminate the iconic Y.” The Y cars are the Porsche 911 and the Jeep Wrangler. For this story, the X automaker is GM. And given that GM already has its 911-fighter poised for launching next month, we speak here of the Wrangler. Car and Driver write that GMC may take another shot at a Jeep challenger, this time by rebirthing a body-on-frame Jimmy SUV.
2021 GMC Jimmy History
For any who do not know, GMC sold an S-15 Jimmy from 1982 to 2005, a twin of the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer. Those SUVs began their lives as the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC S-15/ Sonoma pickups. The Blazer name has returned to the light, albeit without its old-school rugged manners. There’s still an opening on the GMC side, though, so C/D states the idea would be to work that old magic on the GMC Canyon pickup.
2021 GMC Jimmy Rumors
The report is more chaff than grist for the rumor mill, with a liberal application of expressions like “aiming to develop,” “could be,” “might take,” and “could get here.” Having stated that, a potential Jimmy model might come in a couple of years, might use the same six-cylinder gas and four-cylinder diesel motor as the Canyon, and could start around $30,000. The Jimmy could wear GMC’s new mud-and-guts AT4 trim name, or become a mud-and-guts trim for the Canyon simply as the ZR2 is for Colorado.
It’s not an entirely crazy concept, nevertheless, when a body-on-frame Trailblazer SUV based upon Colorado offers in Latin America, Asia, and Australia and does pretty well in the mud and filth.
GM’s been on the edge of going to war with the Wrangler for at least 12 years, when a Hummer officer stated the HX concept would debut at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show and go on sale in 2010 as the H4. In 2015, The Wall Street Journal said GM was canvassing GMC dealers about something to get in the ring with the Wrangler. And all that was before every other car manufacturer needed to enjoy Jeep open a money-counting operation to manage its Wrangler revenues, and dealerships began charging $20,000 markups on Gladiators.
In May, spy shooters caught a sensor-laden Jeep performing at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan. Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported GM is thinking about a Hummer revival as an all-electric hardcore SUV. So we will not be amazed if GM rolls out a Wrangler fighter in the near-ish future. But we will not be surprised if GM doesn’t, either.