Currently, the average time to develop a new vehicle is about 3 years, in the past it was more than 5 years. And the main tools for this time reduction are computers, programs that can simulate real conditions and physical testing laboratories that, working together with computer tools, have been able to speed up and accelerate the development of projects.

Computers run numerous tests to find the best material and shape solution for a part or system, and then the best solution is assembled into a more complex model, and a new simulation evaluates the result. It even goes as far as optimizing the number and position of body welding points to get the best result in terms of durability, safety and interior noise of the vehicle. In this virtual phase, only engineer and computer hours are spent to find the best solutions.

It can be noted that the construction will be monobloc with a good size rear door and an integrated bin.

After the first phase is completed, prototypes begin to be built. First, components and subsystems are used for testing on state-of-the-art machines that manage to reproduce all the stresses these systems will endure when mounted on a real car. Once this part is finished, the vehicle prototype is built and the final part of development, calibration and validation begins.

GM invited journalists to learn about some of the activities being carried out in the development of the new Montana, which should be launched in the first half of 2023. And it was one of those prototype vehicles, from the final phase of the project, still camouflaged, that we had contact with in the laboratories of Campo de Provas da Cruz Alta in Indaiatuba, SP.

If you prefer, first watch the video taken in the semi-benechoic chamber of the noise and vibration laboratory:

From what you can see from the outside (it was impossible to drive or get into the vehicle), the new Montana is no longer a compact pickup and is moving up in the category. It uses GM’s global vehicle platform from which the Onix, Onix Plus and Tracker have already been derived. The longer wheelbase Onix suggests the new vehicle will be derived from the Tracker SUV, and that basic under-the-vehicle view made this derivation clearer.

In direct comparison to the photos, the rear doors are smaller than the Tracker’s, the wheelbase is longer and the rear overhang is longer.

As for the engine, the bet is that it will be equipped with a 1.2-liter turbocharged air-to-air intercooled three-cylinder from the CSS Prime family called Ecotec. With double variable valve timing in the intake and exhaust, 4 valves per cylinder, oil-soaked timing belt with 240,000 km useful life, aluminum block and head construction and channel injection, it must have the same maximum power and torque of the Tracker set: 132/133 HP at 5500 rpm and 19.4/21.4 m·kgf at 2000 rpm.

1.2-l three-cylinder engine that will be used in the New Montana

The six-speed epicyclic automatic transmission needs to be recalibrated and the final torque adjusted to meet the truck’s load requirements, and a 6-speed manual is likely to make an appearance. Seems to be the size of the Fiat Toro, traction must be front only, as I didn’t see a prop or rear diff in the look I threw under the car.

The front end should include design changes to highlight the utility version

It will definitely be a bigger pickup than the double-cab Fiat Strada, the size of the Renault Oroch and trying to push the Fiat Strada into a consolidated market position. According to information provided by GM executives, the cabin will have adequate capacity for 5 passengers, and innovative solutions may appear in the bed to avoid the inconvenience of dust and water penetration. If achieved, the new Montana will be able to bring to the midsize pickup market some of the versatility already seen in the American Chevrolet lineup with the large Avalanche pickup (2001 to 2013), where the cabin had bucket integration and carried a lot of content. .interior of Tahoe and Suburban SUVs.

The bucket must contain innovative solutions; check it!

When it is possible to open the doors of the new Montana, we will certainly find many similarities with the dry Tracker, both in terms of the distribution of the interior space and in the installed technology, which should bring all the features present in the brand’s compact line.

mid-sized pickup truck

In terms of payload, the new Montana should be higher than the Tracker (410kg), but depending on the torsion axle used at the rear with coil springs, it shouldn’t reach the 756kg of the old Montana, which used a rigid axle with a parabolic laminar spring. Certainly, CPCA engineers are working to get as close as possible to it, with safety, good drivability and, above all, durability. Remember that the maximum load capacity in the bucket must be divided by 350 kg of 5 passengers in the cabin.

Tests in training grounds are in full swing

With the old Montana already discontinued, GM has nothing to lose in terms of the market, so the appearances already spotted around, as well as this preview, are part of the brand’s marketing strategy to start pushing the market for the new product coming soon.

GM promises a lot of news in the pickup segment for 2023

In the coming months, GM should continue to reveal more information about the new vehicle, precisely so that customers who can wait a few more months to buy a midsize or compact pickup will do so and wait for the new pickup. After all, Brazilians love new cars, and the sales network is betting on that.


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