America's Ancient Gas-Powered V8 Vans Will Finally Be Replaced

Industry News / 17 Comments

They have been on the market since 1995 and the world has changed.

Think of the oldest vehicle that's still on sale today. Chances are whatever popped into your head is much more recent than the two full-size vans sold by General Motors. The Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana have been in production since 1995; that's the year the original Sony PlayStation was released in the US and six years before Apple introduced the iPod. GM has casually updated the vans over the years, including a new 6.6-liter V8 engine in 2020 and eliminating the CD player last year, but the bones date back to the 20th century.

According to Autoweek, the Express and Savana will finally earn their retirement following the 2025 model year, at which point they will be three decades old. A source says their 2026 model year replacements will be all-electric, using GM's Ultium platform.

2003-2023 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van Front Angle View Chevrolet
2003-2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Frontal Aspect Chevrolet
2008-2023 GMC Savana Cargo Van Side View GMC
2003-2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View Chevrolet

The passenger and cargo vans will likely be loosely related to GM's BrightDrop electric van, which recently set a Guinness world record delivering for FedEX. BrightDrop is a new commercial sub-division of GM, dedicated to building electric delivery vans for corporate customers such as Walmart.

The electric Express and Savana replacements will be significantly smaller than BrightDrop's current van. The BrightDrop Zevo 600 houses over 600 cubic feet of space, compared to only 284.4 cubic feet in the long-wheelbase Chevy and GMC. The dual motor version produces 300 horsepower 390 lb-ft of torque, which is less than the V8 in the current Express and Savana. The Zevo can travel around 250 miles on a full charge.

2008-2023 GMC Savana Passenger Van Forward View GMC
2008-2023 GMC Savana Passenger Van Forward Vision GMC
2008-2023 GMC Savana Cargo Van Engine GMC
9 Fastest SUVs On The Planet
9 Fastest SUVs On The Planet
Porsche Spent 50 Years Perfecting The PDK Dual-Clutch Transmission
Porsche Spent 50 Years Perfecting The PDK Dual-Clutch Transmission

Ford is far ahead of GM on electrification, having already delivered the first E-Transit vans to customers earlier this year. The Ford E-Transit starts at $45,000 and can travel 126 miles on a charge with 266 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque going out to the rear wheels. Those specs aren't as impressive as the BrightDrop, but the E-Transit is a more affordable van that makes more sense for smaller businesses.

By electrifying the Express and Savana, GM can spread out the costs of the Ultium platform over a higher-volume product. Sources believe the electric replacements will only come in cargo guise with no word yet on windowed passenger models with rear seat rows.

2003-2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Dashboard Chevrolet
2008-2022 GMC Savana Passenger Van Dashboard GMC
2008-2023 GMC Savana Passenger Van Dashboard GMC
Source Credits: Autoweek

Join The Discussion

Gallery

2003-2023 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van Front Angle View
2003-2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Frontal Aspect
2008-2023 GMC Savana Cargo Van Side View
2003-2023 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Rear Angle View
2008-2023 GMC Savana Passenger Van Forward View
10
Photos

Related Cars

Back
To Top