The Montana unibody pickup is a Brazilian-born truck with Trailblazer-inspired styling.
More than a year ago, Chevrolet's Brazilian operation teased an all-new Montana pickup. In case you're not aware of it, the Montana was a small pickup sold as the Chevy Utility in some markets. As a small, efficient, and affordable mini workhorse, it was perfect for emerging markets like Brazil and was remarkably popular. But while the original was nothing special to look at, a new teaser shared by General Motors indicates that the unibody pickup will be quite the sensation and grow in size too. That has us thinking, should GM not make this available in the US as a smaller alternative to the Colorado?
While some bean counters may not immediately see a case for a tiny pickup, the also-unibody Ford Maverick has been a runaway success for the Blue Oval, eclipsing sales of the attractive and innovative Hyundai Santa Cruz by double, despite being launched later. The Maverick is far cheaper than the Santa Cruz, and because the upcoming Chevrolet Montana will be produced in Brazil, it could be pretty cheap too, but more on that later. Of course, it would require some updates to be eligible for US homologation, but surely that would be a small price to pay for a slice of a very popular pie.
Based on the development images released by GM and the revealing virtual teaser, it looks like the Montana will be better-looking than both of the abovementioned pickups.
The pickup will clearly borrow styling traits from the recently revealed Blazer electric SUV and the preexisting Trailblazer, and that's no bad thing. The split headlight design looks modern and fresh, while the upright grille, wheel arch cladding, and beefy rear bumper help give this thing some understated aggression. We can also see textured bumpers on the doors, indicating that the pickup will be built for hard work.
That is confirmed by GM's proclamation that the Montana will have the "comfort and handling of a passenger car" with the "robustness and versatility of a real pickup." Sounds a lot like a Maverick rival to us.
Unfortunately, despite the above claims and some development images, GM has revealed little. That will surely change as testing continues, but we may have a long wait ahead of us as Chevrolet is torture testing the little truck thoroughly. Thus far, virtual prototypes have undergone more than 15,000 multidisciplinary test and the the equivalent of over 9.3 million miles of driving. Now that the first real-life prototypes have been produced, Chevy will begin testing on the road to determine if those simulations were accurate.
When it's ready, Chevrolet says it will come with a manual gearbox. The engine is reportedly a 1.2-liter turbo three-pot that can produce 130 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. Hmmm. Suddenly, the Maverick looks like a better buy. In addition to that weak but efficient engine, pricing is expecting to be revealed at the equivalent of $22,725, or $1,730 more than a base 2022 Maverick Hybrid. Perhaps it's better that this won't make its way Stateside.