GMC-badged four-door Holden Ute concept coming to NY Auto Show

A four-door version of Holden's El Camino-like Ute pickup is headed for the New York Auto Show in April, according GM's Bob Lutz. There's just one catch -- it will be branded as a GMC and feature truck-like styling.

"We will have a ute concept at the NY show, but that is going to be badged GMC," Lutz told Australia's GoAuto. "That is a global design study -- and a very interesting study in that it is a GMC tough-looking four-door ute."

The vehicle will apparently be styled to look like a GMC -- which means truck-inspired design elements and a generally chunky exterior. Lutz said people might at first be put off by the concept's styling, but it is likely to grow on them when they understand the intention.

GM is already expected to export the regular two-door Holden Ute to the United States as a Pontiac. Rumors suggest it might be called the G8 ST, but the final name is not certain.

The previous-generation Holden Ute was offered in a four-door iteration, known as the Crewman. Presumably, if produced, the new concept will also be sold in Australia under that name.

Lutz cautioned GM has not decided whether it will produce the four-door version. However, the car-based "pickup" could actually help GMC's overall fuel economy average -- an important consideration in light of the new CAFE legislation.

He said the vehicle will be "much lighter than a conventional GMC full-sized pick-up." In general, this is where the automaker wants to be. "We have to go away from framed vehicles," Lutz said.

Years ago, GMC previously offered a rebadged version of the Chevrolet El Camino, known as the Sprint.