Having last week alluded to introducing an electric Cadillac in Australia, General Motors appears to have been busy laying the groundwork for a full-sized, combustion-powered SUV.

    A trademark filing on the IP Australia database points to a potential introduction for the GMC Yukon.

    The filing was published on March 17, 2023 and currently awaiting indexing.

    The Yukon and Yukon XL are the GMC brand’s counterparts to the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, respectively, and all these SUVs – plus the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV – are underpinned by GM’s body-on-frame T1 platform.

    This is the same platform used by GM’s full-sized pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

    While manufacturers have been known to trademark names in Australia without bringing them to market, the filing for the Yukon follows one for the Cadillac Lyriq, which was subsequently spied in right-hand drive guise.

    “It is common practice for GM to secure key trademarks globally,” said a spokesperson for GMSV.

    “GM has several brands registered to protect them from unapproved usage, but we don’t have any announcements to make.”

    The Yukon isn’t currently produced in right-hand drive, which suggests that if GMSV were to introduce it, the company would be importing it in left-hand drive and remanufacturing it locally as it does with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and HD pickup trucks.

    There’s no separate filing for the Yukon XL, a stretched version of the Yukon.

    The Yukon measures 5334mm long, 2057mm wide excluding the mirrors and 1943mm tall on a 3071mm wheelbase, while the Yukon XL is 5720mm long on a 3406mm wheelbase.

    For context, a Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is up to 5015mm long and 1990mm wide on a 2850mm wheelbase.

    Even the regular-length Yukon has seating for up to nine occupants across three rows.

    It can be had with a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive and five trim levels including the off-road-oriented AT4 and glitzy Denali Ultimate.

    Three powertrains are available: naturally aspirated 5.3-litre and 6.2-litre petrol V8s, plus a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel inline-six, all mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

    The 5.3-litre produces 265kW of power and 519Nm, while the 6.2-litre produces 313kW and 624Nm; the latter is currently the only engine in the local-spec Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

    The 3.0-litre diesel produces 206kW and an identical 624Nm to the most powerful V8.

    The base SLE offers a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Google built-in and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a digital instrument cluster, LED headlights, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist.

    A front bench seat is optional, bringing seating capacity up to nine occupants.

    The mid-range SLT gains standard blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, heated and ventilated front seats, leather trim, and a power tailgate, while the 4WD-only AT4 gets hill descent control, adaptive dampers, a unique front fascia for an improved approach angle, and front tow hooks and a skid plate.

    The Denali, formerly the top-spec model, gains a 14-speaker Bose sound system, surround-view camera, 15-inch head-up display and GM’s Magnetic Ride Control.

    The flagship Denali Ultimate builds on the Denali with features like 22-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, power-retractable side steps, digital rear-view mirror, a rear-seat entertainment package with dual 12.6-inch display screens, massaging front seats, upgraded interior trim and, in RWD models, air suspension.

    A pair of trailering packages are available across the range.

    GM has competed in this space before in Australia, offering a factory right-hand drive version of the Chevrolet Suburban called the Holden Suburban from 1998 to 2001.

    A failure, Holden shifted just 746 of the LandCruiser-dwarfing, V8 petrol and diesel-powered SUVs.

    Should the Yukon and Lyriq come here, they would help diversify GMSV’s local line-up beyond Chevrolets. All that would be missing would be a representative from GM’s fourth North American brand, Buick.

    For decades, GMC did little more than rebadge Chevrolet products, with their vehicles sold through separate dealer networks. The relationship was similar to that of Ford and its Mercury division, or Dodge and Plymouth over at Chrysler.

    But since the 2000s, GM has been putting greater effort in differentiating GMCs from Chevrolets, often giving them unique sheetmetal and interior designs.

    The brand has also expanded beyond body-on-frame pickups and SUVs to unibody crossovers like the Acadia, previously sold here as the Holden Acadia.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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