Could the GMC Jimmy come back as a Wrangler fighter?

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Every three or four years, two cars go into heavy media rotation in stories about supposed new competitors. The headlines go something like, “X automaker working on a vehicle to fight the iconic Y.” The Y cars are the

Porsche 911

and the

Jeep Wrangler

. For this story, the X automaker is

GM

. And since GM already has its 911-fighter poised for debut next month, we speak here of the

Wrangler

.

Car and Driver writes that GMC

might take another shot at a

Jeep

challenger, this time by rebirthing a body-on-frame Jimmy SUV.

For any who don’t know,

GMC

sold an S-15 Jimmy from 1982 to 2005, a twin of the

Chevrolet S-10

Blazer. Those SUVs started their lives as the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC S-15/Sonoma pickups. The

Blazer

name has returned to the light, albeit without its old-school rugged manners. There’s still an opening on the GMC side, though, so C/D says the idea would be to work that old magic on the

GMC Canyon

pickup.

The report is more chaff than grist for the rumormill, with liberal application of phrases like “looking to come up with,” “could be,” “could take,” and “could arrive.” Having said that, a potential Jimmy model could come in a few years, could use the same six-cylinder gas and four-cylinder

diesel

engines as the

Canyon

, and could start around $30,000. The Jimmy could wear GMC’s new mud-and-guts AT4 trim name, or become a mud-and-guts trim for the Canyon just as the ZR2 is for the Colorado.

It’s not an entirely crazy idea, however, when a body-on-frame Trailblazer SUV based on the Colorado sells in Latin America, Asia, and

Australia

and

does pretty well in the mud

and muck.

GM’s been on the edge of going to war with the Wrangler for at least 12 years, when a

Hummer

exec

said the HX concept would debut

at the 2008

Detroit Auto Show

and go on sale in 2010 as the H4. In 2015,

The Wall Street Journal

said

GM was canvassing GMC dealers

about something to get in the ring with the Wrangler. And all that was before every other automaker had to watch Jeep open a money-counting operation to handle its Wrangler profits, and

dealers

started

charging $20,000 markups on Gladiators

.

In May, spy shooters

caught a sensor-laden Jeep running

at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan. Earlier this month,

Bloomberg

reported GM is

considering a Hummer revival

as an all-electric hardcore SUV. So we will not be surprised if GM rolls out a Wrangler fighter in the near-ish future. But we won’t be surprised if GM doesn’t, either.

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