DETROIT — Despite rampant speculation that Chevrolet or GMC is working on a high-performance pickup truck to challenge the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, Edmunds has learned that General Motors has no plans to develop such a truck.
In addition, Chevrolet and GMC will not confirm if either brand will use the name "Badlands" on a future model, a name the automaker is legally trying to protect.
Over the past several weeks, automotive Web sites have been buzzing following confirmation that GM filed a February 16 application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the word "Badlands" as a trademark for use on a future vehicle.
The 2017 F-150 Raptor is the second-generation version of the off-road-ready pickup. It is scheduled to arrive at Ford dealerships in the fall of 2016. At this point, Ford's crosstown rival FCA US has the only real competitor to the Raptor: the Dodge Ram Power Wagon.
But Mark Reuss, GM's executive vice president of global product development, told Edmunds there are no plans to develop a full-size pickup targeting the F-150 Raptor.
"We have a lot of priorities," Reuss said. "Capital is not endless. That is not one of our highest priorities in terms of spending capital right now."
"We showed the ZR2 and said we would like to do that," he said.
The ZR2's stance is 4 inches wider and the suspension is lifted 4 inches compared with a four-wheel-drive 2015 Colorado. The concept features off-road racing shocks, front-and-rear locking differentials and 35-inch off-road tires. If produced, the truck would be ready from the dealership for serious off-roading.
As for GM seeking trademark protection for the word "Badlands," Buick-GMC Vice President Duncan Aldred is mum on whether the brand will use the word "Badlands" for a model or trim in the future.
"When you are looking at terms, or names and phrases, the first thing you do, even if it is a speck of an idea, you trademark the name because it can become a legal mine field," he said in a March interview. "If someone says, 'I like that,' you generally go for it and work out if you might use it later."
He added: "We've probably got hundreds, if not thousands, of names (we) don't use."
Edmunds says: GM does not appear ready to launch a new toy to compete against the Raptor or Ram Power Wagon at this point. But the jury is still out on a production version of the Colorado ZR2 Concept.