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2008 Acadia Denali
December 7, 2006
The 2007 GMC Acadia--no V8 yet, but just wait for the 09 Denali. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Those four exhaust tips mean V6 for now but may mean V8 power when the 2009 Denali arrives. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Spy Report: 2009 GMC Acadia Denali V8
EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. — We’ve just spent the day in Silicon Valley driving GMC’s new Acadia crossover SUV, a Yukon-sized unibody powered by a 275-hp version of GM’s 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic. Now GMC has the driving impressions embargoed until Sunday, so we can’t tell you what it’s like behind the wheel of this big beast quite yet. But we can tell you what we learned after conversing with one particularly cool (and loose-lipped) GM staffer: GMC will have a Denali version of the Acadia soon.
It’s probably no surprise that GMC would plan an Acadia Denali—after all, the upscale Denali model of the Yukon accounts for almost 50 percent of Yukon sales. As a brand by itself, Denali clearly has legs. But we figured the Acadia Denali would essentially be a trim level with a swanky interior. Well, after speaking with our new buddy, we have confirmation that there will be a V8 under the Acadia Denali’s hood—and it will be from a brand-new family of V8s, too. If he’s right (and we have no reason to doubt him), this means that GM is developing a new engine family for transverse applications.
He wouldn’t give any specs on the new powerplant, but if the 3.6-liter V6 in the regular Acadia makes 275 hp, the mystery V8 for the Denali version should make well over 300. And since the new Buick Enclave is based on the same platform architecture, we’d bet it will get that V8 too. And maybe in an even higher level of tune—say 350 hp. Now that sounds like our kind of crossover SUV. —Ben Stewart