GMC could be in for a new crossover SUV wearing a name from the past. Parent automaker General Motors filed once again for trademark protection of the name "Envoy" earlier this month.
GM Inside News reported on the trademark filing, which explicitly says the name would be used specifically alongside a "sport utility vehicle, engines therefor, and structural parts thereof."
Most will likely remember the Envoy as GMC's version of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, which GM produced from 1998-2000. It became far more popular when GMC reintroduced the SUV in 2002, and it remained in production until 2009 within the brand's restructured SUV lineup.
High fuel prices may have killed the Envoy nearly 10 years ago, but today the SUV market continues to boom at the expense of passenger sedans. As GM potentially readies a new Envoy, the automaker will kill off five sedans next year—the Chevrolet Impala, Cruze and Volt, plus Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac CT6.
We don't know much else about what form a new Envoy would take, but it's very likely to be a crossover SUV based on a front-wheel-drive architecture like the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. The Blazer shares its platform with the GMC Acadia, a modular design known within GM circles as the C1 platform.
Where the Envoy would slot in the GMC lineup also remains a mystery. GMC currently sells the Terrain, a compact crossover, and the Acadia as its mid-size offering. GMC blatantly no longer offers a full-size crossover since the Acadia was downsized for its current-generation.
Perhaps the Envoy could be GMC's newest full-size model and share the extended version of the C1 platform with the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, effectively taking over duty from the previous Acadia.
Contrary to some speculation, it's unlikely any new Envoy would be twinned with the rumored Buick Enspire crossover. GM also filed to trademark the "Enspire" name this year, likely foreshadowing a new compact crossover akin to the Cadillac XT4's proportions. An XT4-sized GMC vehicle could squeeze between the Terrain and Acadia, but would likely overlap both cars slightly. Hopefully we'll get a better idea on just what GM has planned in the new year.