Dean said the Cameo Carrier was unique. It was the first pickup design that directed the pickup truck into personal use. The '60 redesign of Chevy pickups was the first with a low and wide fuselage. This allowed a larger cab space and easy entry and access to the cargo bed. Essentially, the '03 Cheyenne concept takes the main themes of personal use style and the ergonomic benefits of the low and wide platform of the '60 pickup and artfully blends them into a highly contented and functional vehicle with a refined yet masculine design presence.
In designing the interior, the Cheyenne's designers focused on a refined, roomy, and comfortable interior environment; we'd say the designers met their goals. The Cheyenne has a great sense of space and efficient ergonomics. The generous use of glass, including the moonroof, gives passengers lots of exposure and produces a sense of openness beyond that of most crew cabs. In addition, the interior is rife with storage space, including little niceties such as the lockable storage area under the rear seat.
In addition to the functional and ergonomic considerations, the interior designers managed to create a design that hints at the design heritage of Chevy truck styling. This is most evident to us in the styling of the instrument panel and console-mounted controls. These areas have the modern sensibilities of proper and efficient ergonomics, but instead of a high-tech cosmetic, they have the exuberant style of the 1950s. The combination is refreshing and fun.
Concepts offer a public discussion of design ideas. Good ideas get applause; not so good ideas get ignored. Regarding the cargo box of the Cheyenne Concept, we'd give it a standing ovation. This is an area of pickup design that has long been neglected by the factory and much embraced by the aftermarket.
In fact, says Dean, it was obvious the cargo box was an area they could innovate. To find inspiration, the company drew on long standing relationships with designers in aftermarket companies. You can see the influence of the aftermarket in the cargo area, but it's taken to the next step. For example, Dean cites the Fox SEMA project truck as the main influence for the Cheyenne's cargo box. That vehicle had side access doors, and they worked very well. It became evident that when you're loading dirt bikes into a truck's bed, a front/side access door was convenient. So, that's how the Cheyenne is equipped. GM also integrated Amp Research-style retractable steps, making access to the cab and the front of the cargo box easier.
The creative thinking didn't stop there. The cargo box is filled with unique storage concepts, such as integrated tie downs, an LED cargo lamp, 110- and 12-volt outlets, and an air compressor outlet.
From our view, it is gratifying to see the creative energy of the aftermarket exert such influence on a factory design concept. If most of the design of the Cheyenne concept makes production - we believe it will - then our friends in the aftermarket will have a great platform from which to innovate, and the cycle will continue. Dean said we wouldn't see a new fullsize pickup platform from GM until around 2006-2007. But chances are, you're getting a fairly accurate preview of the new GM truck.