Image credits: © GMC. GM Corp

2003 GMC Savana news, pictures, specifications, and information


With its first major redesign in seven years, GMC's 2003 full-size Savana leaps to the forefront of full-size van capability, as the §egmènt's ultimate people- and cargo-carrier.

'With surprising new features like all-wheel drive, a left-side entry/load door and unique side access panels on Savana Pro models, our new Savana is designed to provide customers wîth more than they expected,' said Dave Kanous, marketing director, commercial vans. 'But, beyond that, it also provides more of everything - from performance, safety, ride and handling to reliability and durability - that a commercial or personal-use customer could want or need.'

New Vortec V8s out-muscle competition
A newly available lineup of Vortec 4800, 5300 and 6000 V8 engines provides Savana wîth best-in-class power and/or acceleration and improved economy, reliability and durability. The V8s include redesigned induction systems and new mass airflow sensors for quieter operation. Their specially designed air cleaner can also provide more than double the normal filter life for lower maintenance costs.

The Vortec 4800 generates 50 more horsepower than the Vortec 5000 it replaces and mates to a standard Hydra-Matic 4L80-E four-speed electronic automatic transmission wîth overdrive. Rated at 270 hp at 5200 rpm and 285 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm, the 4.8-liter is primarily used for heavy-duty service applications, such as the 2500 Series regular and extended-wheelbase cargo vans (8,600 GVW) and as the optional engine in 3500 Series commercial and motorhome cutaways.

The 285 hp Vortec 5300 produces 30 more horsepower than the Vortec 5700 it replaces. Linked to a Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed electronic automatic transmission wîth overdrive, the 5.3-liter generates 285 hp at 5200 rpm and delivers 325 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. With its ability to provide §egmènt-leading acceleration, it is used mostly in light-duty applications. It is standard in the new AWD H1500 and 2500 Series models, and optional in selected G1500 and 2500 regular/extended passenger/cargo vans, depending on GVW.

As the §egmènt's most powerful V8, Vortec 6000, wîth 300 hp at 4400 rpm and 360 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm, provides more than enough muscle for any heavy-duty hauling/trailering requirement. It links to a standard Hydra-Matic 4L80-E transmission, and is the standard engine for G2500/3500 regular and extended wheelbase passenger vans (8,600 GVW) and commercial and motorhome cutaway chassis.

Multi-port fuel injection is now standard in all Vortec 4300 V6 engines. The 200 hp V6 is the base engine in light-duty G-vans and mates to a standard Hydra-Matic 4L60-E transmission. (posted on

Automatic transmissions incorporate GM's unique Tow/Haul mode, which reduces the frequency and improves the predictability of transmission shifts during trailering or heavy hauling.

New catalytic converter systems, wîth improved oxygen sensors and catalysts moved closer to their engines for improved cold-start performance, are now common for Savanas sold in all 50 states and provide LEV capability in California. In some systems, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions have been reduced by 70 percent by reformulating catalyst content and re-mapping engine controls. Together wîth advances in engine calibration, the new systems meet emission standards wîth 82 percent less precious metal used in converters than the previous vans.

Any of 10 different Savana models equipped wîth a Vortec 6000, automatic transmission and KL5 gaseous fuel-ready engine option can be fully converted to run only on compressed natural gas (CNG) or on CNG or gasoline (bi-fuel system). Alternative fuel systems are designed to meet the most stringent federal and California emissions requirements; models wîth an 8,500-lb GVWR also allow fleet and commercial customers to qualify for special credits provided by the government's Energy Policy Act (EPACT). Alt fuel systems have the same three-year, 36,000-mile warranty as base gasoline vans (five years, 50,000 miles on emissions-related components), wîth certified GMC and Chevrolet dealers capable of handling any of the warranty work.

Outstanding ride, handling and braking
Redesigned three-piece, fully boxed frames available in 135-inch and 155-inch lengths offer 28-43 percent more torsional stiffness, depending on the model, and upgraded independent front suspensions provide outstanding ride and handling and more isolation from road noise. Front suspensions are modified versions of those used by GM's highly successful full-size pickups and include larger diameter control bars (33mm for light-duty vans and 35mm for the heavy-duties).

Three all-wheel-drive 'H' models, joining the rear-wheel-drive G-vans, provide the best on-road, wet- or dry-pavement handling traction ever engineered into a full-size van. The H-vans' full-time AWD system uses a viscous-coupled transfer case to continuously and imperceptibly transfer torque from slipping wheels to those wîth traction.

Standard power rack-and-pinion §teering provides light-duty models wîth more nimble performance and quicker, more responsive feel. A unique mounting system also improves reliability in the §teering gear. The integral power recirculating-ball §teering gear in heavy-duty models also has been upgraded for better reliability and durability

New world-class, standard four-wheel power disc, four-wheel ABS brake systems, wîth a more efficient and durable HydroBoost hydraulic-assist power-brake booster and GM's Dynamic Rear Proportioning (DRP), are standard on all vans. They provide shorter stopping distances, outpacing competitors on 60-, 70- and 80-mph-to-zero stops; more power for high deceleration stops; less maximum pedal force and pedal travel required during high deceleration stops; improved ABS control; additional alerts to system malfunctions; and additional reserve power assist to stop the van, if the engine stalls or is turned off. Brakes also provide better pedal feel, reduced pedal effort and travel, quieter operation during normal operation and up to twice the pad life.

Stronger, bolder and more innovative exterior
Bolder front-end styling - including grille, bumper, fascia, fenders and hood - also provides Savana wîth more brand distinctiveness. In addition, the underlying structure improves occupant protection and crashworthiness, and reduces repair costs. The extended front end includes a 3.9-inch longer hood, wîth new power-dome design; 3.9-inch longer/5.1-inch higher fenders, a bigger engine compartment and larger wraparound bumper system. Úplevel quad parabolic reflector optic halogen headlamps and larger, revamped taillamps enhance visibility and safety. Molding-free bodysides and a more aerodynamic, dent-resistant roof halo, available in seven matching body colors, provide smother appearance.

An ' first' 60/40 left-hand-side hinged door provides the §egmènt's most flexible passenger entry/cargo loading capability. Available on regular-length passenger, conversion and cargo vans, it offers complete driver's-side access to the second-row seat/cargo compartment and third-row seat/rear compartment.

The Savana Pro model provides innovative access panels allowing easy access to the interior cargo areas. The panels operate via remote release fob or by mechanical release - a definite time saver for the vocational user.

New 16-inch wheels, now standard on all models, feature a family-common appearance that puts Savana into step wîth GMC's other full-size trucks.

Smarter electrical system
An advanced multiplexed electrical architecture increases processing power, reliability/durability and diagnostic capability. It supports the new instrument cluster's ability to monitor and report on 20 system functions. A new GM Oil Life System even tells drivers when to change oil. The electrical architecture also supports new features like dual-level air bags (on light-duty models), lockout prevention, retained accessory power and battery rundown protection.

Enhanced comfort, safety
Improved interiors provide more supportive front seats, better lighting, higher quality fit-and-finish on panels, safer trim and an improved headliner. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system has been upgraded. And there are integrated armrests, door pull handles, window and lock control switches and mirrors. Front doors include integral storage pockets. An added storage tray, twin trip odometers, a second power point, a third console cupholder, loop-style coat hooks and more durable 12-ounce carpeting are also provided. (concept carz)

In addition to the new levels of comfort, Savana meets the 2003 federal head impact standards. ( posted on The front-seat dual-level air bag system, standard in models up to 8,600 pounds GVW, is a supplemental restraint system designed to detect vehicle deceleration and, based on the deceleration data, provides an appropriate amount of air bag inflation. The dual-level air bag system senses the severity of crash and determines whether to deploy the air bag wîth primary or 'lower' amount of inflation or wîth primary and secondary 'higher' amount of inflation. Sensors located in the front of the vehicle work wîth the sensing diagnostic module (SDM) to measure the severity of the impact. The SDM uses the data to make a determination on the type of air-bag deployment (first stage or second stage) or non-deploy. Dual-stage air bags are designed to help reduce the occurrence of inflation-induced injuries by deploying the air bag less forcefully in lower -speed crashes.

Other safety enhancements include driver and front passenger belts, wîth pre-tensioners and energy-absorbing retractors; three-point lap-and-shoulder belts in all first- and second-row seating positions and a child seat tether-type restraint anchorage system in passenger vans. New rearview mirrors, available on some models, offer integrated turn signals, along wîth their remote control, electrically heated, manually folding features. Daytime running lamps are standard.

For added safety and security, GM's factory-installed OnStar system is available in passenger and conversion van models for the first time. OnStar is the nation's leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and wireless technology. OnStar services include automatic notification of air bag deployment, stolen vehicle location, remote door unlock, emergency services dispatch, roadside assistance, remote diagnostics, route support, convenience services and OnStar Concierge. OnStar Personal Calling allows drivers to make and receive hands-free, voice-activated phone calls through a nationwide network in cooperation wîth Verizon Wireless. Virtual Advisor gives subscribers access to personalized information in a hands-free, voice-activated manner wîth no screens or displays.

Source - GMC

New For 2003

• Segment-first all-wheel-drive models

• Segment-exclusive left-hand-side entry/cargo door and side access panels

• Powertrain enhancements, highlighted by more powerful, cleaner Vortec engines - Vortec 4800, 5300 and 6000 are newly available

• Stronger, bolder front-end design and stronger supporting structure

• Standard four-wheel disc brakes wîth ABS for enhanced ride, handling and braking

• OnStar system availability

• Expanded alternative fuel system availability

• Advanced new Class II electrical system, more driver alerts

• Enhanced safety, passenger comfort and functionality

Source - GMC
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