Concept Flashback – 2008 GMC Denali XT Is Hybrid V8 Chop-Top!

How many awesome ideas and cars hit the chopping block during the financial crisis? More than a dozen from each manufacturer, we would estimate. That goes for much of the new engine tech and almost all of the new segment-busting models like this Denali XT.

As wide as a full-size truck, but two feet lower — the Denali XT is seriously sexy even as we enter 2015. The ideas shown on this truck are pretty evergreen, and might be up for a revival some day.

The Hybrid engine tech shown is paired with a 4.9-liter, direct-injected V8 — the one that was likely set to replace the hard-working 5.3-liter small-block if things had not gone so badly after Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers imploded — with market-dominating mortgage-backed-securities’ cascading domino effect suddenly pushing almost every company to the brink of collapse.

There were hard decisions to make at GM especially, with the folding of 60-percent the companies legacy brands in one swoop by 2009. As Pontiac, SAAB poison pill, Saturn, Oldsmobile and Hummer all met their same grim demise, a passion project like the Denali XT surely seemed like a luxury niche too far.

2008 GMC Denali XT

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)