In case you hadn’t picked up on it from the profile shot on page 1, here is a rear three-quarter shot. Does anything look familiar from this angle?

1988 GMC Centaur rear left

It should, that rear is the darn near spittin’ image of the 1994 GMC Sonoma’s and Chevrolet S-10’s. Right down to the angled bumper covers. Overall size was reportedly roughly the same size as a contemporary S-10.

That large yet shallow-looking bed had a payload capacity of 2,000 pounds; Centaur could tow up to 5,000 pounds. It also has a self-leveling or manually controlled air spring suspension and electric four-wheel steering; yeah, all four wheels turn.

1988 GMC Centaur interior rightInside, there was seating for five, two in buckets up front and three on a rear bench. I’m not sure how the doors opened; normally or sliding on a track, like a van’s.

The transmission is also a mystery to me. There is a clutch pedal and a stick shift, complete with gate pattern indicator affixed in front of it. Yet, it is repeatedly referred to as “an experimental five-speed automatic transmission” in the news clippings from the period.

Automatic. Hmm. Any ideas?

Below is a picture of the dashboard. It indicates where GM was going over the next few years. The bright, contrasting-colored switchgear, mega-textured buttons, and radial HVAC controls would all show up in various ways on various models. Something that did show up, if I’m recalling correctly, was DAT (Digital Audio Tape). I seem to remember it being an option around that time on the Camaro.

1988 GMC Centaur interior dash

The photo gallery has many more pictures than those shown above.

Information for this post was sourced from articles provided by GM (untitled article by Mike Kepper, “a Darien, Conn. based free-lance automotive writer”; March 17, 1988 issue of The Orlando Sentinel by Marilyn Kiester; February 11, 1988 issue of the Evening Citizen, by unnamed author; and February 11, 1988 issue of Fitchburg-Leominster Sentinel & Enterprise, by unnamed author).

Continue below to the photo gallery.

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