The next-generation '02 Bravada will feature a car-like design and will nearly double sales of the current Oldsmobile sport/utility vehicle (SUV) when it goes on sale in January 2001, the GM division's Marketing General Manager Karen C. Francis tells WAW.

The '02 Bravada will be unveiled at the New York auto show in April.

"If you look at the new Aurora, and then squint your eyes and make it sport/utility, that's what the new Bravada is going to look like - much more family and much more car-like. We're out (comparing) it against the Lexus (RX300)," Ms. Francis said last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Despite its altered appearance, Bravada will continue to ride on a truck platform, known internally as GMT360, with the GMC Jimmy/Envoy and Chevrolet Blazer.

Ms. Francis says she expects annual sales to be 45,000 to 50,000. That would be a substantial increase over current yearly deliveries. In 1999, Bravada sales totaled 29,258, a drop of 3.1% from 1998 deliveries.