The '06 Pontiac Torrent cross/utility vehicle, which sources within General Motors Corp. confirm, will begin production at CAMI Automotive Inc. in June, Ward's learns.

GM is not saying officially where the Torrent will be built but likely will provide more details when it unveils the CUV in January at the Los Angeles auto show.

“Along with a spirited powertrain and a crisp handling package rarely seen in a compact SUV, the Torrent adds a degree of flexibility and spaciousness,” says Jim Bunnell, Pontiac-GMC general manager.

The Torrent will be built on a front-wheel/all-wheel-drive platform and be powered by a 185-hp 3.4L V-6 engine.

The Chevrolet Equinox, which went on sale earlier this year, is equipped with the same engine and drivetrain configuration.

CAMI, a joint venture between GM and equity partner Suzuki Motor Corp., builds the Equinox and has plenty of extra capacity for additional products.

Canadian Auto Workers union members signed a new contract at CAMI Sept. 19 that included a $100 million investment in the plant.

Contractors have been installing equipment for Torrent production inside the factory for at least four months, sources say. Trial production is set to begin in December. Early salable model builds will get under way in March before the start of official production begins in June, sources tell Ward's.