GMC Unveils 'Sport Truck' Without Performance Upgrades

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

GMC announced a new trim level for the Sierra 1500 today that it plans to market as a sport variant to other versions of its half-ton.

The Sierra Elevation Edition is supposed to serve as a new entry in the virtually non-existent sport pickup truck segment. At the pinnacle, the term “performance truck” stood for reckless products like the SRT-10 Ram that combined the Dodge Viper’s V10 with a leaf spring rear suspension. But long before things flew that far out of hand, GMC had its own ideas about what constituted a performance-oriented pickup truck. For a brief period in 1991, the company built something called the Syclone. As you probably remember, it was a pickup version of the Typhoon SUV that also sourced power from a Mitsubishi 4.3-liter turbocharged V6.

Even then, the notion of a high-performance truck was hardly new. Guys have been finding ways to make their trucks faster, louder and thirstier almost as long as the things have been available.

SEE ALSO: Chevy Silverado Cheyenne Concept is the Z/28 of Pickups

That’s why it was so exciting when Chevrolet showed its Cheyenne concept at the 2013 SEMA Show. It was a performance truck concept that used a single cab and scrapped bits and pieces by the fistful to save weight. It also used GM’s venerable 6.2-liter V8 to offer 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The future certainly seemed bright, but a year later it looks like General Motors couldn’t pull a business case together for a legitimate hot rod pickup.

The Sierra Elevation Edition come standard with a 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6 making 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. Optionally, you can upgrade to a V8, but the 6.2-liter is off limits. Instead, the 355-hp 5.3-liter engine will have to do.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor Review [Video]

If there are any performance-oriented powertrain changes to the truck, GMC didn’t make mention of them in today’s release. Instead, it comes with a list of cosmetic changes like a different grille surround, door handles and different bumpers with LED fog lamps. There are also 20-inch wheels included in the package.

Ford’s F-150 Tremor might not have been much more than a short box with a 4:10 rear end and an EcoBoost V6, but at least its more than an appearance package. Of course, that truck was only built for a limited time as a last hurrah before Ford began tooling up to build the new aluminum F-Series.

GMC hasn’t announced pricing for the Sierra Elevation, but you can bet it will come at a premium, but you can buy a Ram Express with a single cab, short box, Hemi, and a 3.92 rear axle ratio for $28,280 before the heavy incentives that usually come hand-in-hand with new truck purchases.

Discuss this story at our GMC Sierra forum

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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  • Smartacus Smartacus on Sep 19, 2014

    What does the Sierra Erection Edition offer that Sierra Carbon Tax Edition doesn't?

  • Soakee Soakee on Sep 19, 2014

    The GMC Cyclone was actually spelled "Syclone". GM used the "S" instead of "C" because it was based on the Sonoma (Chevrolet S-10). And the 4.3L engine in it was not sourced from Mitsubishi; it was pure GM. I expect more from AutoGuide.