An available carbon fiber bed and multi-position tailgate are but two groundbreaking features of GMC’s 2019 Sierra full-size pickup, which was unveiled in Detroit this afternoon.
Following closely behind its stablemate, the brand-new Chevrolet Silverado, this upscale rig brings plenty of new features to this most traditional of vehicle segments. And one of the most important attributes of this truck is how much weight it has lost. The doors, hood, and tailgate are all made of aluminum, while high-strength steel was employed extensively in other areas, materials choices that have enabled the Sierra to shed up to 360 pounds (163 kilograms) compared to today’s model.
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But every automaker is focusing on trimming mass these days. When it comes to innovation, this GMC offers plenty.
One of the Sierra’s most groundbreaking features is its MultiPro Tailgate, that offers six separate functions. It enables second-tier loading, can transform into a standing workstation, allows easier access to the cargo box and offers both a seat and step. This fancy swing-panel, which has undergone more testing than any other tailgate in GM’s history, can support up to 375 lbs (170 kg). It will be standard on upper-level SLT and Denali models.
As for hauling, GMC will offer the industry’s first carbon fiber bed, which supposedly has improved durability, including best-in-class resistance to dents, scratches, and corrosion. Additional tie-downs and an optional 110-volt power outlet increase the truck’s versatility. Available later in the model year, the CarbonPro box will help trim 62 pounds (28 kg) from the Sierra’s waistline. As before, the standard bed will be made of roll-formed high-strength steel.
Making it easier to tow is the new ProGrade Trailering System, standard on SLT and Denali models. It offers things like a pre-departure checklist, maintenance reminders, trailer electrical diagnostics, tire-pressure monitoring and more. Many of these functions will be available through the MyGMC app, which is on iOS and Android devices.
Inside, GMC engineers have added plenty of glitzy new features, including a multicolor head-up display. With a three-by-seven-inch screen, it’s reconfigurable so it shows exactly what you want. They’re also offering a Rear Camera Mirror. This technology, which is borrowed from Cadillac, puts a separate display underneath the mirror’s reflective surface, allowing it to take a live video feed from the reverse camera, greatly increasing your rearward field of view.
The Sierra’s interior also features a new GMC infotainment system. With an eight-inch screen in the Denali, it supposedly provides a smartphone-like experience, being faster and more intuitive. Denali models also benefit from premium leather, open-pore wood and special aluminum trim.
Providing greater passenger comfort is best-in-segment front head and legroom, while crewcab models offer three extra inches of space for rear-seat riders. Like the Silverado, storage compartments are hidden in the rear seatbacks.
Mirroring what’s offered in its Chevrolet counterpart, the 2019 Sierra will be motivated by updated versions of GM’s venerable 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8s. And guess what! A 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six diesel will also be offered. The latter two engines will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Slashing consumption, the gasoline two-by-fours will feature a technology called Dynamic Fuel Management, which can shut down any number of cylinders at any time based on driving conditions. They’re also equipped with stop-start.
Denali models will also feature active dampers that can adjust to changing road conditions every two milliseconds. Additionally, 22-inch wheels will be offered, ditto for the SLT variant, though the designs are different.
This Sierra is larger in nearly every way than its predecessor. Giving it an imposing presence is a more upright front end and taller hood. The head- and fog-lamps, daytime-running lights and taillamps are all of the LED variety for instant responsiveness, enhanced brightness and low power draw. Lest anyone behind you forget what you’re driving, “Denali” is embossed into the tailgate in bold, block letters.
The 2019 GMC Sierra is set to go on sale this fall. More details about pricing, engine output, fuel economy and model availability will, of course, be made public closer to when it’s scheduled to start arriving at dealerships.
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