Fac­tory Fresh

Cus­tom-Look Yukon De­nali Hits Streets of L.A.


Mak­ing its de­but at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the ex­ten­sively named 2018 GMC Yukon De­nali Ul­ti­mate Black Edi­tion brings a few sub­tle, cus­tom touches to the “pro­fes­sional-grade” full­size SUV.

As on some of GM’s other spe­cial edi­tions, this GMC is only avail­able with for­mal­look­ing black paint, a color called Onyx. Pre­dictably, the Ul­ti­mate Black also comes with black-ac­cented 22-inch wheels with de­lib­er­ate chrome in­serts, giv­ing the rolling stock lots of at­ti­tude to match the drip­ping­wet paint. Co­or­di­nat­ing with those wheels are body-color mir­rors with chrome mir­ror caps, giv­ing the side-pro­file view some con­trast. Fur­ther­more, the rear view is en­hanced with a pol­ished ex­haust tip.

The Ul­ti­mate Black Edi­tion builds from the ’18 Yukon De­nali, which was en­hanced ear­lier this year with an all-new 10-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. Mated to a 420hp 6.2L V-8, the 10-speed im­proves ef­fi­ciency and per­for­mance, and it’s a re­mark­ably smooth op­er­a­tor, shift­ing be­tween the gears with nary a shud­der or hes­i­ta­tion. The trans­mis­sion was code­vel­oped with GM’s crosstown ri­val Ford, which uses the gear­box in the De­nali’s pri­mary do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion, the Lin­coln Nav­i­ga­tor.

Com­pared to that ve­hi­cle, the Ul­ti­mate Black Edi­tion is much more sin­is­ter. Its street-smart swag­ger coun­ters the Nav­i­ga­tor’s so­phis­ti­cated coun­try club per­son­al­ity. That’s not to say this Yukon isn’t also supremely com­fort­able, as it gets a long list of added stan­dard equip­ment com­pared to lesser De­nalis. The spe­cial SUV comes with the Open Road Pack­age, which adds a power sun­roof, a rear-seat en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem, power run­ning boards, and adap­tive cruise con­trol with au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing. Ve­hi­cle se­cu­rity gets a boost thanks to the pack­age, with door and lift­gate lock shields, a glass break­age sen­sor, mo­tion de­tec­tors, and a ver­ti­cal move­ment de­tec­tor that sounds the alarm when the ve­hi­cle de­tects it’s be­ing lifted, as onto a tow truck.

Ex­pect to pay about $75,000 for a two-wheel-drive

De­nali Ul­ti­mate Black Edi­tion, ris­ing to about $78,000 if you want 4x4 ca­pa­bil­ity. That es­ti­mated base price is about $7,000 more than a reg­u­lar De­nali, which is $1,000 less than one might spend by adding each lux­ury op­tion in­di­vid­u­ally. And the Ul­ti­mate Black also of­fers some ex­clu­siv­ity, as those two-tone wheels are only avail­able on the spe­cial-edi­tion De­nali. Ex­pect to see the sin­is­ter Yukon sib­ling in deal­ers by the time you read this.

Gen­eral Mo­tors loves its spe­cial edi­tions, and the ’18 GMC Yukon De­nali Ul­ti­mate Black Edi­tion is no ex­cep­tion.

Com­pared to the reg­u­lar Yukon De­nali, changes are slight, amount­ing to black wheels with chrome ac­cents, stan­dard Onyx Black paint, and some added ex­te­rior bright­work. In­side, the Ul­ti­mate Black Edi­tion comes stan­dard with just about ev­ery bell and whis­tle of­fered on a GMC.

Other ex­te­rior up­grades, aside from the for­mal-look­ing 22-inch wheels, in­clude chrome mir­ror caps and a pol­ished ex­haust tip. The al­ter­ations are slight, but they give the GMC Yukon De­nali Ul­ti­mate Black Edi­tion a taste­ful, cus­tom feel.

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