FIRST LOOK

he team from GMC wowed an au­di­ence of global jour­nal­ists March 1st when it de­buted the all-new 2019 GMC Sierra. Ar­guably, its bold, ag­gres­sive style makes its sib­ling the Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado look tame. Be­sides invit­ing the press, GMC live-streamed the lau

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents -

The all-new 2019 GMC Sierra 1500

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.

First, GMC’S styling is bolder than an MMA cage fight, all up­right and stern-faced, ac­cented by a re­peated fall­ing (or ris­ing) line and bright, so­phis­ti­cated grille­work. For in­stance, the line ex­tend­ing from the tail­light drops into the front wheel well, pulling the eye both for­ward and to the rear to add shape and di­men­sion. An echo­ing line is seen pulling from the front win­dow of the crew cab to where it sweeps up into the rear win­dow trail­ing edge. It’s a sub­tle way of ad­ding style with­out de­tract­ing from pure bold­ness.

GMC wisely kept its sig­na­ture C-shaped DRL sur­rounds at the head­light bezels, and uses grilles to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween mod­els. Note the rib­bing de­tails added to the SLT’S bar sep­a­ra­tors. De­nali gets more grille than an ’05 rap­per, al­most enough to limit air flow!

In­side, nei­ther Bent­ley nor Land Rover does a bet­ter job of dot­ing on their own­ers, and that’s just the vol­ume SLT model. De­nali, GMC’S most lux­u­ri­ous and pop­u­lar model, wraps its pas­sen­gers in peb­ble-grained leather seats with hand stitch­ing. The open-grained wood used on the con­sole and door pan­els is nat­u­ral, a true build­ing block of lux­ury. GMC says all ma­te­ri­als are au­then­tic. The cabin is lux­u­ri­ous, yes, yet filled with use­ful tech. The all-new in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is mod­eled af­ter smart­phones, and it can throw the in­for­ma­tion of your choice up to a 3x7-inch Head Up Dis­play to keep your eyes on the road. Few ul­tra-lux­ury brands do as well.

Like its sib­ling, GMC used mixed ma­te­ri­als in con­struc­tion of the body and pan­els, alu­minum for the swing pan­els and steels of dif­fer­ent strengths for the chas­sis. Engi­neers claim mixed ma­te­rial use shaves 360 pounds off the curb weight. That di­rectly re­lates to fuel econ­omy. To make the struc­ture stiffer, use of structural ad­he­sives has mas­sively in­creased, from 38 feet to 124 feet. We’ll break down the High Strength Steel con­tent and how place­ment af­fects light-

weight con­struc­tion, crash re­sis­tance and quiet­ness in a later story.

There are other in­ter­est­ing and novel im­prove­ments in the all-new 2019 Sierra, like us­ing the rear seat back—at­tached to the rear panel—as a sound barrier. There’s an im­proved trailer con­trol sys­tem that de­liv­ers video to the in­fo­tain­ment screen. It’s pri­mar­ily aimed at first-timers and those who tow only oc­ca­sion­ally. Sierra also uses an im­proved mag­netic ride con­trol sys­tem (once a GM ex­clu­sive, the rhe­o­log­i­cal con­trol sys­tem is now used by sev­eral lux­ury au­tomak­ers, Audi, Fer­rari, Lam­borgh­ini and Land Rover among them). The up­dated sys­tem re­sponds within 0.2 mil­lisec­onds to road sur­face im­per­fec­tions. This de­liv­ers ride iso­la­tion and adds con­trol over body pitch and roll.

You’ve likely seen Chevro­let’s anti-ford bed strength ad­ver­tise­ments. While the stan­dard load bed for Sierra is sim­i­lar up­graded-for-2019 High Strength Steel, GMC went even fur­ther by of­fer­ing a car­bon-fiber load bed op­tion. GMC says it’s even stur­dier than that HSS steel bed, plus it’s cor­ro­sion re­sis­tant and 62 pounds lighter. While many said a car­bon-fiber bed was im­pos­si­ble, GMC engi­neers, work­ing with a sup­pli- er, took seven years to de­velop the new bed, and it is made of short-fiber, re­cy­clable Ny­lon 7 in terms of con­struc­tion.

Oh, there’s more. GMC’S ex­clu­sive Pro Tail­gate folds six dif­fer­ent ways to pro­vide a broad step-in, a barrier for things that slide back­wards, a com­puter desk and more. It will be stan­dard on SLT and De­nali.

We think these fea­tures, to­gether with the soon-to-come 3.0L in­line Du­ra­max diesel en­gine, de­liver what the GMC slo­gan has long promised, that they are Pro­fes­sional Grade—now with an added Pre­mium Grade touch. UDBG

Mark Reuss, Gen­eral Mo­tors vice pres­i­dent and global prod­uct guru, in­tro­duced the all-new 2019 GMC Sierra De­nali in Detroit, March 1, 2018. The GMC Sierra event was packed with jour­nal­ists crawl­ing all over the new Sierra like ants at a pic­nic.

Like the prover­bial Swiss Army knife, GMC of­fers a tail­gate that has six uses, among them an of­fice desk and wide step-up into the bed. As an in­dus­try first, the 2019 GMC Sierra of­fers a car­bon-fiber bed op­tion. Stur­dier, ac­cord­ing to GMC, and ab­so­lutely cor­ro­sion-proof, it is also re­cy­clable. With its C-shaped DRLS con­tin­u­ing, GMC Sierra kept one of its more dis­tinc­tive fea­tures. You’ll know it’s a GMC fol­low­ing you.

We find the 2019 GMC Sierra even bolder than its sib­ling. Note the sub­tle up­swept line from the front win­dow ledge to the rear widow trail­ing edge. A sim­i­lar line sweeps from the tail­light, past the front door panel and down to the wheel well.

Sierra’s car­bon-fiber bed is multi-part, con­structed with in­te­rior-bed car­bon fiber pan­els sup­ported by alu­minum, steel and glass fiber com­pos­ite.

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