The all-new GMC Sierra is business up front and an innovation party in the back.
The full-size pickup will be the first to offer a carbon fiber-flored and sided bed that GMC claims is lighter and more dent- and scratch-resistant than steel.
While trucks like the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline have featured composite beds for years, this is the first time carbon fiber will employed for the purpose and marks a major escalation in GM’s arms war against the military-grade aluminum Ford F-150.
Along with the bed material, which will surely be the subject of major debates among truck buyers, GMC is also introducing a clever, power tailgate with a small hinged section built into it that provides five different functions.
It can be popped up to act as a load stop when the tailgate is down.
Folded down to offer closer access to the bed.
Flipped out to create a step that can hold up to 375 pounds.
Opened while the main tailgate is closed to accommodate extended loads stacked up high.
And laid flat to create a workspace.
GMC calls it the MultiPro Tailgate, and it will be standard on SLT and Denali trim levels, while the carbon fiber bed will be a Denali exclusive.
The Sierra still shares its underpinnings with the Chevrolet Silverado, which includes a steel frame and 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8 engines, plus an inline-6-cylinder diesel, but it gets additional high tech equipment like a head-up display and a video rearview mirror with tilt and zoom functionality to go with a birds-eye view 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency brakes.
Additional specifications and pricing will be revealed at the New York Auto Show in March and closer to the Sierra’s on sale date this fall.