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2019 GMC Sierra Unveiled With Exclusive Carbon-Fiber Bed

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GMC's professional-grade pickup also gets a convertible, brand-exclusive MultiPro tailgate with six functions

GMC has revealed an all-new 2019 Sierra in Detroit with a six-function tailgate and an industry-first carbon-fiber bed, signaling the largest departure in its history from its sibling Silverado. Once just a badge-engineered copy of Chevrolet's full-size pickup, General Motors has moved the 2019 GMC Sierra into a league of its own and pushed the model further into premium territory with class-exclusive features on its top-of-the-range Denali trim.

For 2019, the GMC Sierra keeps its rugged good looks. Unlike Chevrolet's near overhaul of the Silverado, GMC has chosen to instead refine the face of its full-size pickup. Big grilles, lots of chrome, and large LED-lit headlights are the theme here, and the Sierra still keeps a bit of a square wheel well in profile. If you really want to class-up your blue-collar luxury wagon, the GMC Sierra Denali is for you, adopting even more chrome, larger wheels, and premium interior materials to rival those German luxury SUVs that would get you laughed off the worksite for their measly towing and hauling figures.

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As before, Sierra is still structurally identical to the Silverado and powered by the same engines, namely 5.3- and 6.2-liter gasoline V-8s and a brand-new 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6. Both gas engines are equipped with start/stop and GM's new Dynamic Fuel Management, which allows those engines to run on as few as one cylinder. The 6.2-liter V-8 and the new diesel are mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, the same 10-cog gearbox used by the Ford F-150. Smoothing bumps on-road while also providing optimal grip is an exclusive Adaptive Ride Control suspension system on the Sierra Denali. The dampers can adjust themselves every 2 milliseconds, GMC claims.

But Sierra's big news of the day has nothing to do with powertrains or suspensions. Instead, GMC has raised the utility benchmark with its MultiPro Tailgate, a six-function piece with numerous positions that can also be used as a standing workstation on construction sites and anywhere else GMC owners get to work. The brand claims the tailgate has undergone more testing than any other similar item in history to ensure it gets it right the first time. It will be standard equipment on SLT and Denali models. The other massive breakthrough for Sierra is a carbon-fiber bed, called CarbonPro, the brand will offer as an optional extra on Denali trims later in the model year.

While nearly all Sierra's will still use a steel bed, the CarbonPro option replaces all the inner bed panels with the composite materials to provide "best-in-class dent, scratch and corrosion resistance" and a 62 pound weight savings over the standard steel bed, GMC said in its release. Meanwhile, the steel box is 50-percent stronger than before and the short box is the largest in the segment with 63 cu. ft. of cargo volume. GMC didn't stop at CarbonPro to lighten its new truck. The 2019 Sierra will also wear strategically chosen aluminum panels, though much of the truck will still use steel for structural components. In all, the truck trims 360 pounds versus the current model even without CarbonPro.

Those who tow with their Sierras will get some assistance from the all-new ProGrade Trailering System and Trailering App that bring a slew of safety and convenience features to make your experience as pain and drama free as possible-especially for those without a spotter handy. The system includes a light-test function, trailer electrical diagnostics, trailer tire pressure and temperature monitoring, and even a pre-departure checklist. OnStar has been tied into the system as well to offer trailer theft detection. If someone decouples the trailer from the truck, OnStar will send an alert to your cell phone. Hitch Guidance with Hitch View and Auto Electric Park Brake are also included for towers to aid in early-morning solo hookups.

As is expected, GMC has also bundled Sierra with a wide assortment of safety and convenience items in the cabin, including a mirror-mounted rearview camera, a 360-degree camera system, Side Blind Zone Alert, Pedestrian Detection, Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, and a 3x7 head-up display. The 2019 GMC Sierra will arrive this fall. GM did not release pricing details for the truck itself or its carbon-fiber bed during the reveal. Expect those and other details toward the end of summer.