GMC Sierra Goes on a Diet

By on April 11, 2018 in IN THE NEWS, MATERIAL MATTERS

Starting with its 2019 model, the GMC Sierra’s pickup box will be made of lightweight carbon fiber. Called CarbonPro, the box is more than 60 pounds lighter than previous steel versions. In addition, GM says CarbonPro will increase efficiency and durability. “In 116 years of making GMC pickup trucks, our industry-first carbon-fiber box is the toughest and most durable pickup box we have ever made,” says Duncan Aldred, global vice president for GMC.

Carbon fiber is expensive, but Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for AutoPacific, points out that the CarbonPro pickup box “offers some very tangible reasons as to why someone would want to step up to Sierra other than a grille.”

The aluminum doors, hood and tailgate on the 2019 Sierra will be the same as those used by its cousin, the Chevrolet Silverado, to make the vehicle lighter.

The 2019 Sierra is also combining aluminum, high-strength steel and traditional roll-formed steel to make it 360 pounds lighter than the 2018 version. In addition to the carbon fiber box, the 2019 Sierra uses a combination of aluminum, high-strength steel and traditional roll-formed steel in its construction. GM also maintains the CarbonPro box is less likely to dent, scratch and corrode.

GM is not alone in its effort to lightweight full-size pickup trucks. Ford has gone with aluminum bodies on its highly popular F-Series, and the Fiat Chrysler’s Ram 150 pickup has a frame with 98-percent high-strength steel.