Last year, we learned that GM would start using carbon fiber in its pickup trucks, but when the new Silverado debuted earlier this year, there was none in sight. Apparently the General was saving the exotic material for GMC, specifically the new 2019 Sierra 1500. It debuts today with an optional carbon-fiber box, one of the strangest tailgates we've ever seen.
Seriously, just look at it! GMC calls it the "MultiPro Tailgate" and says it's the "most innovative pickup tailgate ever." It's essentially a tailgate within a tailgate, to make it easier to reach stuff in the bed; you can also use it as a counter-height shelf when you're on the job site. The MultiPro tailgate comes standard on the top-level SLT and Denali trims.
The optional carbon-fiber box, "CarbonPro" in GMC parlance, is particularly interesting. It uses carbon instead of steel for the inner panels and floor of the cargo box, which GMC says gives it "best-in-class dent, scratch and corrosion resistance." It sounds to us like GMC is taking shots at the Ford F-150 and its aluminum bed. The CarbonPro box is an impressive 62 lbs lighter than the standard steel unit, which helps improve efficiency and performance.
But even without carbon fiber, the Sierra is 360 lbs lighter than its predecessor, thanks to aluminum doors, hood, and tailgate. That'll help make the most out of the Sierra's new engines, 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8s with GM's clever Dynamic Fuel Management tech, as well as an all-new 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six. All these engines are shared with the new Silverado, and the diesel and 6.2-liter come paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The 2019 Sierra also boasts new, optional trailering assistance tech that can even help you with hitching. Inside, there's a new infotainment system, and in a pickup-truck first, a color heads-up display. The Sierra Denali also gets Adaptive Ride Control suspension, which we assume involves GM's Magneride magnetorheological dampers. This system works wonders in other GM products, so it should be great in the Sierra.
Pricing and more detailed specs will be announced closer to the 2019 Sierra's fall market launch.