Formally introduced to world before the 2013 North-American International Auto Show in December 2012, alongside its mechanically identical brethren from Chevrolet, the current GMC Sierra 1500 is still considered fairly new, being just two model years old.
Despite being in production for only two full years, GMC’s most-popular model is already prepped for a mild mid-cycle refresh and we expect it will be on sale either in late in early 2016 as a 2017 model. We’re sure Ford Motor Company has already caught wind of this.
It seems GMC has had a bit of fun in the testing process, seeing as its development mule has been slapped with a lightly camouflaged oval in place of the traditional GMC badge. But its outward appearance–along with the ‘Sierra’ badging on the doors and tailgate– make it all too clear what we’re looking at doesn’t hail from Ford.
From the camouflage up front of the 2017 GMC Sierra 1500, we can tell the grill area will get reworked, along with some parts of the headlights, too. While it’s not clear if the shape of the headlight itself will be changed, we imagine the camo’d lights could also hide changes to the makeup of the lighting within the housing.
The fenders and the hood are also covered-up. There is an unconfirmed rumor currently floating around that the front ends of GM’s K2xx trucks will don some aluminum skin in the front ends, likely to help with weight and fuel economy numbers. Though again, we’re not certain.
Additionally, it looks like big changes are also in place out back of the 2017 GMC Sierra 1500, as the testing crew has gone through the trouble of clipping some cladding in behind the tailgate in order to hold the black canvas tight over the rear lights. Likely a mild style change there, also.
Under its re-styled sheet-metal we expect the new Sierra will fall in line with the revised Silverado, which is pegged to receive updated powertrain offerings — possibly even the 10-speed automatic transmission General Motors is co-developing with Ford. The eight-speed auto, which is now used solely in conjunction with the 6.2L V8, could trickle down to the high-selling 5.3L EcoTec V8 engine.
If you’re curious, and you are, check out the spy photographs at Car and Driver. Then hop back here and tell us your theories, thoughts, and musings on the upcoming 2017 GMC Sierra refresh.