We’re eagerly anticipating the reveal of the 2019 GMC Sierra, which will take place this Thursday, March 1st. And now, we have come to discover a new feature that will be exclusive to the upcoming all-new pickup truck: a carbon fiber bed.
That’s according to a new Wall Street Journal report (subscription req’d). This isn’t the first time that we are hearing reports that General Motors will offer a carbon fiber bed in its new T1 platform pickup trucks. In fact, the repot also confirms expectations that the 2019 GMC Sierra will also carry various exclusive features when compared to its platform mate – the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado – but doesn’t state what these features will be.
Carbon fiber is highly regarded for its light weight and high tensile strength. Since it is extremely expensive to utilize, the material has mostly been relegated to use in specific areas of sports cars and other exotic vehicles. Its use in pickup trucks, especially the bed – an area that takes a significant amount of abuse, is unheard of.
As such, it will be interesting to see how GMC will implement a carbon fiber bed, as well as its reasoning for using the material in place of steel, which GM was quite proud to use in the bed of the 2019 Silverado. We’re also curious to see just how much of a premium a 2019 Sierra with a carbon fiber bed will cost over a similarly-specced model with a steel bed.
The End Of Badge Engineering?
General Motors has often been criticized for “badge engineering” Chevrolet and GMC vehicles. The exercise involves minimally differentiating vehicles offered by both brands by only changing out the logos and lights, while leaving the rest of the vehicle the same. The Silverado and Sierra can be described as textbook examples of the practice. The practice is often frowned upon by automotive enthusiasts and analysts, though its proponents argue that it optimizes profits by minimizing development and production costs of two different vehicles.
At the present time, six of GMC’s seven models are mechanically identical to Chevrolet models. With the introduction of the 2019 Blazer, that will bring that total to seven. A carbon fiber bed in the 2019 GMC Sierra, however, would serve as a significant differentiator between it and the 2019 Silverado, which was revealed in the December-January timeframe. Also all-new for the 2019 model year, the new Silverado shares the Sierra’s platform and assembly plants. The two models are also expected to share the interior design and powertrains, including two new V-8 engines, a new 3.0L Duramax inline six cylinder turbo-diesel engine, and three other powerplants that have yet to be announced.
About 2019 GMC Sierra
The all-new 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 will be revealed at a special event in Detroit on March 1st and GM Authority will be in attendance to bring you live coverage from the event. In the meantime, follow our GMC Sierra news coverage.