Earthmover In A Tux: Enter The Sierra Denali HD1
“I want to take our truck and Ford’s [new Super Duty] and chain them together back-to-back. Then I want to have them pull against each other. I know our truck will beat theirs.” That came from the lips of Tom Stephens, GM Vice Chairman of Global Product Operations. It wasn’t until mere hours ago that all the numbers for GM’s HD trucks were finally on the table. With those numbers also came the all-new 2011 Sierra Denali (HD).
This is the first time GM has offered the Sierra Denali in an HD-sized suit. Its looks are actually quite sophisticated and classy, yet still gives off the vibe of wanting to punch someone in the face with just a step on the accelerator. See, this all-new Sierra Denali HD is powered by the same 6.6-liter Duramax V8 turbodiesel as its 2011 Silverado HD blood-brother. That translates to a brick sh*tting, unrivaled 765 ft.-lb. of torque and 395 horsepower, while achieving a boost of 11 percent in MPG compared to the outgoing model. Couple that with a hairy-chested GCWR of 10,000 pounds (the Denali HD is only announced as a 2500) and the proven Allison 1000 transmission and what you end up with is a truck capable of moving mountains yet poised and plush enough inside and out to take your significant other out for a lovely night on the town. Or an evening at the truck pull… whatever you’re into.
Inside the cabin is traditional Denali attire – wood trimming on the center console and the steering wheel, along with heated/cooled leather seats (as is the steering wheel), a Denali jewel on the helm, and brushed aluminum Denali door sill panels. The premium sound is from Bose and the pedals are adjustable. Now that’s hauling the boat with some swagger.
Along with all of the capabilities of GM’s refreshed 2500 HD package and the new B20 biodiesel-capable Duramax turbodiesel engine come the new EPA diesel regulations that must be followed by all automakers. The Duramax-equipped workhorses include a thirst for a urea based Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) fluid every 5,000 miles (give or take). The fluid sprays into the diesel exhaust and the result is much less sulfur emissions in the air – leading to a reduction of up to 63 percent.
Sources tell us that jugs of SCR solution are expected to be available at truck stops and gas stations for roughly $2.60 a gallon. And the SCR fluid will be as easy to replace as filling washer fluid. However, if drivers disregard the sensors and let the SCR tank run too low, the truck will be governed at a top speed of 55 mph. If the tank is dry, the truck will idle at 4 mph. And – as we’ve said before – cheeky hunters filling the tank with urine just won’t help. (Hey, thank the EPA.) Still, only having to worry about forking over the price equivalent of a three track album for a high school rock band every 5,000 miles is hardly something to throw a fit over – especially when the truck costs upwards of $35,000.
And if the ridiculous power numbers and cleaner diesel emissions don’t do it for you, the Duramax diesel is not the only game in town. The 6.0L Vortec V-8 gasoline engine is the standard powerplant for GM Heavy Duty trucks. It delivers a capable 360 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. Sure, the Vortec’s numbers seem mortal compared to those of the Duramax, but not everyone needs to pull freight trains.
We invite you to enjoy the high-res gallery below!
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Just bought (2 days ago) the new 2011 Denali HD 2500 Shortbox Duramax/Allison and love it! Traded my low mileage mint 2oo4 Lariat 6.o powerstroke Crew Shortbox. I was in the market for a new ride and 5th wheel hauler so after studying and test driving the new Ford and Dodge diesel equivalents to my Lariat last week I decided to give GM a ride as well. All it took was a walk around the Denali and a look through the windows (the dealership was closed) and I thought, “this is my truck”. A test drive the next day removed any doubt. I took a loaded Sierra HD 2500 Shortbox Duramax/Allison for a drive as well and was very impressed and it was closer to what I wanted to spend, but the Denali won my heart in the end. This truck is one sweet ride that will still earn its keep.