Whether at home, at work, or away from it all, you have big expectations of what a heavy duty pickup truck should be. At GMC, they set out to not only meet those expectations – but also set a new standard of what a heavy duty pickup can be – with the Next Generation 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty.
Available in ¾-ton 2500, 1-ton 3500 single rear wheel, and 1-ton 3500 dual real wheel configurations, the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty brings the clever thinking, bold design, and attention to detail expected of a modern GMC to the heavy duty pickup segment – all while providing incredible performance, enhanced trailering capabilities, and a unique, refined, yet distinctly heavy duty personality.
“We set new standards for smart capability, bold design, and advanced technologies in the half-ton pickup space with the 2019 Sierra 1500,” says Jaclyn McQuaid, Sierra Heavy Duty Chief Engineer.
“We wanted to do the very same in the heavy duty space, while simultaneously increasing strength and performance. We were determined to make this truck as driven and capable as our customers.”
POWER BEYOND REPROACH
Sierra has built a reputation for incredible performance, especially when it comes to diesel heavy duty trucks. For 2020, Sierra Heavy Duty not only continues that tradition – it raises it to new levels.
Sierra Heavy Duty’s available 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel V8 delivers 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque Engineers worked to make this already powerful engine perform more efficiently by both increasing cooling capacity by way of a larger radiator and fan, and improving the air induction system. A dual-path intake system draws dense, cool air through both the hood scoop and the front grille in order to optimize performance.
The new Sierra Heavy Duty marks the introduction of an all-new Allison® 10-speed automatic transmission – the first-ever Allison 10-speed automatic transmission offered in the heavy duty pickup segment. The new 10-speed transmission provides closer gear spacing than before, allowing the engine to operate in an optimal range at all times with varying load and terrain conditions.
The Duramax/Allison combination also incorporates an integrated engine exhaust brake, which leverages the engine’s backpressure and the Sierra Heavy Duty’s driveline components to help control the speed of the truck and trailer while descending, reducing the need to use service brakes on long, steep grades. The exhaust brake is also tied to the cruise control system, allowing a set speed to easily be maintained, even over hilly terrain.
Sierra Heavy Duty’s powertrain innovations extend to its gasoline engine offerings. An all-new 6.6L gasoline V8 engine joins the lineup, and is the only gasoline direct-injected V8 engine in the heavy duty pickup segment (excluding other GM vehicles). Offering 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque, this engine provides an 11 percent increase in horsepower and 22 percent increase in peak torque compared to the previous 6.0L gas engine. The 6.6L gasoline V8 is paired with the 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission.
Across the board, rear axles have larger, stronger components than ever before in order to both increase gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) and effectively deliver as much torque to the ground as possible. This upgraded driveline includes new, larger, more robust front and rear axles, a standard 11.5-inch ring gear on 2500HD models, and a massive 12-inch ring gear on 3500HD diesel models. Additionally, the Sierra 3500HD does not need to limit torque in first gear, allowing it to transmit all of its trailer-pulling power to the wheels from a standing start.
BUILT TO TRAILER
Collectively, these revisions help Sierra Heavy Duty perform like no GMC heavy duty pickup before it, especially when it comes to pulling a conventional, gooseneck, or fifth-wheel trailer. Sierra Heavy Duty’s trailering prowess is what lies at its very core. The 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty is the most capable heavy duty pickup in the segment when it comes to trailering and towing (excluding other GM vehicles), offering a best-in-class maximum gooseneck trailering rating of up to 35,500 lbs — 52% greater than the outgoing model — and a gross combined weight rating of 43,500 lbs.
Sierra Heavy Duty also offers a number of advanced features designed to increase control and confidence while pulling a trailer. For instance, the available
SMART TRAILER INTEGRATION
Another new feature GMC is developing is the new smart trailer integration, which is designed to work with ASA Electronics iN∙Command®
CAPABILITY WITHOUT COMPROMISE
Heavy duty trucks often carry a reputation for emphasizing load carrying ability at the expense of ride quality, especially when empty or unladen. Not so with Sierra Heavy Duty. Engineers were determined to provide the perfect mixture of capability and comfort, by way of optimized body structure, new isolated cab mounts, and wider tires, which further isolate road imperfections. Sierra Heavy Duty also utilizes a robust independent front suspension that delivers carrying capability while reducing shake and improving ride comfort, especially while trailering. Available features, including Digital Variable Steering Assist, are also designed to improve handling and reduce driver fatigue.
When it comes to venturing off the beaten path, Sierra Heavy Duty provides off-road ability without sacrificing any heavy duty capability. To assist in clearing rugged terrain, Sierra Heavy Duty models offer at least 10 inches of ground clearance, along with an improved approach angle, and a repositioned diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank on diesel models enabling additional clearance. The available X31 off-road package adds purposefully-tuned off-road suspension and Rancho shocks, and skid plates. Hill Descent Control – which leverages ABS braking technology delivers a smooth, controlled descent over uneven surfaces – is available, while Sierra Heavy Duty’s available Traction Select System optimizes powertrain calibrations, traction control settings, and stability control system calibrations for a variety of terrain and driving conditions. A new 2-speed Autotrac transfer case with an active four-wheel drive setting is also available, providing seamless shifting between two and four-wheel drive based on road conditions.
Sierra Heavy Duty’s striking visual identity is apparent even at night, thanks to GMC’s signature exterior lighting elements, which provide both visibility and bold looks. Along with GMC’s trademark C-shaped high-intensity LED signature light blades in both the headlamps and taillamps, Sierra Heavy Duty models incorporate LED marker lamps into the truck’s bold wheel arch design, further helping Sierra stand apart from the crowd, even in the dark.
“These innovative details, combined with our integrated mirror lighting and cab mounted lamps, create a full vehicle and perimeter lighting signature that will help give our customer a sense of security and continue in GMC’s use of lighting to set itself apart,” says Noone.
Function is equally as important as form, especially when it comes to Sierra Heavy Duty’s pickup bed. Uniquely created for Heavy Duty models, this bed provides HD class-leading cargo volume – including a standard box that’s 6.7 inches wider and 5.4 inches longer than on the previous 2019 Sierra HD – while simultaneously providing lower bed sides, allowing for optimal fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailering. GMC’s innovative and exclusive MultiPro Tailgate, standard on SLT, AT4, and Denali models, can be configured and used six different ways, including as a step and a load stop for long items. The Sierra Heavy Duty beds also incorporate segment-exclusive Bed side steps, placed just forward of the rear wheel arches, supplementing the enlarged CornerStep rear bumper.
LARGER, SMARTER, MORE REFINED CABIN
Inside, the Sierra Heavy Duty’s new, roomier interior is expected to offer best-in-class front row head- and legroom, with crew cab models providing nearly 3 inches of additional rear-seat legroom compared to the current model. A higher seating position, paired with the truck’s taller stance, to offer a confident view from behind the wheel. Optimized ergonomics emphasize intuitive interaction with in-vehicle technologies – especially the available
Both Denali and AT4 models add exclusive materials and design touches to further accentuate Sierra’s upscale interior design. Denali-exclusive materials, including premium leather-appointed seating with contrasting stitching, authentic open-pore wood trim, and dark-finish aluminum décor, provide a distinguished, premium look and feel. Meanwhile, Sierra AT4 incorporates unique darkened aluminum trim accents, along with a unique, athletic Jet Black with Kalahari seat trim pattern.
The 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty will be available at Zimmer Wheaton starting late summer 2019. For more information, visit us in-store at 685 Notre Dame Drive, Kamloops BC.