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The 2020 GMC Sierra HD Unveiled: A Freak of (Human) Nature

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San Diego, CA – As part of the launch event for the AT4 version of its 2019 GMC Sierra 1500, General Motors’ truck division also put on an attention-grabbing premiere of the new Sierra truck’s HD versions yesterday evening.

Alas, the program did not include a test drive. Instead GMC gave a static and technical presentation of its line of super-rugged products. The upside of this of course is that we were provided with a ton of information regarding the capabilities of this new generation of work trucks.

Here then is what consumers can expect when the model hits the market this coming summer.

This being a new generation for the Sierra, there’s been a full overhaul of its design. Those who have seen the radical path Chevrolet is taking with the HD version of its Silverado will be reassured: GMC is opting for a more moderate approach. The new truck is certainly muscular – how could it be otherwise – but the result is a success. And as per tradition, there are notable distinguishing marks to differentiate the versions. The Denali and AT4 variants are exhibits A and B in this respect.

See our listing of pre-owned GMC Sierra trucks available in your region of Canada

2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali
Photo: D.Rufiange
2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali

In the HD universe, towing is a top focus and preoccupation - and not just capacity, but also the different bits of ancillary equipment and functions that make the act of towing easier for owners.

In this regard, the 2020 GMC Sierra HD offers a more user-friendly experience than ever before. Immediately noteworthy on our first encounter is the ProGrade Trailering system, which provides 15 different camera angles to ensure an all-around view of the load being pulled. There’s also a nifty function that allows the driver to see out the rear as if there were no trailer. For this system the cameras on the tailgate and those behind the trailer itself work together to create a view “through” the load being pulled. The effect is just a bit surreal!

And let’s say we’re pretty darn impatient to try this and other functions out in the real world.

Photo: D.Rufiange

Because it’s at the heart of the war being waged in this segment, the actual towing capacity was revealed with great pomp and fanfare at the media event. And the total is (drum roll…) 13,607 kg, or 30,000 lb, in the case of the 3500 anyways. The smart cookies at GMC had organized a little demonstration for us to drive home the truck’s remarkable abilities. We saw a double-axle variant pull a load of 225,000 lb over a short distance. Which evoked for many of us in attendance the Toyota Tundra that pulled a space shuttle a few years back.

You can file that in the “my truck’s stronger than yours” category.

Much more
Of course, the GMC Sierra HD (2500 and 3500) amounts to much more than that. Given the importance of the segment for the manufacturer, it really went to town with this model, in terms of equipment, innovations, styling and mechanics.

Photo: D.Rufiange

We could go on at far too much length about what GMC is included in the new Sierra HD, so here are the highlights for you. We will be following this up as soon as possible (which is when GMC decides it is) with a comprehensive, hands-on test drive. Stay tuned!

- The Sierra makes use of a new type of tailgate that can be deployed in many different via six separate functions. The MultiPro as it’s called is available as an option on all versions and comes standard on the SLT, AT4 and Denali.

- A massive hade-up display (15-inch diagonally) features a ton of data to do with towing, speed, navigation, etc.

- The rearview mirror can be placed n camera mode to show a feed from a camera in back.

- Slightly bigger dimensions overall translate into a bigger cabin

- A 6.6L Duramax turbocharged V6 sits under the hood. Details on a gasoline-fed V8 will be forthcoming in the next few months.

- The truck works on a new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission.

- An off-road-specialized AT4 variant is part of the product offering.

- The model comes with more towing-related drive-assist systems than you can shake a stick at.

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