GMC's most popular pickup truck will have a carbon fiber bed
The 2019 Sierra Denali features an industry-first pickup bed made from lightweight, carbon fiber composite.
GMC (Detroit, MI, US) is taking its most popular pickup truck to the next level with the completely redesigned 2019 Sierra Denali. Powerful proportions and distinctive Denali design help define the Sierra’s exterior, while the driver-focused cabin strengthens the brand’s reputation for refinement with premium materials, improved interior space and innovative storage solutions.
“GMC ignited the premium truck segment 17 years ago with the original launch of the Sierra Denali,” says Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “The next generation 2019 Sierra Denali establishes a new benchmark in capability and refinement. It exemplifies precision in every detail.”
The 2019 Sierra Denali includes segment-leading technologies and exclusive features including a GMC exclusive and industry-first carbon fiber pickup box, the CarbonPro, developed to increase durability, efficiency and functionality. The box design replaces the standard steel inner panels and floor with a lightweight, purpose-designed carbon fiber composite that offers best-in-class dent, scratch and corrosion resistance, making it the most durable pickup box in the segment.
“In 116 years of making GMC pickup trucks, our industry-first carbon fiber box is the toughest and most durable pickup box we have ever made,” Aldred says.
The new CarbonPro box is 62 pounds (28 kg) lighter than the steel version, and is one example of GMC’s strategic use of materials in engineering the Sierra. The strategy also incorporates aluminum for the doors, hood and tailgate, while relying on steel for the fenders, roof and standard cargo box to shave up to 360 pounds (163 kg) from the Sierra compared to today’s model.
Applications aren't as demanding as airframe composites, but requirements are still exacting — passenger safety is key.
Lightweight, hard and stable at high temperatures, CMCs are emerging from two decades of study and development into commercial applications.
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.