GMC is Developing Ultra-Light New Pickups for the New Year
Does your New Year’s resolution involve weight loss? If so, you’ve got something in common with General Motors. The automaker is making changes to its engineering strategies to ensure that future vehicles are lighter, more aerodynamic and more efficient than ever before.
To compete with Ford’s lightweight aluminum F-150, GMC has apparently started working on plans to equip its next generation GMC Sierra pickups with truck beds crafted out of carbon fiber. If the rumors are true, the carbon fiber beds will shave off hundreds of pounds from the trucks’ overall weight and significantly increase the vehicles’ fuel efficiency.
With the lightweight beds and GM’s mixed-materials strategy of combining high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium cast parts in the vehicle body design, the new trucks will absolutely weigh less than their rival: The Ford F-150.
The automaker has been testing out its mixed-materials strategy on the Cadillac CT6 sedan. The results of the experiment reveal that mixing body structure metals not only produces a stronger, stiffer body, it also saves the automaker money on materials.
“No single material is the right answer for every part of the body,” Charlie Klein, executive director of GM’s global CO2 strategy and energy center engineering, said. “Each material has its own properties. We use the best material for each component, the right material in the right place and the right amount of material.”
Although the strategy offers fantastic results, it also adds a whole new range of complications to the production and manufacturing process. But when the outcome gives trucks shorter stopping distances and better overall performance capabilities, GMC dealers and fans agree that it’s worthwhile in the end.
GMC has not released any performance details just yet, but if the new mixed-metal body trucks don’t offer dramatically improved fuel efficiency it will only be because the automaker has chosen to translate the weight savings into a bigger workload.
When Ford re-designed the F-150, it raised the truck’s towing and hauling ratings instead of its fuel efficiency. This turned out to be a smart move since many truck owners prioritize their pickup’s ability to be a tough-as-nails workhorse over its flexibility at the gas pump.
The new Silverado and Sierra represent an important test and an incredible opportunity for GM’s product development team. We’re excited to test the new trucks in the future and we’ll be sure to update you on any upcoming developments.
In the meantime, visit a GMC dealer near you to check out the current available GMC trucks.
At Arnie Bauer, we’re proud to offer the best GMC specials near you and an incredible variety of high-performance, rugged trucks. Whether you’re looking for a new work vehicle or just something to drive on the weekend, we’ve got you covered.