GM’s 10-speed auto arrives in range-topping Yukon models

The popular GMC Yukon and Yukon XL Denali are getting a few welcomed updates for 2018. General Motors’ new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission makes its first appearance in a GM SUV, first appearing in the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Denoting the model-year changes are a new Denali “cheese grater” chrome grille and a new, real-wood interior trim called Mastique Ash. As before, the Denali comes standard with GM’s powerful 6.2-liter V-8 derived from the Corvette Stingray’s LT1 small-block V-8.

The remainder of the Yukon Denali remains unchanged. That’s not completely terrible, as the Yukon still feels fresh, having debuted for the 2015 model year. The new transmission features a wider, 7.39 overall gear ratio that offers a shorter first gear of 4.70:1 and taller 10th gear of 0.64:1. Combined, the result is better acceleration off the line and improved fuel economy at highway speeds over the outgoing eight-speed automatic’s 4.56 and 0.65 respective ratios. Helping the 420-horsepower V-8 keep cool are larger openings in the new Denali grille. As before, active grille shutters ahead of the radiator close when extra cooling airflow isn’t needed in order to improve aerodynamics for fuel efficiency.

Continue reading for more information.

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Gets a New Grille and Two Extra Cogs Exterior High Resolution
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The Yukon Denali comes in a close second to the ‘Slade, sharing nearly all of its mechanical and structural underpinnings.

While it’s not surprising General Motors is installing its new 10-speed automatic into its SUVs, it is interesting why the Cadillac Escalade wasn’t chosen first. The Escalade is GM’s premier SUV and offers the most luxury and style of any GM SUV. Still, the Yukon Denali comes in a close second to the ‘Slade, sharing nearly all of its mechanical and structural underpinnings. Nevertheless, expect to see the 10-speed make its way to the Escalade and the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban in the very near future.

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Gets a New Grille and Two Extra Cogs Exterior High Resolution
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As for the Denali’s new grille, it requires an eagle eye to notice the difference when not paired directly beside the 2015-2017 Denali grille. Aside from the improved airflow, the minor change helps tell the different years apart. The rest of the front continues unaltered. The Yukon Denali comes standard with HID headlights and C-shaped LED daytime running lights.The GMC logo can be seen hiding within the clear headlight lens, adding an extra level of detailing never dreamed of in 1999, the year GMC debuted the Denali trim for the Yukon.

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Gets a New Grille and Two Extra Cogs Drivetrain High Resolution
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Pricing for the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali lineup shouldn’t change much over the 2017 numbers. This year, the Yukon Denali in 2WD starts at $67,260. Opting for the longer Yukon XL Denali pushes the starting price to $69,960. Adding 4WD to either version costs $3,000 to the bottom line. Sales will begin in the fall of 2017.

Drivetrain Specifications

EcoTec3 5.3L V-8 (L83) EcoTec3 6.2L V-8 (L86)
Type 5.3L V-8 6.2L V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc) 325 / 5328 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm) 3.78 x 3.62 / 96 x 92 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block material cast aluminum cast aluminum
Cylinder head material cast aluminum cast aluminum
Valvetrain overhead valve, two valves per cylinder, variable valve timing overhead valve, two valves per cylinder, variable valve timing
Ignition system coil near plug, platinum-tipped spark plugs, low-resistance spark plug wires coil near plug, platinum-tipped spark plugs, low-resistance spark plug wires
Fuel delivery direct fuel injection with Active Fuel Management direct fuel injection with Active Fuel Management
Compression ratio 11.0:1 11.5:1
Horsepower 355 HP @ 5,600 RPM 420 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 383 LB-FT @ 4,100 RPM 460 LB-FT @ 4,100 RPM
Recommended fuel regular unleaded premium recommended but not required
Maximum engine speed (rpm) 5800 6000
Estimated fuel economy (city / hwy) 16 / 23 (2WD)
16 / 22 (4WD)
15 / 21 (2WD)
14 / 21 (4WD)

Read our full review of the GMC Yukon here.

Source: GMC

DETROIT – GMC is elevating the 2018 Yukon Denali lineup with styling and trim enhancements, as well as a new, advanced 10-speed automatic transmission.

A new, sculpted grille design distinguishes the Yukon Denali, while new Mastique Ash real wood trim adds depth and richness to the interior.

The new Hydra-Matic 10-speed transmission — paired with Yukon Denali’s 6.2L V-8 engine — enhances refinement with world-class shift smoothness, responsiveness and quietness.

“Yukon Denali has always matched style with substance, and the enhancements for 2018 advance that legacy,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “The foundational elements of exclusive design, premium touches and uncompromising capability have made Yukon Denali an icon for nearly 20 years.”

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Gets a New Grille and Two Extra Cogs Exterior High Resolution
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Multi-Dimensional Grille Design

GMC designers evolved the iconic Denali grille with a multidimensional, sculpted interpretation that, like other contemporary GMC elements, was designed in a layered manner. It’s a theme seen in other new GMC models such as the Acadia and Terrain.

“The new grille, which is flanked by HID headlamps and LED Signature Lighting, advances the design legacy established with the very first Yukon Denali in 1999,” said Matt Noone, director, Global GMC Exterior Design. “It’s a more exciting and sophisticated design, while remaining instantly recognizable as part of the GMC Denali family.”

In addition to a more sophisticated appearance, the new grille offers greater airflow to the radiator. Active aero shutters behind the grille close in certain conditions on the highway to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance efficiency.

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Gets a New Grille and Two Extra Cogs Exterior High Resolution
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10 Speeds, Refined Performance

The Yukon Denali’s new 10-speed automatic leverages the engineering experience of General Motors’ multispeed transmissions to deliver improved performance.

A wider, 7.39 overall gear ratio spread, compared to the Yukon Denali’s previous eight-speed automatic, enables a lower numerical top gear ratio and contributes to greater efficiency.

The transmission’s optimized gearing and proprietary controls allow the 6.2L V-8 engine to deliver a winning combination smooth operation and precise response.

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Gets a New Grille and Two Extra Cogs Drivetrain High Resolution
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Standard and available features include:

420-hp 6.2L V-8 engine with direct injection and Active Fuel Management
StabiliTrak electronic stability control, tow/haul mode, trailer sway control, auto grade braking and hill start assist
Magnetic Ride Control for improved body motion control
Standard 20-inch wheels and available 22-inch wheels
Automatic locking rear differential
Four-wheel-disc brakes with Duralife™ brake rotors
Active Noise Cancellation for a quieter interior
8-inch diagonal GMC Infotainment system with Navigation includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
Standard 8-inch diagonal customizable driver display with head-up display
Multiple USB ports and accessory power outlets, including a 110-volt three-prong outlet, to support electronic devices
OnStar Basic Plan1 is standard for five years and includes access to an in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot2 and select features via the myGMC mobile app3
Wireless phone charging
Heated and ventilated driver and passenger seats, heated second-row seats
Hands-free programmable power liftgate
The Denali trim accounts for well more than half of all Yukon sales. It is offered in Yukon and Yukon XL models, with the XL featuring a 14-inch-longer wheelbase (20 inches longer overall), for increased third-row legroom and more than double the cargo room behind the third-row seat.

The 2018 Yukon Denali goes on sale this fall.

About GMC

GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.

# # #

1 OnStar Basic Plan is available for five years from the delivery date of eligible 2015 model year and newer vehicles and is transferable. Basic Plan does not include Emergency, Security or Navigation services; these and other services require a paid plan. Visit onstar.com for details.

2 Visit onstar.com for vehicle availability, details and system limitations. Services and connectivity may vary by model and conditions. Eligible vehicle and data plan required. 4G LTE coverage not available everywhere. Data plans provided by AT&T.

3 Compatible mobile device required. Some features require a paid OnStar service plan.

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