GMC announced its reentry back into the sport truck game. However, its submission to the competition is decidedly drab. Now before you run for the pitchforks, let me explain. GMC has some history in the sport truck market, namely the 1991 Syclone and 1992 through 1993 Typhoon. Both the Sonoma-based Syclone and Jimmy-based Typhoon used a turbocharged and highly modified version of the 4.3-liter V-6, sported lowered suspensions, bigger brakes, and an all-wheel-drive setup. The Syclone was capable of hitting 60 in a blistering 4.3 seconds on its way to a quarter-mile run of 13.6 seconds. Impressive times still today.

So what’s the Sierra Elevation Edition got beneath its murdered-out bodywork? The 580-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8 borrowed from the Camaro ZL1? Perhaps the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter LT1 from the Corvette Stingray? No and nope.

This "sport truck" sports a bone-stock, 285-horsepower, 4.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-6 found in the base Sierra. Of course, for some extra scratch, customers can upgrade to the 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8. The story continues throughout the rest of the truck. Stock brakes, stock tires, and stock suspension.

GMC has included plenty of upgrades in the Elevation Edition, though they consist of purely cosmetic changes. Body-colored grille, bumpers, door handles, mirror caps, side moldings, and wheels replace the chrome bits normally found on the Sierra. Does it look good? Yes. Does its bite match its bark? Sadly, no.

While I hate to dog on GMC for its newest offering, it seems a bit half-hearted. The General Motors’ parts bin is a seemingly limitless supply of go-fast goodies just ready to be bolted on. In fact, Chevy already teases up with the Cheyenne concept at the 2013 SEMA show. If GM wanted to set the bar far above the upcoming Ford F-150 and already-award-winning Ram 1500, it could easily do it. Why the trigger isn’t getting pulled, perhaps we’ll never know.

UPDATE 01/21/2015: GMC announced prices for the special edition Sierra Elevation which goes on sale this month. Prices will range from $34,865 for a 2WD model equipped with the standard 4.3L V-6 and up to $39,890 for the 4WD version equipped with the 5.3L V-8 engine.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition.

  • 2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    285
  • Torque @ RPM:
    305
  • Displacement:
    4.3 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    34865 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition High Resolution Exterior
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2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 569308

While the mechanicals are left severely lacking, GMC nailed the "sport truck" theme with its exterior adornments. A lowered suspension and more purposeful tires are all that’s lacking. The Elevation Edition is only available in the 1500 double-cab form, meaning those interesting in a single cab or crew cab version of out of luck.

The Elevation comes murdered out. Semi-glossy black, 20-inch wheels match the black grille surround, black bumpers, mirror caps, door handles, and other trim pieces. GMC left some bright chrome work on the grille’s center section and plenty of bling in the HID headlights surrounded by LED accent lights. Only the Sierra nameplate remains chrome.

Holistically, the Elevation Edition looks the part, but it could be so much more.

Interior

Like the engine bay, the interior is bone stock. GMC does package a few options in with the Elevation. Those include keyless entry, power mirrors, the LED cargo box lighting package, the 4.2-inch Intellilink color touchscreen, OnStar, and 4G LTE connectivity with in-truck Wi-Fi capabilities for up to seven devices.

Otherwise, the truck enjoys the same redesigned interior found in new 2014 Sierra.

Drivetrain

2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition Exterior
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If you haven’t caught on yet, here’s where things get sad. GMC’s "sport truck" boasts a naturally aspirated, 4.3-liter V-6 putting out 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that helps it earn an EPA-estimated 24 mpg highway.

Of course, if more power is what you’re craving then the optional. 5.3-liter V-8 is available. It produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Like the V-6, the six-speed auto is used. Both engines employ direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and active fuel management to save on gas while making power conservatively.

Sadly, the powerful, 6.2-liter V-8 offered elsewhere in the Sierra 1500 lineup is absent. Though it produces 420 horses and 460 pound-feet of torque, the engine would be outmatched by the double cab Sierra’s hefty curb weight.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8
Output 285 HP 355 HP
Torque 305 LB-FT 383 LB-FT
Transmission Six-speed Automatic

Prices

2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition Exterior
- image 569309
Model Price
GMC Sierra Elevation 2WD 4.3L V-6 $34,865
GMC Sierra Elevation 4WD 4.3L V-6 $38,795
GMC Sierra Elevation 2WD 5.3L V-8 $35,960
GMC Sierra Elevation 4WD 5.3L V-8 $39,890

Competition

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor High Resolution Exterior
- image 512872

Ford offers the closest thing to a sport truck these days. The F-150 Tremor comes with the attractive FX appearance package, giving it those stripes and black wheels, among other things. While it’s no Ford Lightning, the Tremor’s stats would argue otherwise. The last-generation Lightning that died a decade ago had 380 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque generating from its supercharged 5.4-liter V-8.

The Tremor’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 kicks out an impressive 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Technology and turbos have changed the game. The Tremor is capable of doing zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, only a tenth slower than the 2004 Lightning. The Tremor likely falls short of the Lightning’s road-holding abilities, as the Lightning had a track-focused suspension and tire selection.

The Tremor only comes in the single cab, short-bed form, but is available with rear- or four-wheel-drive. Pricing starts at $39,740, but supplies are becoming limited as 2014 is its last year.

2015 Ram 1500 R/T

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 565419

Like the Tremor, the Ram 1500 R/T isn’t as "special" as the Lightning, or the Dodge Ram SRT-10, but the R/T still has the goods to go fast. Available in a mid-trim level grade and in single-cab, short-bed form, the R/T comes powered with the 5.7-liter, HEMI V-8. The engine cranks out 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic does the shifting. Sixty mph comes in just 5.4 seconds, blowing the old Lighting out of the water.

Ram has the looks too. Body colored bumpers, massive chrome wheels, and factory dual exhaust give off a sporty vibe. Unlike the Tremor, the Ram soldiers on through 2015, technically making it the only competition for the GMC Elevation Edition.

Pricing for the Ram 1500 R/T starts at $36,225.

Conclusion

2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 569307

Well, it’s easy to feel like GMC is selling itself short here. It ventures out by calling this a sport truck, yet doesn’t deliver on the promise. While the horsepower wars are raging in full effect on the muscle-car side of things, Ford, Ram (Dodge), and the General have been nearly silent on reviving the muscle-truck genre. Remember the Dodge Ram SRT-10, Ford F-150 Lighting, and Chevy Silverado SS? Yeah, so do I.

Either way, GMC still makes a solid truck worth spending hard-earned money on, but it’s hard not to imagine the possibilities.

  • Leave it
    • * Zero mechanical upgrades
    • * All bark, no bite
    • * So much untapped potential

Press Release

GMC today introduced the 2015 Sierra Elevation Edition, a new entry to the sport pickup truck market. The Elevation Edition, which goes on sale later this year, offers a combination of style and content unavailable from competitors in the sport truck segment.

2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 569307

“Much in the same way the Sierra Denali and Sierra HD Denali models raised the standard for premium pickup trucks, the Sierra Elevation Edition will surprise and excite customers shopping for a sport pickup,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president, Buick and GMC. “With its striking looks, sophisticated connectivity features and legendary capability, the Elevation Edition raises the standard of what a sport pickup truck can be.”

Built on the strong foundation of the standard 2015 Sierra 1500 double-cab pickup, the 2015 Sierra Elevation Edition incorporates a body-colored grille surround, color-keyed door handles, mirror caps, side moldings and front and rear bumpers designed to give Elevation a sporty monochromatic appearance.

2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 569308

Elevation models also feature premium headlamps with distinctive light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting, fog lamps, and black-painted 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

All Sierra Elevation Edition models are equipped with remote keyless entry, power mirrors, a 110-volt AC power outlet, and LED cargo box lighting. Advanced connectivity is included with every Elevation Edition, as a 4.2-inch Intellilink color touchscreen audio system and Bluetooth phone connectivity are standard. Elevation Edition models also feature OnStar with 4G LTE Connectivity, which provides an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices.

The 2015 Sierra Elevation Edition is offered with two- or four-wheel drive. A 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6 engine is standard equipment, and delivers 285 horsepower, 305 lb-ft of torque, and EPA highway ratings up to 24 mpg. A 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 is optional.

2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition Exterior
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The 2015 Sierra Elevation Edition will be available at GMC dealerships by the end of 2014. Pricing for the Elevation Edition will be announced later.

Press Release 2 - Jan. 21, 2015

2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition High Resolution Exterior
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DETROIT – Pricing for the GMC 2015 Sierra Elevation Edition starts at $34,865 for a 2WD model equipped with the standard 4.3L V-6 and $38,795 for a 4.3L/4WD configuration. Models with the available 5.3L V-8 start at $35,960 for 2WD and $39,890 for 4WD.

The Sierra Elevation Edition – a uniquely styled full-size truck that combines a bold, monochromatic look with the latest connectivity technologies – goes on sale this month and is based on the Sierra 1500 double cab with 1SA trim.

It is offered in four exterior colors and features body-color exterior appointments, 20-inch black-painted wheels, fog lamps and projector-beam headlamps with light-emitting diode (LED) signature lighting. Standard connectivity features include OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, with a three-month/3GB trial (whichever comes first), GMC IntelliLink with color display and Bluetooth wireless technology for select phones.

“The Sierra Elevation Edition is all about expressive style and technology,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “Its customized appearance makes it a standout for style-conscious customers, while its technologies help keep them plugged into to their connected lifestyles.”

Additional standard and available equipment includes:

  • Body-color front/rear bumpers, bodyside moldings, door handles, grille surround and mirror caps
  • CornerStep rear bumper
  • G80 locking rear differential
  • 110V power outlet
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors
  • LED cargo box lighting
  • Six months of OnStar Directions & Connections plan, plus five-year OnStar Basic Plan
  • Exterior colors: Onyx Black, Quicksilver Metallic, Sonoma Red Metallic and Summit White
  • Color-keyed carpeting
  • Deep-tinted glass
  • Available rear vision camera
  • Available trailering package
  • Available all-terrain tires.

The standard EcoTec3 4.3L V-6 is SAE certified at 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque and the available EcoTec3 5.3L V-8 is rated at 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The 5.3L delivers the best V-8 fuel economy in the segment – 23 mpg highway (2WD) – and enables a 9,500-pound trailering capacity with the available 3.42 axle (2WD).

Editors’ note: Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price includes destination freight charge but excludes tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Excludes other General Motors vehicles.

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