Aesthetic and performance upgrades await future owners of the special edition SUV

Hot on the heels of unveiling the new GMC Sierra Elevation, General Motors’ resident SUV and pickup brand is giving the same love to the full-size Yukon SUV. A pair of special edition models — they’re called the Graphite and Graphite Performance Editions, respectively — are set to be offered later this year, packing across-the-board cosmetic and performance upgrades meant to give the SUV a more imposing presence in its segment.

What makes the GMC Yukon Graphite Performance Edition special

2018 GMC Yukon Graphite Performance Edition Exterior
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The automaker is more interested in freshening up the Yukon to give it a fresher appeal.

You can argue that the GMC Yukon doesn’t really need a new looks package. It’s not exactly winning any beauty contests anyway, so what’s the point of getting extra cosmetics? But that’s not the point, or more succinctly, that’s not GMC’s point. The automaker is more interested in freshening up the Yukon to give it a fresher appeal. That’s why it’s offering the Yukon Graphite Editions with a choice of three colors — Black, White Frost Tricoat, and Dark Sky Metallic. It’s also the reason why the full-sized SUV is receiving black assist steps with gloss black accents, a premium black chrome grille mesh insert, fog lamp surrounds, a body-color grille surround, black roof rails, gloss black beltline moldings, a new set of 22-inch six-spoke gloss black wheels, and enough black trim to make Batman proud. Oh, and we can’t forget about the obligatory badges because, well, badges!

Likewise, the Yukon’s interior also gets a dose of the good stuff, specifically the inclusion of an eight-inch Color Touch Screen Navigation with GMC’s infotainment system. This baby now comes as standard equipment on the Graphite Edition. That’s on top of the high-capacity air cleaner (always a good thing to have), Bose Active Noise Cancellation, a multicolor head-up display, and an eight-inch reconfigurable Driver Information Center.

2018 GMC Yukon Graphite Performance Edition Exterior
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The special edition also gets a new set of 22-inch six-spoke gloss black wheels, and enough black trim to make Batman proud.

Move beyond the realm of aesthetics and functionality, and you’ll land on the real highlight of the Yukon Graphite Edition models. For those who opt for the Yukon Graphite Edition, you’ll receive the same 5.3-liter V-8 engine that comes standard on the SLT trim of the SUV. This bad boy is good for 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque that’s mated to a six-speed transmission enough to help it achieve standard trailering of 6,500 pounds.

If those numbers still don’t add up to your liking, you can instead choose the Yukon Graphite Performance Edition. With the same exterior package, this version gives you a 6.2-liter V-8 unit that produces an impressive 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It also gets a 10-speed automatic transmission and Magnetic Ride Control, ensuring that you get the most out of the bigger V-8. The results speak for themselves as this version of the Yukon comes with an increased amount of standard trailering at an impressive 8,400 pounds. It also receives added equipment like a trailer brake controller, a 170-amp alternator, and a bigger rear axle ratio of 3.23 compared to the 3.08 ratio that’s standard on the Yukon Graphite Edition.

The idea behind the Yukon Graphite Edition models is to further showcase the SUV’s capabilities with a unique style that they can call their own. Or as Stu Pierce, senior marketing manager for GMC Trucks and Full-Size SUVs, describes it, “The all-new Graphite Edition builds on the commanding road presence and inherent capabilities of the Yukon and affords customers the opportunity to project a unique, yet distinctly GMC style.”

2018 GMC Yukon Graphite Performance Edition Exterior
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The idea behind the Yukon Graphite Edition models is to further showcase the SUV’s capabilities with a unique style that they can call their own.

Judging by the finished product, it looks like GMC did exactly just that. Unfortunately, the automaker still hasn’t announced pricing details beyond saying that the Yukon Graphite Editions, which are available in standard and XL Yukon trims, will be available in the summertime here in the U.S. Given that the standard Yukon starts at $49,100, and the Yukon XL starts at $51,800, expect the price tags for these two special edition models to fetch anywhere from $55,000 to $60,000, respectively.

Further Reading

2016 GMC Yukon High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 GMC Yukon.

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Read more GMC News.

Press release

GMC is expanding its premium Yukon line with the addition of two 2019 Graphite Editions. The all-new Yukon Graphite Edition offers a darkened exterior appearance, while the Yukon Graphite Performance Edition adds vehicle performance upgrades. The Graphite Editions are exclusively available on SLT trim vehicles and can be ordered on either Yukon or Yukon XL in both 2WD and 4WD configurations.

“The Yukon continues to lead the full-size SUV segment with premium features and an instantly recognizable and well-respected identity,” said Stu Pierce, senior marketing manager for GMC Trucks and Full-Size SUVs. “The all-new Graphite Edition builds on the commanding road presence and inherent capabilities of the Yukon and affords customers the opportunity to project a unique, yet distinctly GMC style.”

The Yukon Graphite Edition includes 22-inch bright machined wheels with Carbon Flash Metallic pockets, black assist steps with gloss black accents, premium black chrome grille mesh insert and fog lamp surrounds, body-color grille surround, black roof rails, gloss black beltline moldings and additional black trim.

The Graphite Performance Edition requires the Graphite Edition and further adds:

6.2L V-8 engine.
10-speed automatic transmission.
Magnetic Ride Control.
22-inch six-spoke Gloss black wheels.
Active two-speed transfer case (4WD models only).
Trailer brake controller.
170-amp alternator.
3.23 axle ratio.
High capacity air cleaner.
Bose Active Noise Cancellation.
Multi-color Head-up Display.
8-inch reconfigurable Driver Information Center.
8-inch Color Touch Screen Navigation with GMC Infotainment System.

The 6.2L V-8 included with the Yukon Graphite Performance Edition features direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing for increased efficiency while providing 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission that further improves efficiency by reducing engine revolutions at highway speeds. These powertrain enhancements are complemented by Magnetic Ride Control, which uses sensors to “read” the road and can alter the damping rate of the shocks almost instantly. The combined power and torque, greater efficiency and composed ride provide a smooth and confident driving experience.

The 2019 Yukon and Yukon XL Graphite Editions will be available this summer in the United States. Package pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date. Graphite Editions are offered in three exterior colors: Onyx Black, White Frost Tricoat and Dark Sky Metallic.

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