When practicality and utility is infused with luxury

GMC has always been the Robin to Chevy’s Batman. It has faithfully played the role of a wingman for quite some time, but now is its time to shine. The 2020 models of the GMC Sierra have been nothing short of a revelation. With revised, controversial exteriors, chrome walloped on the face, and new mills under the hood, the Sierra is set to take on the competition without being in the shadow of the Silverado. Can the well-equipped truck shine like a bright star this time around?

Exterior

  • LED lights all around
  • Longer wheelbase
  • Front grille will draw polarising opinions
  • 15 cameras around the body
  • Six-Mode MultiPro tailgate
2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali Exterior
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The Denali is the top-of-the-line trim that shows off everything GMC could do it terms of creativity, innovation, and technology. The GMC Sierra HD Denali looks different from its cheaper trim counterparts. If you thought the rivals consumed all the chrome present in the world, think again. The Denali comes with a trim-exclusive chrome grille, chrome bumpers, and chrome fog light surroundings. Wait, we’re not done; chrome wing mirror caps, chrome window sills, and elements of chrome on the fenders. Phew!

The 2020 Sierra HD Denali also features new signature lighting elements. The headlights are large-sized units with C-shaped LED housing and daytime running lights.

This time, the truck is slightly taller and has a fully functional hood scoop that helps cool the monstrous engine underneath the bonnet. The muscle lines on the hood add to the butch look of the truck. The GMC Sierra just cannot be ignored due to its sheer size and presence. When that bling shines in your rear view mirror, you will surely give way.

2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali Exterior
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The profile of the 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali looks smart and rather sedate when compared to the front fascia.

The Denali comes standard with 20-inch rollers and is available with a multitude of optional wheels. GMC has made 22-inch wheels available on the Denali, which will most likely be the most preferred side. The stance of the GMC Sierra HD Denali is quite tall, and even the standard tires look puny on it. The flared wheel arches are covered with black plastic cladding. GMC has not gone easy on the chrome appliqué on the side; other than the mirrors, you can find it on the window sills, the badges, and the door handle. This truck should be called ’Silver’ado instead! The XL-sized wing mirrors come with the engine badge stamped right behind it. The Denali trim also benefits from the roof marker lights that comes as standard.

2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali Exterior
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There’s nothing exceptional about the Sierra HD Denali’s derriere. The taillamps are all LEDs and add a certain character to an otherwise generic rear.

The focus here, however, will be on the MultiPro tailgate.

The six-mode tailgate can work as a standing desk or can be folded down to create a step into the bed. It is basically two tailgates - inception of sorts - wherein a fold-out stopper can be deployed from the inner tailgate. It can be operated at a push of a button or the key fob. The MultiPro tailgate can support up to 375 pounds and has two buttons for operation and the inner gate release. The GMC badge is placed on the center of the tailgate and just cannot be missed. The GMC Sierra HD comes with not one or two, but 15 cameras in total to give you an action of what’s going on around its body. More on this in the next section.

GMC Sierra HD Exterior Dimensions

Double Cab Crew Cab
Wheelbase (in. / mm): 144.2 / 3662 – 6’6” box
158.1 / 4017 – 8’ box
153.7 / 3904 – 6’6” box
167.7 / 4258 – 8’ box
Overall Length (in. / mm): 230 / 5842 – 6’6” box
248.9 / 6322 – 8’ box
239.5 / 6083 – 6’6” box
258.4 / 6563 – 8’ box
Overall Width (in. / mm): 80.5 / 2045 80.5 / 2045
Overall Height (in. / mm): 78 / 1983 (4WD w/ 6’6” box)
77.9 / 1978 (2WD w/ 8’ box)
77.8 / 1977 (4WD w/ 8’ box)
78.2 / 1988 (2WD w/ 6’6” box)
78.2 / 1987 (4WD w/ 6’6” box)
78 / 1981 (2WD w/ 8’ box)
77.9 / 1980 (4WD w/ 8’ box)

Note: 2019 GMC Sierra HD exterior dimensions listed here.

Interior

  • Best-in-class Legroom
  • Best-in-class Head room
  • Trailering system
  • Rich material used in the cabin
  • 15-inch Head up Display
2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali
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Automakers have now realized that truck owners need the best of utility and luxury in the same vehicle these days. That is why the kind of cabins trucks have these days can put luxury sedans to shame.

The GMC Sierra HD Denali not only exudes quality, but it also has best-in-class front headroom and legroom in the Crew Cab models.

The 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali is offered with exclusive materials to distinguish it from other trims, like premium leather seats, authentic, open-pore wood trim, and dark-finish aluminum decor. The leather details also feature a contrasting stitch pattern. The material looks durable and will last for a long time despite rough usage. The steering wheel features a prominent Denali brand to remind the driver that they’re driving the ultimate version of the 2020 GMC Sierra HD.

When you build a truck that can haul tens of thousands on its ass, you better make sure the driver knows what’s going on behind. But for some reason, automakers tend to skip this problem. GMC, however, has capitalised on this issue and turned it into a USP even though it should have been a basic safety feature. GMC has offered 15 cameras that help drivers see what’s around the truck and the trailer. The 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali even lets the driver see right through a trailer by stitching together footage from a camera mounted on the tailgate and footage from an accessory camera that needs to be installed on the back of the trailer. This makes navigating parking lots, merging into traffic, or making tight turns a breeze.

2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali
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As for the entertainment shenanigans, the 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali is fairly loaded. Some features include -

  • Rear Camera Mirror technology
  • 15-inch-diagonal head-up display
  • An infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Auto Electric Park Brake
  • Park Grade Hold Assist
  • Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control
  • Trailer Sway Control
The Sierra HD Denali also comes equipped with the iN∙Command control system that provides the ability to monitor and control select functions of equipped trailers through the myGMC mobile app.

For instance, if it’s a camper, they can use the app to turn on the A/C or the water heater, check the water level, and check the generator’s fuel level. With a second app called "Trailering", owners can also verify the trailer’s tire pressure, whether the lights work, and access a pre-departure checklist. Nifty, huh?

GMC Sierra HD interior dimensions

Double Cab Crew Cab
Headroom (in. / mm): 42.8 / 1087 (front)
38.7 / 982 (rear)
42.8 / 1087 (front)
40.5 / 1029 (rear)
Legroom (in. / mm): 45.3 / 1150 (front)
34.6 / 880 (rear)
45.3 / 1150 (front)
40.9 / 1040 (rear)
Shoulder room (in. / mm): 64.8 / 1647 (front)
64.3 / 1634 (rear)
64.8 / 1647 (front)
64.3 / 1634 (rear)
Hip room (in. / mm): 60.7 / 1543 (front)
60.2 / 1530 (rear)
60.7 / 1543 (front)
60.2 / 1530 (rear)

Note: 2019 GMC Sierra HD interior dimensions listed here.

Drivetrain

  • 6.6-liter, V-8 Duramax or 6.6-liter V-8 gasoline
  • As much as 910 pound-feet of torque
  • Can tow 33,000 pounds
  • 7,500 pounds of payload capacity
  • 10-speed automatic gearbox

The Denali trim is offered with two engine options. The standard engine is an all-new 6.6-liter, V-8 gasoline engine that churns out 401 horses and 464 pound-feet of twist. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and is a decent performer overall. The highlight is the second engine option that GMC is offering for the Sierra HD Denali - a 6.6-liter, Duramax, V-8 that produces 445 horses and a rather hefty 910 pound-feet of torque. The engine will be mated to 10-speed automatic transmission. The 910 pound-foot mark is quite astonishing and greatly satisfying at the same time, but it rather surprising that GMC did not try to top the new Ram HD’s 1,000 pound-feet of torque. GMC is selling this as the top-of-the-line heavy-duty hauler, so this would have been a great selling point for the automaker. Will we see that in the facelift?

2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali
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GMC Sierra 3500 HD Ram 3500 HD Ford F-450 Super Duty
Engine 6.6-liter Duramax 6.7-Liter Cummins 6.7-Liter Power stroek
Transmission 10-Speed Allison Six-Speed Auto Six-Speed Torqshift
Horsepower 445 HP 400 HP 440 HP
Torque 910 LB-FT 1,000 LB-FT 925 LB-FT
Curb Weigh TBA TBA 7,000 LB +
Maximum Towing Capacity 33,000+ LBS 35,100 LBS Up to 35,000 LB
Payload Capacity TBA 6,570 LBS 7,640 LB
GMC Sierra 3500 HD Ram 3500 HD Ford F-450 Super Duty
Engine 6.6-liter V-8 (gasoline)(est) 6.4-Liter HEMI V-8 6.2-Liter Flex V-8
Transmission Six-Speed Auto (est) Six-Speed Automatic Torqshift Six-Speed Auto
Horsepower 400 HP (est) 410 HP 385 HP
Torque 450 LB-FT (est) 429 LB-FT 430 LB-FT
Curb Weight TBA TBA 5,668 to 7,526 LBS
Maximum Towing Capacity 18,000 LBS (est) 17,980 LBS 13,300 LBS
Payload Capacity TBA TBA 2,474 to 4,332 LBS

The 2020 Sierra HD Denali can tow up to 33,000 pounds. Although this is a big improvement over the 2019 Sierra HD, which could tow 23,300 pounds, it falls short of the Ram’s 35,100-pound rating and the Ford F-Series heavy-duty truck that can lug 35,000 pounds. This could play a big role in a customer’s decision-making process as this is essentially the core point of a truck. GMC did an amazing job at revamping the Sierra HD overall and topping it with everything possible in the Denali trim, but it missed out on the most important aspect.

Pricing

2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali
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Pricing for the 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali is not yet revealed officially, but the current model is priced at $56,200 for a rear-wheel-drive setup and $60,300 for four-wheel-drive models. Expect a slight increase over the existing prices.

Competition

Ford Super Duty F-350

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Lariat
- image 823638

The most popular truck of the segment squares off against its American counterpart. As is the norm in this segment, the Ford Super Duty F-350 also comes with a huge chrome grille slapped on its face. The Blue Oval has offered it with two engine options for you to choose from - a 6.2 liter, V-8 engine that develops 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, and 6.7-liter, turbodiesel V-8 mill that churns out 450 horses and 935 pound-feet of torque. These specs are pretty much on par with the rivals. Well, we would say it’s on par with the competition. Both the engines come mated with a six-speed automatic transmission system, either in two-wheel-drive system, or four-wheel-drive configuration. However, the truck can lug 32,000 pounds! However, Ford will be plonking the newer models from the Super Duty F-250 trims with a new 7.3-liter, V-8 engine will make its debut in 2020 model.

On the inside, the truck is a typical Ford - large, comfortable, and utilitarian. The top-trim comes with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, leather upholstery, and power-adjustable pedals, and heated and cooled seats, to name a few. As is with any Ford truck and SUV, there is not dearth of customization. Right from spoiling yourself with creature comforts, to mechanical, Ford has made sure you can build this truck as per your convenience. However, this could see you shell you out more than $80,000.

Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Super Duty F-350

Ram HD

2019 Ram Heavy Duty Looks Menacing, Pumps out 1,000 Pound-Feet! Exterior
- image 814465

It looks like automakers are competing against each other to give their trucks the biggest mouth possible. If the one on the Sierra HD Denali looked garish, check out the one on Ram HD. Just like the Sierra, the Ram HD also underwent a transformation that has made it all the more relevant. Ram has reworked its chassis and body, which enabled it to shave off 143 pounds of the curb weight when compared to its predecessor. The base trim is powered by a 6.4-liter, Hemi, V-8 engine that produces 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. The Ram HD also boasts a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine under the hood that produces a mammoth 1,000 pound-feet of torque but a mere 400 horses. Ram decided to mate it to a six-speed automatic transmission and limit its potential to a certain extent. The Sierra HD Denali is offered with less torque, but it still scores an advantage over the Ram HD, thanks to the ten-speed auto gearbox. Ram is offering the same mill with lower power output as well - 370 horses and 850 pound-feet of twist. In its ultimate avatar, the Ram HD can lug 35,100 pounds and deliver a payload of 6,570 pounds. It can be customized with a rear air suspension which can be very helpful while loading and unloading.

Unlike the GMC Sierra HD Denali, Ram has focused on the mechanicals of the HD more than the interior. It does not seem as lush as the Denali, but you still get all the creature comforts. The console area now stands at 22.6 liters - 2.9 liters more than the 2019 model and includes 12 storage configurations. You can hold bigger items like tablets in it now. The base trim comes with a five-inch infotainment system, while the higher trims can be availed with an 8.4-inch or 12-inch screen. It also comes with five USB ports, three 115-volt plugs, and wireless charging docks.

Read our full review on the 2020 Ram HD.

Final Thoughts

2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali Exterior
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When it comes to other automakers, they sell most of their models in the mid-range trims as they are affordable and the customers can equip them with their choice of goodies and shun out the extras that they don’t require. For instance, customers prefer the mid-Lariat trim when it comes to Ford trucks. However, unlike the competition, GMC has sold 50-percent of the Sierra HDs in the top-of-the-line Denali trim. Features like the 15-inch head-up display, 15 camera setup, its compatibility with apps, and a multipro tailgate make things a lot more interesting in day-to-day use. By equipping the 10-speed Allison transmission, GMC has made sure that the Sierra HD drives better with heavy loads. The 2020 GMC Sierra HD will be built at the company’s Flint Assembly in Flint, Michigan and is set to arrive late in the summer of 2019.

  • Leave it
    • Feels like the truck was lifted and dipped in a ’chrome pool’
    • Towing capacity is the least amongst the competition
    • Can get quite expensive with add-ons

Further Reading

2020 GMC Sierra HD
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Read our full review on the 2020 GMC Sierra HD.

2019 GMC Sierra Exterior
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The 6.2 and 5.3-liter were updated

Read our full review on the 2019 GMC Sierra.

DETROIT — Bigger, stronger and smarter, the all-new 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty combines greater trailering capability with technologies designed to provide customers with a world-class towing experience.

“The all-new 2020 Sierra HD is the most capable heavy-duty truck that we’ve ever offered,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “For customers who demand a premium, innovative heavy-duty truck that supports their passions, the next-generation Sierra HD can pull like a pro.”

Form and function come together in the new Sierra Heavy Duty, with features that include:

An enhanced ProGrade Trailering system featuring class-leading available 15 camera views, including a segment-first transparent trailer view to virtually see through a trailer in tow.1
An available smart trailer designed to integrate the iN∙Command® control system from ASA Electronics2 provides the ability to monitor and control select functions of compatibly equipped trailers through the myGMC mobile app3.
A segment-exclusive available 15-inch-diagonal head-up display that offers useful trailering information, including vehicle speed, navigation information and an inclinometer display for the road grade.
An available segment-first Rear Camera Mirror.
MultiPro, the world’s first six-function tailgate, allows easier loading, unloading and bed access and is available on all trim levels.
A larger, commanding design that provides more room for cargo and occupants.
Best-in-class Crew Cab front headroom and legroom for the driver and other front-row occupants.
An all-new, segment-first, Allison 10-speed automatic transmission mated to the legendary 6.6L Duramax turbo diesel.
For those looking to take refined capability off-road, GMC fortifies the new AT4 brand with an all-new Sierra AT4 Heavy Duty available for Crew Cab configurations as both a 2500 and 3500 single rear wheel offering.
With more than half of Sierra HD customers choosing Denali, it continues to offer the ultimate expression of professional grade materials and refinement. The all-new model delivers power, intelligence and segment advancements to meet the needs of heavy-duty customers with discerning taste.

ProGrade Trailering Technology
First introduced with the 2019 Sierra light duty, the ProGrade Trailering System leverages technology advancements to offer additional features and functionality for the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty.

“Trailering is the most important consideration for Sierra Heavy Duty customers, and the new features and technologies in the 2020 Sierra HD make it easier than ever to hitch a trailer and tow it confidently,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, vehicle chief engineer, Heavy Duty Trucks. “We’ve developed this new truck to offer the greatest trailering experience ever offered by GMC.”

An available class-leading 15 unique camera views1, including an industry-first transparent trailer view, help optimize the driver’s view around the truck and compatible trailers to provide added confidence when towing. The revolutionary transparent trailer feature uses the tailgate-mounted camera and an available accessory camera mounted on the rear of the trailer. The resulting display helps the driver to virtually see through the trailer4, a benefit when navigating parking lots, merging into traffic or making tight turns.

Owners of the 2020 Sierra HD will have access to available smart trailer technology designed to allow access to select features of the iN∙Command® control system from ASA Electronics2 through the myGMC mobile app, either on compatible Android and iOS smartphones or on the vehicle’s infotainment system via Apple CarPlay5 or Android Auto6. Similar to the features of a smart home, the iN∙Command® control system acts as the central hub of operations to monitor and control an array of systems in trailers equipped with the next-generation technology. Depending on how a compatibly equipped trailer is configured, owners of the 2020 Sierra HD may be able to turn on the trailer’s air conditioning or water heater, check water and holding tank levels, or monitor fuel levels on trailers equipped with generators — all before arriving at their destination.

The ProGrade Trailering System also includes an in-vehicle Trailering App7 with Trailer Light Test, Trailer Electrical Diagnostics, Trailer Tire Pressure and Temperature Monitoring, Pre- Maintenance Reminders and Departure Checklist. Many of the Trailering app’s functions, including the lighting test and pre-departure checklist, are also available with the myGMC mobile app, a feature that offers great convenience when outside the truck or trailer.

Additional available technologies and hardware to aid trailering include:

Auto Electric Park Brake to automatically apply the parking brake to help maintain truck position when hitching.
All-new Park Grade Hold Assist enhances hill hold by using braking effort at each wheel for an extended period of time.
All-new larger, door-mounted trailering mirrors with a four-bar link providing power extend and retract for the driver and passenger sides.
Integrated trailer brake controller that works with the trailer profile in the Trailering App to recall a specified trailer’s most recent gain setting.
Tow/Haul mode that remains engaged on the next key-on cycle, for up to four hours; includes a reminder the feature is engaged.
Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.
Trailer Sway Control.
Auto Grade Braking and Diesel Exhaust Braking.
Digital Variable Steering Assist that dynamically optimizes power steering according to driving scenarios, including trailering, and enables features like road pull compensation.
Trailering Info Label placed on the driver’s door jamb that clearly calls out the truck’s specific trailering information, including curb weight, GVWR, GCWR, maximum payload, maximum tongue weight and rear GAWR.8
Bigger and bolder
The 2020 Sierra HD has a commanding, powerful design rooted in a new architecture with larger proportions. It is taller and longer, with a more confident stance defined by a bold design that epitomizes GMC’s signature refinement and technologically driven attention to detail.

“We took every opportunity to visually express the strength and capability that lies beneath the surface,” says Matt Noone, director of GMC exterior design. “The elevated hood line, the strong shoulders, the striking front grille — these cues communicate the strength and performance that have been engineered and built into each and every Sierra Heavy Duty.”

The all-new Sierra HD is highlighted by new signature lighting, including prominent “light blades” that deliver LED illumination for the daytime running lamps. LEDs are also used for the headlamps, taillamps, available fog lamps and other illuminative elements, including the available roof marker lights standard on all dual-rear-wheel HDs and all Sierra HD Denalis except where prohibited by law.

Inside, the Sierra HD’s new interior has best-in-class front head- and legroom (maximum), with Crew Cab models. A higher seating position complements the truck’s taller profile to offer a confident view from behind the wheel. Additional optimized ergonomics emphasize easy, intuitive interaction with the vehicle’s available technologies, such as a heavy-duty segment-first head-up display and GMC’s latest touchscreen infotainment systems.9

Denali-exclusive materials — including premium leather-appointed seating, authentic open-pore wood trim and dark-finish aluminum decor — raise the interior’s refinement. The leather appointments have a distinctive, large-pebbled grain with a contrasting stitch pattern that is premium in appearance and touch without sacrificing durability, and the wood trim features an open-pore texture evocative of hand-planed furniture.

Compared to the current model, the new Sierra Heavy Duty has:

A longer wheelbase, a taller, more dominant hood line and taller overall height.
A larger grille and complementing functional hood scoop to feed an advanced cooling system for the Duramax turbo diesel.
Class-leading heavy-duty cargo bed volume10 and 12 corner tie-downs with a new, available 120-volt power outlet.
One-inch-lower bed lift-in height compared to the 2019 Sierra Heavy Duty, providing easier loading and fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailer hitching10.
New, segment-exclusive cargo bed side steps on all box styles, located in front of the rear wheel openings, that complement integrated CornerSteps in the rear bumper to improve access to the cargo area.
World’s first six-function MultiPro tailgate available on all trim levels and standard on SLT, AT4 and Denali.
All-new Sierra AT4 HD: Refined HD Capability Off-Road
The all-new 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty AT4 continues the AT4 brand’s growth with a distinctive off-road identity to complement its robust HD capability. Driven by dark chrome exterior finishes and contemporary detailing, Sierra HD AT4 features front and rear bumpers and a grille surround finished in body color. The bold grille design, with its rugged texture, is finished in black chrome and set off by the AT4’s distinctive red vertical recovery hooks.

The athletic interior also carries AT4-specific darkened trim, including dark-tinted and textured aluminum finishes on the steering wheel, center stack and sill plates, as well as a unique Jet Black interior with Kalahari color accents in the seats and live stitching. Leather-appointed seating, with mini-perforated inserts and embroidered AT4 badging on the headrests, along with all-weather floor liners, is standard delivering durability with uncompromising comfort.

The new Sierra AT4 Heavy Duty’s off-road capabilities are rooted in a unique suspension and supporting technologies that include:

Off-road suspension, Rancho Shocks, skid plates, Eaton locking rear differential.
Eighteen-inch wheels wrapped with Michelin all-terrain tires, with 20-inch wheels available.
Traction Select System with specific Off-Road mode.
Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist.
Segment-exclusive 15-inch diagonal Head-Up Display with Off-Road Inclinometer.
HD Surround Vision1 for low-speed views of vehicle surroundings.
Confident trailering power
GMC’s legendary Duramax turbo diesel and Allison Transmission pairing continues to offer the ultimate in towing confidence.

The proven Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engine offers high torque, high power, low noise and exceptional durability. For the 2020 Sierra HD, the Duramax offers an SAE-certified 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. This already powerful engine performs more efficiently thanks to increased cooling capacity delivered in part by improved air induction. A dual-path intake system draws dense, cool air through both the prominent hood scoop and the larger front grille.

The new Sierra HD marks the introduction of an all-new 10-speed Allison automatic transmission — the first-ever offered in the heavy-duty pickup segment. The all-new 10-speed transmission with closer gear spacing allows the engine to operate in an optimal range at all times with varying load and terrain conditions.

The bigger frame, stronger propulsion and smarter technologies are expected to deliver dramatically greater towing capacity than previous models, well in excess of 30,000 pounds. More details regarding an all-new gas engine and trailering capabilities will be announced shortly.

Coming late summer 2019
The 2020 Sierra HD goes on sale later this year in 2500HD and 3500HD dual rear wheel and single rear wheel configurations. Pricing and complete specifications will be announced later.

With a $1.5 billion investment to support the next-generation Heavy Duty truck launch, Flint Assembly in Flint, Michigan, will proudly build the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty.

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