GMC releases teaser photos… and not much else

GMC released today three photos of the updated 2017 Sierra Denali 2500HD. The new photos show an updated hood design with a functional scoop, bolder lettering for the Duramax turbodiesel engine option, and not much else. Yep, the changes – at lease those on the outside – are very minimal.

Also minimalistic is GMC’s description of the changes, with the entirety of the press release saying, “GMC today released the first photos of the 2017 Sierra Denali 2500HD featuring a functional hood scoop design hinting at what is beneath its bold new appearance.” That’s it.

This sort of teaser isn’t new for GMC. The automaker pulled a similar stunt with the Sierra’s 2016 model year refresh. In that case, we simply got a single photo with nearly no description.

Nevertheless, the photo is official, so we know exactly what 2017 holds for the Sierra 2500HD. We also expect the same functional hood scoop on the 3500HD, or at least those fitted with the optional 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel. News on the Sierra 1500s has not been divulged, meaning it could be a carry-over year with no changes, or GMC could introduce a slight refresh. We’re betting on the carry-over scenario, as the current design is only a year old.

Let’s have a closer look at the 2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD and the changes coming its way.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD.

Exterior

2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD - image 678250

Well, you’re looking at all the information we currently have – these three photos. As you read above, GMC’s press release was very coy on details, mentioning only the functional hood scoop “hinting at what is beneath.” While GMC likely means the same Duramax turbodiesel that’s powered the GM trucks for more than a decade, it could be pointing at a significant power and torque increase. Let’s hope so.

Beyond that scoop, the GMC looks unchanged from 2016. The Denali trim, seen here, still has its cheese-grater grille and projector beam headlights with LED daytime running lights. The sides of the truck carry over, as do the large chrome-clad wheels, chrome-plated towing mirrors, and chrome-lined side steps.

Once GMC releases more information in the coming months, we’ll update you here.

Interior

2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali - Driven - image 642611

2015 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 shown
GMC has not released any details concerning the Sierra 2500HD’s interior, though we suspect things will mostly carry over unchanged from 2016. The Sierra received a significant exterior update for 2016 and little was changed inside, so the addition of a small hood scoop isn’t’ a strong indication of a large interior update.

We’ll let you know when more information becomes available.

Drivetrain

2011 Chevrolet Silverado - image 346940

The current GMC 2500HD is available with two engine options. The standard mill is the venerable yet aging 6.0-liter V-8 making 360 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 380 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. The engine is outclassed by its equivalents at Ford and Ram, so improvements here would be very welcomed.

"The big V-8 makes 397 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 765 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm"

Optionally, customers can order the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel. The big V-8 makes 397 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 765 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm. Though those numbers are respectable, both Ford’s and Ram’s turbodiesel options have higher output numbers.

While we’re not suspecting many changes with the 2017 GMC Sierra HD trucks, the addition of the hood scoop does create suspicion of upgraded engines and the need for better cooling. GMC did point out the scoop is functional, making the scoop more of an engineering change than a purely visual one. Perhaps the Duramax is finally getting an update, pushing its horsepower ratings in to the 400-horse range and its torque numbers past the 800 pound-feet barrier. It seems rather logical.

An Allison automatic transmission is still mated to the Duramax – at least according to the large badge on the hood. It’s possible that with the addition of more horsepower and torque, Allison could have updated its six-speed, heavy-duty gearbox to one with eight speeds. That would certainly help increase the Sierra HD’s highway fuel economy.

Prices

Unless GMC is hiding a massive change with the powertrain or interior, prices should stay relatively stagnant. That’s a good thing considering how incredibly expensive HD trucks have become. It’s quite easy to up-option a Sierra past the $55,000 point, making it just as pricy as a Chevrolet Corvette.

Currently prices start around $34,000 for a single cab work truck with the gasoline V-8. GMC will likely push prices upward by $200 to $500 across the entire lineup.

Competition

Ford Super Duty

2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648383

The Super Duty has long been the Sierra’s top competitor. It offers plenty of cab, bed, engine, and drivetrain options, giving customers the ability to order their truck to fit a specific need. The same can be said for the GMC, but Ford simply has more options. The Super Duty is all new for the 2017 model year, so it’ll be an interesting fight between the two.

Carrying over for 2017 is the 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 and the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel. The gasoline mill will likely retain its power ratings form 2016, meaning it will make 385 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of toque. The same will probably be true for the turbodiesel, as it offers up 440 horsepower and 860 pound-feet of toque.

Prices for the Super Duty start around $32,000 and can quickly climb beyond the $55,000 point.

Read our full review on the Ford Super Duty here.

Ram 2500HD

2015 Ram Heavy Duty - image 625991

The Ram 2500HD is perhaps the brawniest of this trio, riding on solid axles at both ends, coming with the option for a manual transmission, and the mighty 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbodiesel. The Ram also offers four cab sizes, ranging from the traditional regular cab to the largest-in-class Mega Cab.

The Ram also boasts the most engine options. The base engine is the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of toque. For those needed more power, the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 offers 410 horses with 429 pound-feet of torque. Then there’s the Cummins, with 370 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. It’s worth noting that the Ram 3500 offers an up-rated version of the Cummins, making 385 horsepower and a class-leading 900 pound-feet of torque.

Prices for the Ram 2500HD start around $31,700 and quickly grows with options.

Read our full review on the Ram 2500HD here.

Conclusion

2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD - image 678251

The 2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD with its range-topping Denali trim seems to be a mostly carry-over vehicle. We’re hoping for an updated pair of powertrains – with engines that require the extra cooling afforded by the functional hood scoop. With that, the Sierra could improve its last-place standing in the ranks of available horsepower and toque. The same can be said for the Sierra’s Chevrolet brother, the Silverado 2500HD.

At this point, we’re simply speculation about what the 2017 model year holds for the GMC. The scoop is all GMC has official announced. However, GMC says more information will become available in the months to come, so expect the updated Sierra HD to debut before the summer is over.

  • Leave it
    • No noticeable changes besides the hood scoop
    • GMC shy with initial details
    • We’ve got to wait for more news

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Press Release

GMC today released the first photos of the 2017 Sierra Denali 2500HD featuring a functional hood scoop design hinting at what is beneath its bold new appearance.

Additional details and information on the new model will be released in the coming months.

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