Dubai: GMC introduced the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra Light Duty full-size pickup, the most powerful and advanced pickup in the brand's 111-year history, at an exclusive launch event held on September 15 at Mall of the Emirates' Ski Dubai.
The launch saw strong attendance by members of the media and shed light on the 2014 model's bold new exterior — which houses one of three all-new EcoTec3 engines, a fully updated cabin with available next-generation IntelliLink connectivity and other features designed for the most discerning pickup owners.
"We are so pleased to introduce the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra Light Duty to the Middle East," said John Stadwick, president and managing director of General Motors Middle East Operations. "The pioneering redesigned model — engineered and built to 'Command Respect' — further elevates GMC's reputation as an industry leader in styling and quality. The 2014 Sierra offers best-in-class standards and sets an important benchmark for pickup safety and refinement."
In addition to all-new design and technology, the 2014 Sierra boasts the longest list of standard features ever for a full-size GMC pickup. From connectivity solutions, to a standard tie-down system in the rear, to the segment's only standard projector beam headlamps, many premium features are found on each all-new Sierra.
The 2014 GMC Sierra Light Duty arrives in showrooms in late October and is offered in regular cab, double cab, crew cab and denali models.
Sierra Denali details
The distinctive Sierra Denali returns for 2014, delivering GMC capability with unique design cues and exclusive features. On the exterior, the pickup has a signature Denali chrome grille, unique 20-inch chrome wheels, unique interior decorative trim, a polished stainless steel exhaust outlet and body-colour front and rear bumpers. Denali-specific interior details include script on the bright door sills and embossed into the front seats and real aluminium trim.
Sierra Denali's hi-tech interior also features an exclusive eight-inch customisable driver display that can show relevant settings, audio and navigation information in the instrument panel. Sierra Denali's standard eight-inch colour touch navigation radio with Intellilink, located above the centre console, serves as the main hub for bluetooth-connected phones and portable devices connected through five standard USB ports.
Other features standard on Sierra Denali include projector-style headlamps with LED signature daytime running lights, a Bose audio system, heated and cooled leather front bucket seats, a heated steering wheel, and front and rear park assist.
New EcoTec3 engines
Sierra's engine portfolio is updated for 2014 with increased power, torque and fuel efficiency across the board. New 4.3L V-6, 5.3L V-8 and 6.2L V-8 powertrains are offered, all from a shared EcoTec3 engine family. Each engine features standard direct injection, continuously variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management, which means they seamlessly switch to run on four cylinders during light-load driving to enhance fuel efficiency.
The increased power and efficiency of the new engines are the result of more than 10 million hours of sophisticated computer modelling, more than half of which were used to make the best of the combustion process.
The new 4.3L V-6 EcoTec3 engine offers the most torque of any standard V-6 in the segment, with 413 Nm. Torque is the turning force that generates off-the-line acceleration and confident trailering performance. Sierras equipped with the 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 will have trailering ratings up to 3,266 kg for a regular cab, standard bed, four-wheel-drive model.
Sierra's standard V-6 also produces an SAE-certified 285 horsepower and is matched with a proven, efficient six-speed automatic transmission.
"Rather than adapting a V-6 intended for use in passenger cars, we built a new engine from the ground up based on the unique demands of a pickup," said Jordan Lee, powertrain chief engineer. "Sierra's 4.3L shares its basic design architecture with the latest iterations of the V-8 engines that GMC owners have trusted for generations." The new 5.3L EcoTec3 is SAE-certified at 355 horsepower and 519 Nm of torque. With EPA-estimated fuel economy of 10.2L / 100km highway (2WD), it offers the best fuel economy of any V-8 pickup.
The new 6.2L V-8 is available in Sierra SLT and standard on Denali models. It is SAE-certified at 420 horsepower and 624 Nm of torque — the most horsepower and torque of any light duty pickup in the industry. The new 6.2L also enables a 5,443 kg maximum towing capacity for the Sierra Light Duty, which is expected to have the highest rating in the class. All three engines use lightweight aluminium blocks and heads and are mated with durable six-speed automatic transmissions. A 'cruise grade braking' feature down-shifts the transmission on downgrades, which is intended to reduce brake wear. V-8 models use new, larger 9.5- and 9.76-inch rear axles with the strength to accommodate the engines' higher output.
Strong brakes are important for stopping pickups, whether they're full of people, payload or both. The 2014 Sierra features four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife brake rotors, which feature a hardened and strengthened surface to reduce corrosion. Duralife rotors — a GM-exclusive technology — are expected to last twice as long as conventional rotors and provide quieter braking with less vibration.
The 2014 Sierra also uses electric power steering. An electric motor in place of an engine-driven hydraulic pump saves fuel and allows for tuning that's expected to result in a more consistent, crisp steering feel and plenty of assist for parking manoeuvres.
New standard in interiors
Premium materials, attention to detail and purposeful technology define Sierra's all-new cabin. New soft-touch materials and available aluminium trim line an interior that's focused on usable and productive space.
"Pickup owners want a well-crafted cabin, but also one that still feels like a pickup," said Helen Emsley, Sierra interior design director. "They want a purposeful interior, not one that's flowing like you'd find in a car or crossover."
Sierra has an upright instrument panel designed for visibility and accessibility. Knobs and buttons are large, legible and within reach. All knobs are coated using a rubber-over-mold technology, so they're easy to grip.
A new instrument cluster on all models features six gauges with an available centrally located, 4.2-inch colour Driver Information Centre with vehicle status information, a trip computer and other information, such as radio and navigation.
A second, high-mounted glove box with a flat floor joins the traditional box below. Each of Sierra's doors has storage crafted to hold most beverage containers and other personal items.
Along the centre stack and centre console are additional cupholders, discreet compartments large enough for most laptop computers, and connectivity options. Sierra is available with a 230-volt outlet, up to five USB ports, four 12-volt outlets and an SD card slot.
Sierra's seats use dual-density foam designed to stay comfortable over long hours and continue to look great after years of use. Leather and cloth are offered, and Sierra's new high-wear cloth is designed to last longer and resist staining.
For the first time on double cab models, the 2014 Sierra has new front-hinged rear doors with outside pull handles at the rear, providing improved access in tight parking spaces. Unlike pickups with rear-hinged doors, Sierra's layout allows rear passengers to enter and exit the vehicle with the front doors remaining closed.
Cargo box innovations
Sierra's rear bumper features standard corner steps that make climbing into the bed easy, regardless of whether the tailgate is up or down. The steps are paired with grips formed into the top of each bed side. Four movable upper tie downs are also standard. They can be placed in nine different locations and can bear a 113kg load. Available LED cargo lights integrated beneath the bed rails will illuminate the bed when a tonneau cover is in place. The available EZ Lift and Lower tailgate uses an integrated torsion bar and damper to ease lifting and lowering.
Driver alert technology
Several active safety features are available for the 2014 Sierra, including Forward Collision Alert, which uses a forward-facing camera to notify the driver of an imminent collision, and Lane Departure Warning, which uses the same camera to track the pickup's position in relation to a road's lane markers.
Paired with Forward Collision Alert and Land Departure Warning is GMC's first-ever Driver Alert Seat, which generates vibrating pulse patterns on the left and/or right side of the lower seat cushion bolster to alert the driver of potential dangers, such as an unsignalled lane change or approaching another vehicle too quickly.
According to GM research, the seat's vibrations may direct driver attention to the location of a potential collision more quickly and accurately than audible alerts. Drivers have the option of selecting either audible or vibrating alerts. Quietness doesn't only come from factors within the cabin. The 2014 Sierra features new aerodynamic measures that benefit fuel efficiency and reduce wind noise. Updated mirrors that reduce wind turbulence, triple-sealed inlaid doors, as well as roof and tailgate design features all help air flow smoothly and quietly over the Sierra.
Updates to Sierra's body and chassis are designed to improve ride and handling, comfort and capability. The fully boxed frame uses high-strength steel and hydroforming to provide more strength and rigidity with less weight.
Sierra's aluminium hood saves approximately 7.7kg versus a comparable steel hood. At the rear, a roll-formed box is stronger, lighter and more durable than a traditional stamped steel box. Sierra uses aluminium for some suspension components for additional rigidity and weight saving, and new lightweight wheels are paired with low-rolling-resistance tyres in most applications. The tyres, along with new shear-style and redesigned hydraulic cab mounts, are designed to help reduce noise and vibration in the cabin.
GMC designers approached the exterior of the 2014 Sierra with respect for its predecessors, evolving its familiar shape while adding distinctive details like standard projector headlamps, available LED signature accent lighting and detailed new grilles. All Sierra models have chrome grille surrounds and premium black wheel arch mouldings. Different trim levels feature chrome belt mouldings, mirror caps and door handles, as well as unique wheel designs and grille details.
Other new features include available front Park Assist, in addition to the rear Park Assist already available.