Raising the Bar With Towing Tech: GMC Announces 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty
With Ram throwing down the 1,000 lb-ft gauntlet earlier this year, every other brand in the diesel heavy-duty truck segment needs to do something big to get some attention in the 2020 model year. While GMC wasn’t able to surpass Ram’s insane torque figure, they were able to get pretty close, while also packing in a ton of towing tech to help you make use of its gobs of torque. On top of that, it comes with an off-road variant for those who want to tow their massive toys into the middle of nowhere.
Starting with the engine, while it may not produce the 1,000 lb-ft of torque the Ram does, its 445hp and 910 lb-ft are nothing to scoff at. The 6.6L Duramax turbo diesel is mated to the all-new 10-speed Allison transmission, a first for the heavy-duty pickup segment. All this allows the Sierra to tow in excess of 30,000 lbs.
When it comes to towing, GMC has upped the ante in the technology department. To start, they now have 15 different camera views to help you navigate your trailer safely, including one called the “transparent trailer view.” This mode uses cameras mounted to the tailgate and rear of the trailer to allow the driver to virtually see through their trailer, making backing up much safer.
However, the fancy trailer tech doesn’t end with cameras. You will now be able to use your phone to adjust and monitor things like the air conditioning, water level and fuel level of compatible trailers with your phone, or even the vehicle itself through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. All of this is in addition to other trailer-assisting tech like an automatic electric parking brake and trailer sway control.
Bigger is the operative word when it comes to the exterior styling. Compared to previous models, the 2020 Sierra HD has a longer wheelbase, taller hood line and taller overall height. In addition to being taller than ever, it has a larger grille and a functional hood scoop.
For those who want to take their truck to the most remote places, the Sierra HD is getting an AT4 off-road variant. On top of all the other upgrades, this version comes with an off-road suspension, Rancho shocks, skid plates and an Eaton locking rear differential, along with the requisite off-road driving modes.
GMC looks to be trying to compete with Ram, not by trading blows with numbers, but instead by giving diesel fans all the tech and off-road capability they could want. Either way, we’re excited to get our hands on each of these heavy-duty trucks.