Rendering by Mark Stehrenberger for PickupTrucks.com
Because GM has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to redesign its full-size pickups, we asked renowned automotive illustrator Mark Stehrenberger to take a stab at what these trucks could look like when they debut around 2013.
First up, the next-gen GMC Sierra 1500 half-ton.
We're told by sources that the Sierra will look significantly more different from the Chevrolet Silverado than it does today. The new Sierra features the new 3-bar grille that we've seen in spy shots of the 2011 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickups -- which officially debut next month at the NTEA Work Truck Show in St. Louis -- and styling cues from the blocky "urban-industrial' GMC Granite small people-mover concept that debuted at the Detroit auto show last month. A sleeker exterior is expected to contribute to improved gas mileage. GM is also studying whether automatically opening and closing the grille inlets of its full-size pickups could improve aerodynamics and mileage.
Powertrain improvements are expected to include wide use of direct injection across the Sierra's engine lineup including, we're told, a (maybe 7.0-liter?) new large-displacement V-8 gas engine. GM's next-generation full-size hybrid technology will also arrive by 2013, with more-efficient, stronger electric motors and batteries, giving the gas-electric trucks up to 50% better towing capacity.
Like their 2011 heavy-duty brothers, the next-generation Silverado and Sierra light-duty pickups will ride on all-new frames. Expect the HD pickups to receive all new sheetmetal that's similar to the light-duty pickups.