Future Truck: 2013 GMC Sierra 1500

Future Truck: 2013 GMC Sierra 1500
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.


So while Ford is adding turbocharged four cylinder engines to the F-150, GMC is adding a new 7.0 liter V8.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, but it sure does show a big difference in the corporate mindset.

As much as I like Ford, I don't see the turbo gas engines holding up. Even if they don't blow head gaskets or throw rods when someone pulls a hill with to much trailer behind them. Most people don't really know how to treat an engine with a turbo, least of all one used in a high load environment. And turbo's on gas engines run a lot hotter than the ones on diesels. I see a lot of broke motors with Ford trying to explain to people that they aren't covered under warranty because they mistreated them.

Along with Aerodynamic improvements, wouldnt a closed grill shorten the time it takes for the truck to reach operating temp (especially during winter) and thus increase fuel economy? Using my scan guage there is a big difference in MPGs between a cold engine and a warm engine.

A closed grill would also make it overheat in a lot of situations.

Let's hear about the all new F-150 coming out as well.


Of course it would, thats why I like the idea of controlling when the grill opens and closes. Once the coolant reaches 190F, open the grill.

Donnie, Are you like most people don't like the current f150 that just came out?

Dang if that think don't look plain ugly. I cannot fathom why GM has changed the look of their trucks so much over the past 10 years. What has it been, three or four body styles. Dodge and Ford have winners and changed very little. Maybe a new headlight arraignment or something. Heck it has taken me 2 years to get to use to the current GM truck body styles and they want to build this hideous thing. Well maybe not, it was drawn by some writer guy and not actually GM!

The current F-150 didn't just come out. It came out 2 years ago and most people do like it including me. It also wasn't considered all new. I want to hear more about the all new F-150 because the last article on it was in 2008 and we have heard very little since.

Donnie, Look at every article about the NEW Ford F-150. Yes, it was considered an all new model.

Let me guess, now you are disappointed that an "all new" truck gets ate up by most of the trucks in the segment. If you arn't, you sould be.

This new GMC looks like an evolution of the current. I like it. It should be a good fighter against the 2012 or 2013 refreshed RAM.


there is no way the current F-150 is two years old... Its a year old at the oldest..

It does look dated already though i agree with that ;)

any1 notice how gm keep copying ford? elranchero=1957, el comeno= 1959, expedition, tahoe, F150, silverado, etc. notice if the headlight configurations are true then that would be copying fords additional slant headlights. current silverado copy’s previous generation f50. any1 notice?

I've been noticing that for years eagle, its not just looks either gm has been 1-2 years behind ford on a lot of things truck related for awhile now. With Dodge being another year behind them, the major exceptions have actually been developments from Cummings and Allison. To bad ford didn't have the same luck with International.

The grill on this concept looks like it came off of a Ford Super Duty:) This looks a lot like the GM unibody concept truck.
I think it is a good idea for GM Corp. to come up with very different Silverado's and Sierra trucks. That would end the whole rebadged Chevy argument and give consumers a real choice between the two GM Corp. offerings. I like the Sierra look much more than the Silverado's look.
I like the idea of automatic grill openings. I've run winter "Fronts" on several of my vehicles in the winter. It would speed up warm up and improve MPG. A win/win situation.

The 09 F150 wasn't "all new" but it was massively updated. Mike has said an all-new F-150 will probably come in 2012. As for that GMC... well it's just a cartoon. Hard to imagine what it's really going to look like.

Bryan, You need to do some research. Per Mike Levine, "While there are major changes and upgrades, the 2009 Ford F-150 isn't an all new truck. It's more like a strong kick-off to a three year journey that will totally transform America's best selling vehicle by the time the next-generation 2012 F-150 arrives."

The 09 F-150 was introduced in January 2008 and the 09 Ram was introduced a bit earlier. You can check with this site to confirm it. I never wrote that the F-150 was outdated, but if you are claiming the F-150 is outdated, then the GM must really be outdated because it has been out since 2006 and isn't getting an update until around 2013. Note Mike wrote AROUND 2013 for the new GM. That could mean anything.

Has GM paid the bailout money back yet?

Stop asking about the F-150 here. The topic is GM. Stay on topic!

Eagle and Enjelus, There is no way that GM would even consider copying ford, why downgrade? GM is far ahead then ford in technology and the options they offer, ford dont even have anything similar to On star, GM always offer more options. Suburban been since 1930's and eventually Tahoe became shorter version of Suburban, ford had to copy with expedition, not to mention an excersion a total FAIL. then they streched the expedition, couldn't made that copy more obvious.

I wouldn't want Onstar in any of my vehicles even if Onstar was free. I don't need a big brother button. How about you, Lou?

How about a smaller displacement diesel? Like 4 or 4.5 liters. I dont need to change the rotation of the earth. I just want decent power.

I think GM sticking with large engines in this new truck is the right way to go. i also have concerns about Ford using turbo charged motors in their pick ups. I think smaller turbo engines in a pickup is asking for trouble. This truck looks okay but I want an actual spy shot beofre i pass judgement.

I do not like this sierra at all. The wheel wells are to close to the tires.

The 2009 Ford F150 isn't ALL new. But it is 99.9% new. A comment from a Ford engineer was to the fact that the only thing that remained exactly the same was a piece of sheet metal on each side. Does it look very similar between the 2004 and the 2009 designs? Yes. A product doesnt have to look dramatically different to be an all new product.

Lex - The Expedition was an evolution of the Bronco which came out before the Blazer. The Bronco actually outsold the 4 door Blazer/Tahoe for a few years before it was replaced by the Expedition. The Excursion wasn't a fail, it just didn't sell in enough volume to justify the costs. Take apeek at the latest 2500 Suburbans. Water down and barely more capable than the 1500's. You can't even get a DMax in them. IIRC the current Expedition is not far behinf the 2500 Suburban in payload and towing anyways. Why build to a small market when what you have close to fill the gap and if you want a real heavy hauler go CC Superduty. GM killed the 2500 Avalanche. Trust me the 2500 Suburban is not far behind.

FWIW the 2009 F150 is new in just about every way but the motor, which is being addressed soon. There were changes to the frame, body, suspension, transmission, interiors......It was not just a facelift.

Also someof you need to go read up on gas direct injection. It changes the rules a bit, especially when turbo'd. Think closer to diesel than current gassers. Ford isn't just bolting a turbo to a current V6 and calling it a day. From what I have read all their new engines have been designed to be boost friendly.

So recycle an old meme... Honda called, they want their Ridgeline concept art back.

Lex, GM's only claim to technology fame is OnStar, and the forthcoming VOLT. Quadrasteer would've been in there too if they hadn't botched that up so badly.

Ford is years ahead of everyone else though. Ford had integrated trailer brake controllers in their trucks years before GM or Dodge. And look at the Ford Work Solutions system w/in dash computer and tool tracking. GM has nothing to compete with the Ford SYNC system, not to mention the upcoming MyFord system. Ford's also got hybrid cars out, and the Fusion is one of the best available. GM does have hybrid pick-ups and SUVs though, for now, so that's a bit of a wash.

And the Excursion was far from a fail. The GM Suburban 2500 couldn't touch it, and Excursion was the only big SUV available with a diesel (yeah, the 'Burb was available with a diesel back in the day, but that was a FAIL).

And as much as we love our '08 Suburban, I sure do with that 3rd row folded flat into the floor like the... FORD Expedition EL.

And let's not forget about the Ford Raptor... Z71? yeah, right.

Now, all that said, I've never owned a Ford product, and don't have any plans to. Our '08 Suburban is our 3rd full size GM SUV. And yes, we like OnStar.

GM should really be looking at smaller displacement diesels, not big honkin' V8s.

Ugly as usual.

whoever thinks onstar acts like "big brother' is ignorant.

Mike: lol.

Another CarToons concept truck. Next time get Trosley to draw a real CarToons truck for us with Krass and Bernie driving it . Then build a little story around it for us kids to enjoy. Sorry I just flashed back to 1978 there. Forgive me Man !

The Ridgeline? You mean like the design they took from the 2000 Dodge Maxx concept? Come on, everyone steals from everyone in this game, get over it.

I think this sketch looks mean as hell. GM needs to do something with their truck lineup, Dodge and even Ford are way ahead in the style department.

"Eagle and Enjelus, There is no way that GM would even consider copying ford, why downgrade? "

Really Lex? Really? In addition to everything JasonW said, Fords gas engines are more advanced with have higher torque/unit displacement than GM and torque curves better suited for towing.

"whoever thinks onstar acts like "big brother' is ignorant."

duane - Let's see, they can monitor vehicle functions remotely, operate vehicle systems remotely, track the vehicle and also shut it off. Sounds a little Big Brotherish to me.

I've had both the GM 5.3 and the Ford 5.4. If you have driven both and honestly prefer the 5.3, then you don't tow or haul anything. Your pickup is always empty, and you're kind of just going for fuel economy.

I just had a biggest laugh of the DAY....
ford can't even touch GM engines, they and always were far more advance then fords. In fact many people intall them in their fords!!! I don't think that ford even have DOD, GM also came to the market with flexfuel. Heck ford copyied 6 bolts per cylinder, since ford engines always bust their head gaskets.

I just had the biggest laugh!!!
NO WAY ford engines are better, ford cant touch GM engines.... There are many people who intall GM engines on their fords. I don't think that ford even have DOD, then ford copy the 6 bolt design since fords are known to blow their gaskets.

Lex - I did have a laugh too. Funny thing. The current 5 plus year old 3V 5.4L Ford V8 gets maybe 1-2 less mpg highway than GM and Dodge's V8's and doesn't have DOD. Not exactly an earth shattering difference. All that techno wizardry to yield a whopping 1-2mpg difference. In GM's case that is with the less powerful 5.3L not the 6.0L. AT least Dodge got big HP out of the larger displacement Hemi with that small mpg advantage.

I have a 07 suburban and a 06 fx4 and I think that the 5.4 has more power in it.

"The Ford F-150 was the most fuel-efficient truck we drove, averaging 16.8 mpg. Considering it was also the heaviest truck, this was a remarkable achievement. Its new six-speed transmission, well-executed tow/haul mode, and fuel-saving features that cut gas as soon as drivers lift their foot off the pedal all contributed to this score; we’ve driven unloaded midsize trucks that can’t touch that number."


It's not that I would brag about 2 mpg advantage, it's about the company who invests time and money on new technology. And tell you the truth, I usually get 23 MPG HWY on my Silverado 5.3 (empty, stock) and had plenty of power hauling 10k trailer.

Lets get one thing straight about the F150: the design is 6 years old; the 2009-present f150 is an extensive update of what came out in 2004. The expedition design on the other hand goes way back to 1997, but the updates came in 2003 and 2007.

As far as this GMC "thing" goes, I swear they were trying to build something other than trucks. If its a unibody or crossover GMC car, I aint buying. Stupid acadia and terrain.

Billy, It might be old desing as far as cab and chassis, but everything else is new. cheap ford cant even give a new body to expedition and navigator since 1997 no wonder why nobody wants them, ranger since 94 superduty since 99 econoline since 92. CHEAP ASS fORD...

Stop cursing and be civil to your fellow blog readers!

I'm Sorry

4.5L Diesel Please.

Its about time they changed those ugly cheap looking gm trucks.Even a 4.6 liter ford can pull the paint off of a gm 5.3 with no sweat.I have seen a pos dodge 4.7 easily do it too.The comment about 5.3 is a car motor makes sense because it goes in a car with a bed on it which is what gov. motors make.

I cannot wait to see these new trucks come out. I for one will be placing an order for the 2013 Yukon Hybrid, or 2500 Suburban. Best looking, most powerful trucks on the market. You can say what you want, but even Fords new 6.2L doesn't match the power of GM's 6.2. Ford and dodge just lack the kick in the pants, look, and prestige that I need from a brand.

"You can say what you want, but even Fords new 6.2L doesn't match the power of GM's 6.2"

Ford Boss 6.2L:
411 hp @ 5500 rpm
434 lb·ft @ 4500 rpm

Gm 6.2L:
403 @ 5700rpm
417 @ 4300rpm

Looks like it matches it pretty well to me.

Why does every thing have to keep getting more and more blocky???? Can we go back to aerodynamics 101??? I'd like to see a company say "Screw the styling! Make it all about the numbers!!" Just once.

I don't agree with the comments that smaller engines aren't the option. GM and even Ford have had the mindset that bigger is always better. Not the case now and Ford is seeing that. GM on the other hand still uses the adage there is no replacement for displacement. A move/adage that has bitten them before but they still haven't learned and that will be apparent when gas goes up again and we all know it will! I support fords idea of sticking a smaller engine even with a turbo or a supercharger on it. Their ecoboost engines have been proven that they can put out the power of a good old v-8 and get great fuel economy in the process.

GM's 6.2 has to use 93 octane to get those numbers. Ford only needs 87. Looks like Ford takes that battle.

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