Spied: 2017 GM Heavy Duties

GMCSierraHD.a01.KGP.ed II

GM pickup truck engineers have been relatively quiet lately while both Ford and Ram Truck make news with new HD products, which includes exotic materials and increased capability. But it looks like that's about to change, given the size of this parade. Our spies have seen several three-quarter-ton and one-ton Chevrolet and GMC pickups doing quite a bit of tow testing and loaded laps around Michigan. That means GM is likely getting close to showing its new trucks to the media, and we can't wait. There's been lots of speculation about new power train ratings, but so far it is only that. Here's what we recently heard from our photographers.

"We caught a convoy of heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra prototypes on the open roads, giving us our best look yet at the rugged remakes of the crew-cab versions of the single-rear and dual-rear-wheel trucks due out sometime in 2016. The goal must certainly be to bump the current 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel's horsepower, torque and towing capacity to counter Ford's recently upgraded 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo-diesel. Ford's revamped 6.7-liter Power Stroke currently outguns GM's 6.6-liter unit, generating 440 horsepower and 860 pounds-feet of torque (GM is making 397 horsepower and 765 pounds-feet of torque).

"We can clearly see that part of GM's strategy is to feed more air into the engine via a new functional hood air intake designed into the pickups' redesigned hoods. The new air duct sits prominently near the leading edge of the hood. The GMC gets a circular mesh intake grille, while the Chevy appears to get a diamond-shaped interweaving mesh grille insert. The Silverado and Sierra pickups had uncovered grilles and lightly camouflaged front bumpers, with a heavier vinyl hood hiding the hood's new air intake. We're guessing the new breathing apparatus has been added in conjunction with a revamped diesel engine, reportedly using a modified turbo and new engine management software resulting in a significant power boost.

"Likewise, Ford is now nearly at completion of a significant aluminum-intensive overhaul of its Super Duty pickups, so GM had better hope that its changes are substantial enough to keep its pickups competitive."

KGP Photography images


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Could be a high mount intercooler which makes more sense from a safety perspective than Ford 150's location down low in the bumper.

Well how will you put a bug shield on now? It will block the air.

I had read earlier that the DEF tank was gonna be revised to not imitate a land anchor........

I'm surprised GM could not find a suitable location for the DEF tank during this refresh.

They should have made a step in the def tank like their bumper step.
kill 2 birds in one shot lol.

I wonder if the Gm crewcab HD diesel pickup will have a better tow/haul rating than the Regular cab Ram HD?

It could be a TMIC. Some may argue they are not quite as efficient as a FMIC, but there are beneficial insurance considerations too. The power "numbers" don't really mean squat--it's what the total package delivers.

I agree on the total package. The current "weak" Duramax has smoked the Ram Cummins in every test conducted here on this site. Whether the Ram has 800, 850, 865, or I suspect 900 ft lbs of torque. With the updated truck coming in '17 the best overall drivetrain package of the group will continue to get better - Duramax!

I see they still have not fired those designers. Sad.

For Bassin Bob, I guess if you think being the fastest is what's most important, then you're right. If you think longevity, running cool, running reliably without problems while still being "fast enough" is better, then you're dead wrong. Been there done that with the GM trucks. Never again.

While the cummins is reliable..... Everything bolted to it isn't and needs constant work. Doesn't matter if the motor last 1 million miles if the rest is only good for 150k. Gm and ford diesels are every bit as good as the cummins but with a more reliable package bolted to the diesel.

I hate GM with a passion and everybody here knows that. But... with the 765 lbs/ft figure GM was able to whip Ford around really bad in the heavy duty comparison story on this website a couple years ago. Remember? So the numbers don't tell the whole story.

And in other news, Consumer Reports has panned the new F150.


Bassin Bob71 , WXman - agreed. Numbers don't tell the whole story. GM keeps winning with a package that at first glance is the underdog.

I posted this on the Ram HD tread but applies here. GM HD diesels have the best return on investment of any HD. This study was not done by fanboys.

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute did a study on the total cost of ownership of diesel vehicles versus gasoline. This was over the period of 2008 - 2011.

They were surprised by the results considering this period covered Ford's problems with the 6.0 and 6.4. They even mention this in their report.

This was the Total cost of ownership advantage of diesel versus gas at 3 and 5 years:
Ram - 3 yrs. $67 dollars...... 5 years. $578 dollars
Ford - 3 yrs. $1,395 dollars.. 5 years. $763 dollars
Sierra- 3 yrs. $3,673 dollars.. 5 years. $2,613 dollars
Chevy - 3 yrs. 3,673 dollars.. 5 years. 1,278 dollars

@Scott - this does prove your point. The Cummins inline 6 is a great engine but why does Ram have the poorest return on investment?

Vincentric and JD Power tend to rate them the poorest of the big 3 as far as durability goes. Even Ford's HD powered by the 6.0 PowerPuke rated better in ROI overall.

For pete's sake, please fix those terrible wheel wells.

And design a new look while they are taking care of those stupid wheel wells. These trucks are just plain fugly!!!!!

Lets hope the DEF tank is just a disguise because it looks uglier than the current one. As far as relocating it good luck. Crawl up underneath one of these trucks and see if you can find room for it. Maybe on a longbed but that is about it. When GM decided to increase the fuel tank to 36gal (good move) on the SB trucks there is no longer room to hide the DEF tank. I have a 2012 SB and personally I would take the 36gal tank any day over having the DEF tank moved inside and going back to a little ol 26gal tank like Ford is still using. Once you put on side steps its hardly noticeable

@Sandman - on the other thread about mpg. I posted a typo. I was referring to a 2011 and 2014 Gm trucks not 2001.

LOL Consumer reports, the F-150 doesint feel like a truck lol......chevy and ram still better keep dreaming.

" Consumer Reports finally has the answer. Indeed, the F-150 is a good truck, but the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra and Ram 1500 are better."

Oh that's gotta hurt. lol

"Given the reputation of Cummins as a maker of bullet-proof diesel engines, it is hard to be surprised by Ram’s announcement today that their Cummins-powered trucks are Canada’s most durable diesel pickups."

More than 80% still on the road. More than Chevy or Ford.

"The “most durable” claim comes from a study showing the percentage of Canadian diesel pickups sold within the last 20 years that are still on the road, by brand.

Within the United States, the Cummins engine has an 85% take rate on Ram 2500 and 3500; and, since 1989, Cummins-equipped Rams have held more best-in-class titles than comparable trucks from any other pickup maker."

More Guts

More Glory

More best in class

Ram trucks!

That's an ugle Chevy! No way I'd ever be caught driving any Government Motors POS.

yup..it is still one fugly truck, def tank and all...and Sandman Ford does have a tank much larger than 26 gal...and also the only reason the GM trucks out do the other 2 uphills etc. is because of the Allison tranny and that is the only reason

Right on hemi v8!

Most hot shot trucks I see in tx are dodges.
I think someone's wrong about cost of ownership.

@ChuckZ, The Chevy pulls harder mostly because it has a flatter hp/torque curve than the others (especially the Cummins). The Allison's gearing surely helps. If you're so jealous, order your Ford or Ram with the Allison- Oh, wait- you can't get that option. Sorry.

The air inlet could be for a seperate EGR cooler, too. I think it's too small for a 400-500hp charge air cooler.
@Lou BC- part of the reason the RAM had lower ROI is because of the after treatment the Cummins had at the time- because they were not using SCR, they had to use a lower NOx cal, which makes more soot- more DPF regens- more fuel.
@Dale- jusdging by the number of clamped out old GM trucks I see hot-shot drivers use, I'd say they last just fine.

wow.... Fanboys seem to not like this. If you don't like GM, then don't buy it.... If you don't like the fender design, then don't buy it... However if it wasn't for the Duramax and Allison coming to the market and the constant improvements over the last 15 years we wouldn't have the very competitive diesels we have now. Competition is good for the consumer, so while you complain, what is your perfect world; all trucks the same shape, color and drivetrain... Humm wonder why there are so many choices... I can't wait to see what they bring to the market.

@Sandman- there's plenty of room for a DEF tank right in the bed-side. No reason to use up valuable "safe space" inside the frame rails for a couple of gallons of synthetic pee.
I'm pretty sure it isn't just under-body packaging that made them hang the tank way up there.

@Chuck Z - To get the larger tank on the Ford HDs you have to have a long bed. THeir SB trucks still use a small 26ish gallon tank compared to the 36gal on 2011+ GM SB trucks. Look it up...

As for the ugly comments when have you ever seen a good looking test mule spy photo?? Newsflash they are ALL ugly with base trim packages/wheels/etc and all kinds of ugly cladding. The 2017 F250 spy photos aren't exactly attractive either.

Im not a fan of the chevy front end but i love the gmc front end. Thats the great thing about having two of the same trucks with a different look.

The all-new leaner and much meaner '17 Super Duty will demoralize this tweaked GM 3rd-placer. Instead of festooning the rig with hood vents and mesh grilles, how about a lock-box built onto the hood for the thousands of dollars in rebates needed to sell these things.

redbloodedxy - GM makes a reliable diesel pickup. Out of the big 3 they tend to have the best reputation overall.

maybe in 2017 they will catch Ford and Ram for the 2015 Year

Lou_BC: I'm sure they are reliable , but define "best reputation". In my mind, the car-like front suspension and interior don't sell me the way the Ford or Ram's specs and pieces do.

Well nitro since the 2015 Duramax won the most recent comparison, don't see them having much of an issue keeping up with the Jones'... Shows that there is more to a 1 ton towing rig than magic numbers that look good on paper.

That car like front end holds a snow plow with less required ballast weight than ford and ram. and my 2006 gmc ifs with 168k has had way less front end work than my plowing partner has had done on his 2011 f250. and my plow weights 70# more than his and has 60k more miles on it. and no death wobble like those sfa trucks. I will take my ifs any day over a sfa and have never broken a ifs system.

LOL stop living in 1996. Ram trucks last just as long as the others unless you treat it like dirt (that go's for all brands though).

All trucks have there ups and downs sometimes, like Ford with there 6.oh-no, Chevy/GMC with injector problems, Ram with tranny problems, however they all got these issues worked out now so I would be fine with a 2010 or newer truck from any of the three. I have owned all three trucks and bottom line is this, they all get the job done and do it quick and safely. It just comes down to looks and the dealer for me personally, right now (to me) the Ram looks the best and my dealer has been super nice. before that had a Chevy and the dealer treated me like crap so...... The Ford dealer was good to but I'm just not sure about the 2017 fords as I like my magnet signs on my truck.

@ Lou_BC

your misleading in your post sir :) here is the link of what you were talking about. http://www.umtri.umich.edu/sites/default/files/UMTRI.TCO_.Final_.Report.06.24.13.Final_.pdf

Now if you look the total cost of owning (TCO) is gas vs diesel
in which case looks and reads like this....

Ram diesel (savings over gas) 3 years $67, 5 years $578 more than the gas for TCO.

Ford diesel (savings over gas) 3 years $1,395, 5 years $763 more than the gas for TCO.

Chevy diesel (savings over gas) 3 years $3,673, 5 years $1,278

GMC diesel (savings over gas) 3 years $2,720, 5 years $2,613

(I guess this means Ford and Ram get way better gas MPG that GM twins)

Now for the over all TCO for all trucks you have to look at the chart and it shows that they are very close (with in 1,000 to 2,000 over 5 years) as they are all above $50,000 for TCO

Way to go again GM engineers! That spiffy DEF tank looks as though you wedged a gigantic mailbox under the door sill truck. Who is designing this crap? Moreover, who is spending the money to buy this crap?

@Truck guy, After reading your link, I came to the conclusion that Lou is indeed correct about TCO. Despite the fact that the Ford diesels achieved the best fuel economy, the GM twins still were less expensive to own. Less depreciation and higher resale value say volumes about what is "best".

Truck guy - you need to re-read the research paper. Fuel consumption was a large factor in their research but they also included multiple other factors to come up with the numbers they posted.
"Our TCO model for three and five years of ownership consists of
 Depreciation based on
o our resale model
o original MSRP (Blackbook)
 Fuel cost based on our fuel cost model that includes
o vehicle model year (Mannheim)
o vehicle miles per gallon (EPA) and (J.D. Power and Associates) 7

o annual average cost of fuel per gallon (EIA)
o the average number of miles driven and vehicle survivability (NHTSA)
 Repairs (Vincentric)
 Insurance (Vincentric)
 Maintenance (Vincentric)
 Fees and taxes (Vincentric)"

There is plenty of information elsewhere that supports the fact that GM makes the best HD diesel pickups with Ram last. Ford is in the middle.


My point was LOU_BC saying that scott had a point (about Ram trucks having a great motor but a junk truck) was wrong as yes the GM twins were the cheapest but only by $1,000-$2,000 less in 5 years than the Ram or Ford, thats all. :) meaning they are really close to each other.

Yes That is my point with everything all added together ( Depreciation based on
o our resale model
o original MSRP (Blackbook)
 Fuel cost based on our fuel cost model that includes
o vehicle model year (Mannheim)
o vehicle miles per gallon (EPA) and (J.D. Power and Associates) 7 ) all four trucks were within 1-2 grand for TCO in 5 years

I know my comment is a bit late to the game, but some of you need to see that the diesel game needs to be a hp race over a torque race. When towing a heavy load you commonly run between 2200rpm and 3000rpm. It is in this range where the Duramax has had no problem handling the Cummins. All three are giving faulse torque numbers. Anyone on here, post a video of your completely stock truck at it's listed peak torque number for rpm at peak boost. Basically try to get peak boost and injector spray at 1600/1700rpm where they claim they make peak torque at. First gear in all 3 is torque managed and after first gear you would be above 2000rpm if you were wide open. 900ft lbs of torque at 1700rpm doesn't help if you can't run full boost at that rpm. Power between 2000-3000 is what's important for heavy loads and 1500-2000 for light loads. GM could really someday though consider someone other than themselves when building these. How about any gear ratio option other than a 3.73. How about an optional E-Locker in the front which Eaton offers. How about a size change. The Duramax has bee the same bore and stroke since day one and same gear ratio. Even more, it's time to change to the "Hot V" design such as they did for their 4.5L.

There are other GM test mules out there, too. 3 weeks ago The Fast Lane Truck caught a flatbed 3500 with the same regalia on the front testing in the Colorado mountains.


Certainly a better looking truck that the Ford & especially Ram offerings.

GM continues to make impressive work trucks while the others go for magazine bragging rights.

Hmmm...if these GM HDs are so great with their performance, towing, efficiency, etc. then why is GM struggling to sell their HDs vs the other two? Their half-ton sales are amazing, but even Ram sold more HD trucks than Chevy and GMC combined...

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