The 2020 GMC Sierra HD is a towing tech powerhouse

Chris Davies - Jan 22, 2019, 11:17 pm CST
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The 2020 GMC Sierra HD is a towing tech powerhouse

The modern pickup is as much a technical marvel as it is a workhorse, and so the 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty wastes no time in loading up on gadgetry. Revealed today, the brand new heavy-duty truck promises not only power and greater efficiency than before, but more intuitive ways to apply that power too.

Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Trailer Sway Control hit all the tech basics, but they’re joined by some more unusual features too. Digital Variable Steering Assist, for example, adjusts the power steering according to different driving scenarios. How it’ll feel when you’re towing will be different to when the 2020 Sierra HD is unladen, for instance.

Larger, door-mounted trailering mirrors can now power-extend and retract on both the driver and passenger sides, depending on what you’re towing. Getting a trailer attached should be easier, too, with an Auto Electric Park Brake and new Park Grade Hold Assist, the latter using braking effort at each wheel for an extended period of time. However they’re not the only special features worth calling out.

The ProGrade Trailering System gives the 2020 Sierra HD 15 views

With 910 lb-ft of torque on tap from the Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel engine, the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty is unsurprisingly built with towing in mind. Indeed, GMC is expecting the truck to handle more than 30,000 pounds hitched to the back. When you’re dealing with that sort of load, you need as much help with trailering as you can get.

Enter, then, the ProGrade Trailering System. Courtesy of cameras around the truck and some clever software processing, it offers up to fifteen different views. Most impressive of those is probably the transparent trailer.

That combines video from the tailgate-mounted camera and an accessory camera mounted to the rear of the trailer itself. Live video from the two are merged, so that the driver can virtually see “through” the trailer itself. It’ll work with conventionally hitched box or camping trailers, up to 32 feet in length.

The 2020 Sierra HD has an app made for towing

There’s more to towing cargo than just hitching it to the back of your truck and hoping for the best. Part of the ProGrade Trailering System is integrating the functionality of what’s hanging off the back of your pickup with the infotainment system and the companion myGMC mobile app.

With the right trailer, for instance, you can control the air conditioning or water heater, check water and holding tank levels, and monitor fuel levels on trailers outfitted with generators, all from the 2020 Sierra HD’s iN Command infotainment touchscreen. It also includes features like Trailer Light Test, Trailer Electrical Diagnostics, Trailer Tire Pressure and Temperature Monitoring, Pre- Maintenance Reminders, and Departure Checklist. Many of those features are also available remotely, in the myGMC app.

The 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty’s MultiPro Tailgate

A simple tailgate that drops down and folds back up again isn’t enough to stand out in the modern pickup world. Instead, the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty gets one of GMC’s most ingenious features in modern trucks. That’s the MultiPro tailgate.

As we saw on the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500, the MultiPro system has six different functions. Of course, you can open it manually or remotely from the key fob, and there’s an integrated step that can be used to make climbing into the bed easier. A flip-up load stop helps prevent items longer than the bed from sliding out of the back while you’re on the move.

A flip-down gate section drops out off the way so that you can stand in closer to the box, too. It also gets a load stop of its own, for a second tier of cargo. Finally, the whole tailgate can hinge up and be used as an impromptu work surface.

GMC will include the MultiPro tailgate as standard on the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty SLT, AT4, and Denali trims. It’ll be an option on all of the other trims, however.

The 2020 Sierra HD will go on sale later this year. GMC will offer 2500HD and 3500HD dual rear wheel and single rear wheel configurations, with pricing to be confirmed closer to release. It will be manufactured at Flint Assembly in Flint, Michigan.


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