Trucks are a crazy huge business in America, and as such, manufacturers are always looking for ways to one-up each other with more power or new tech. GMC went nuclear last year with its wild , and it's about to do it again by using supercar materials on a pickup.
Specifically, GMC announced its CarbonPro bed on Thursday and it's a massive leap forward in several ways, not the least of which is that carbon fiber isn't a material one would expect to find in the bed of a truck unless that truck was also hauling.
First, carbon fiber is light. Ditching a steel bed for the CarbonPro bed saves the owner approximately 60 pounds of weight. Next, carbon fiber is incredibly strong. GMC subjected its carbon fiber composite bed to all kinds of torture tests that would have left a steel bed mangled. It dropped cinderblocks and gravel in the bed, as well as huge steel barrels filled with water. The bed took it all with hardly any damage.
The CarbonPro bed even passed the Larry Enticer test where GM engineers drove a snowmobile with a metal studded track into the bed and revved it at full throttle. They just sent it, and the bed was hardly scratched afterward, according to GMC.
Finally, because carbon fiber composite is easily moldable, GMC's engineers were able to add in a few cool features that increase utility over a steel bed without drastically increasing cost or complexity in production. Specifically, they molded in a pair of indentations in the front edge of the bed that allows a motorcycle's tire to rest securely against it. They then added metal loops to help secure said bike in the bed.
"The bed is the working end of a truck; it's what brings buyers to the segment," said Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of Full-Size Trucks for General Motors, in a statement. "Loaded with motorcycles, snowmobiles or dirt bikes, CarbonPro in the 2019 GMC Sierra is sure to impress with its strength, space and innovation."
Other benefits to a carbon fiber bed include the fact that it won't rust. Something that will prove to be super helpful in places like Michigan, where crazy winters and salty roads can wreak havoc on even relatively new vehicles.
Also, the same added moldability that allows things like motorcycle tire indentations also allows the designers to engineer the shape of the bed for maximum space efficiency, so the CarbonPro bed has an additional cubic-foot of space over the steel bed.
After all this you're probably pretty stoked on the idea of snapping up a GMC Sierra with the CarbonPro bed when it comes out this summer. The bummer is that in order to do so, you'll have to pony up for the limited-for-2019 CarbonPro editionand the Sierra AT4 1500. GMC hasn't given us pricing info yet, but we can imagine that it will want a tidy premium for its sweet new tech.