2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Gets Expanded 10-Speed Availability, New Tech

logo-1.png photo by Mark Williams

There are minor updates and changes coming for the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 full-size pickup truck, designed to expand the brand's available technology to more trims. On the powertrain front, the big news is the expansion of the 10-speed automatic transmission's availability — it's now paired with the 5.3-liter V-8 engine as standard equipment on the Sierra AT4 and Denali, and will be included on SLE trims and above as long as four-wheel drive is also selected. Previously, you could only get the 10-speed when you ordered the top 6.2-liter V-8. If you don't get four-wheel drive, your 5.3-liter V-8-equipped truck will still feature the eight-speed automatic transmission. GMC is also adding turbo-diesel 3.0-liter Duramax inline six-cylinder availability to the CarbonPro Edition trucks; previously, you could only get the CarbonPro with the 6.2-liter V-8.

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Technology-wise, the 2020 Sierra 1500 SLT, AT4 and Denali will get available adaptive cruise control that will be able to bring the Sierra to a full stop when engaged. But the real news is the arrival of the enhanced ProGrade Trailering system, which brings 15 different available camera views to the multimedia system, including the industry-first "transparent trailer" view that essentially makes anything you're towing disappear. The system was first shown on the soon-to-be-launched 2020 Sierra 2500/3500, which we should see later this summer.

GMC is also filtering a lot of the trailer control functions down from the new heavy-duty pickups as well. The in-vehicle Trailering App in the multimedia system will allow owners to create and edit trailer profiles through the myGMC mobile device app and upload them directly to the truck, saving time on hooking up new trailers for the first time. The trailer profiles are also shareable now, so they can be sent to other trucks with the capability. The app also will send notifications for maintenance and trailer mileage. The in-Command Control System app, available through a mobile device or through the truck's multimedia system running Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, allows even more control over the trailer itself — enabling a user to potentially activate trailer systems like air conditioning or water heaters, check holding tank levels or monitor generator fuel tank levels from the comfort of the Sierra's cab.

Cosmetically, not much changes for 2020 except for an appearance update for of the Sierra AT4 off-road pickup. In addition to the unique carbon fiber bed, the Sierra AT4 CarbonPro Edition will get a new black chrome grille surround, black exhaust tips and modified badges. It will be available only in Onyx Black, Summit White, Satin Steel Metallic and Carbon Black Metallic colors. Also, the Elevation trim level (the monochromatic one that slots between the SLE and SLT) can now be had as a crew-cab model instead of just the double dab that was offered for 2019, and the Sierra's optional trailer tow mirrors have been redesigned.

The new 2020 GMC Sierra goes on sale in August.

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