While the latest round of bed wars might have been the shouting match between aluminum (Ford) and steel (Chevrolet), the real winner might be a third option — a carbon fiber-enhanced bed that GMC will begin offering at the tail end of the 2019 model year on the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500. The CarbonPro bed will be offered only on Sierra 1500 Denali and Sierra 1500 AT4 models.
Carbon fiber is usually what we think of for lightweight body panels or what race cars and supercars are made of, not in the bed of a pickup truck. But GMC says that using the carbon fiber composite material instead of a traditional metal in the bed (replacing standard steel inner panels and floor with carbon fiber) offers some unique benefits to pickup truck users.
Of course, the first is weight savings. Versus a steel bed, the CarbonPro bed weighs about 25 percent less, which saves 60 pounds or so, and GMC says increases payload 59 pounds compared to a steel bed. GMC also says that the bed won't need a spray-in bedliner. It comes with a grained surface for grip, and the material provides scratch and dent resistance without having to add another bedliner. The design of the bed also adds 1 cubic foot of cargo area to the bed, since using carbon fiber allows the sidewalls to be pushed out a little further given its malleability. Lastly, since it isn't metal, owners won't have to worry about bed corrosion or painting the surface.
GMC put the bed through the usual battery of tests, dropping in loads of various sizes and performing extreme temperature testing in Arizona and Ontario. There was even a test where a snowmobile with metal studs was launched at full throttle while sitting in the bed, below a 250-pound rider, resulting in "minimal scratching," according to GMC.
Production on Sierras with the CarbonPro bed starts in June; they will begin appearing at dealers this summer. GMC says that availability will be limited for 2019 models, given that the model year is soon ending, but to expect wide availability for 2020.
There is a final unknown for the CarbonPro bed and it's a big one: pricing. GMC isn't offering a price at this time, and we have a feeling it won't be cheap.
More From PickupTrucks.com: