GMC adds stylish new Elevation model to 2019 Sierra lineup

Two engine options, plus a turbo-diesel coming in early 2019

GMC has announced a new style-forward model for its forthcoming 2019 Sierra pickup. It's called the Elevation and it will be based off the Sierra double-cab model with a new turbocharged engine, aimed at buyers who want a little panache with their rugged capability.

GMC marketing director Rich Latek says the Elevation "conveys a youthful, athletic presence" with the pickup's chiseled fenders and assertive, upright hood. As such, the Elevation gets body-color-matching door handles, bumpers and grille surround, plus black exterior accents like the grille insert, tow hooks, side window trim and standard 20-inch aluminum wheels. Headlights, tail lights and fog lamps will be given the LED treatment, with the former getting the new C-shaped designs that have already been unveiled on other trim levels. It will be offered in two- or four-wheel-drive configurations, with nearly 3 inches more leg room than the current model.

A traction select system will use a dial that drivers can set to preset driving modes to adjust transmission shift points, throttle mapping and other systems. An X31 Off Road package will be offered and boasts tuned suspension, a locking rear differential, protective skidplates, dual exhaust and other features. Also available will be a ProGrade Trailering System that includes a Trailering App to help connect and tow a trailer, on top of additional tie-down points, enhanced cargo lighting and other perks for hauling camping or recreational gear.

Inside will be a standard 8-inch infotainment system compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with a six-speaker audio system, plus USB Type A and Type C ports for charging mobile devices.

As for the powertrain, it will come with an all-new 2.7-liter turbo inline-four engine that makes 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Also available is a 5.3-liter V8 that uses a new efficient fuel management system that enables it to operate on anywhere from one to all eight cylinders, depending on demand. In early 2019, a new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-six will also be offered, mated to a 10-speed automatic.

The Elevation adds to Sierra models like the SLT and Denali that GMC unveiled earlier this year. The company has shaved as much as 360 pounds off the new 2019 model — plus more from the Denali, thanks to carbon fiber in the bed box — so fuel economy should see a boost, too.

It goes on sale in the fall.

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