GMC revealed the Sierra 1500
with the optional CarbonPro bed on March 1, 2018. The bed wasn't available at launch, though. You can't buy it now, either, but it will hit dealerships
with limited availability after production starts in early June, exclusively for the Denali 1500
and AT4 1500 trims
. The carbon floor and sides replace the steel panels in a normal bed, providing "strength, durability, and scratch resistance" and a potential 59-pound weight saving, depending on the truck's configuration.
To make sure the bed had a chance, development engineers replicated "extreme use scenarios" like dropping 1,800-pound gravel loads, 450-pound steel drums, and cinder blocks from various heights. They put a 250-pound man on a snowmobile with studded tracks, had him drive into the bed and then go wide-open throttle. We're told the result was "minimal scratching." On top of the extreme weather testing any vehicle goes through, the team also put a generator in the bed and aim the exhaust into a corner to ensure vibration and direct heat wouldn't deform the carbon fiber.
Because of the finer shaping area-specific strength possible with carbon fiber, the bed provides one cubic foot of additional payload space by having its sidewalls pushed further out. The CarbonPro bed doesn't need a bedliner, and is grained at the top for better traction but smooth on the bottom for easier hosing down and dirt removal. Tie-downs at the front of the bed work with molded indentations to hold motorcycle
tires, and slots in the sidewalls hold two-by-sixes.
The truck maker says the carbon-lined payload area confers "best-in-class dent, scratch and corrosion resistance," but we suppose the nation's pickup truck army will prove that or not. The trucks likely won't have the hardest life at the start, since the Sierra Denali costs $56,790 before even a basic option like four-wheel drive. The real test probably won't come until around 2029, when third owners begin treating their aerospace-inspired thoroughbreds like dray horses.