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SPIED: 2017 GMC Sierra Denali 3500HD Cold-Weather Testing

Posted in News on March 17, 2016
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Photographers: Brian Williams

From our friends at Truck Trend, GMC updated the light-duty Sierra for the 2016 model year, so it’s only a matter of time before similar cosmetic upgrades make their jump to the Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD. However, while mechanical changes to the Sierra 1500 were fairly tame, the Sierra HD (and its Silverado counterpart) might get some significant improvements under the skin.

Shown in these images is the next Sierra Denali 3500HD, likely due for the 2017 model year. Cosmetically, it looks nearly identical to the current dualie, sporting the same headlights, Denali-spec mesh grille, and bumper shape. The front view betrays a new hood, however, with a gaping mail-slot air inlet feeding outside air to the diesel engine. Sources expect the oil-burner to be the next generation of GM’s 6.6L Duramax V-8.

The current Duramax produces 765 lb-ft of torque, which is impressive as long as you don’t look at the competition’s numbers. Ford’s Power Stroke V-8 makes 860 lb-ft in the outgoing Super Duty (the 2017 Ford should make even more), and Ram will happily option a 900–lb-ft Cummins I-6 in a properly equipped 3500 Heavy Duty. As such, don’t be surprised if the next Duramax V-8 comes with more than 400 hp and 800 lb-ft. Sources suggest closer to 450 hp and 860 lb-ft would be more likely.

Power like that would help the 3500HD crest its already impressive 23,200 pounds of maximum towing capacity. While most consumers never tow that much weight, knowing it’s possible is comforting to RVers, equestrians, construction pros, and others who regularly tow heavy fifth-wheel trailers.

Aside from anticipated changes to the powertrain and styling, the 2017 Sierra HD should still be a comfortable place to spend time, particularly in this spied vehicle’s top-spec Denali trim. We can’t wait to see what GMC has up its sleeve.

Source: SpiedBilde Photography

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