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All About the 2019 GMC Sierra CarbonPro Truck Bed

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2019 GMC Sierra Denali CarbonPro Bed

While the 2019 GMC Sierra’s ultra-durable CarbonPro truck bed isn’t as flashy as its Multi-Pro flipping and folding tailgate, it’s just as practical. The Sierra’s carbon fiber truck bed is the first of its kind, and it’s more than just innovative — it offers more cargo volume while weighing in at 62 pounds lighter than its steel counterpart, thanks to the unique properties of carbon fiber. Here’s a look at what it offers and how it’s made.

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Why it’s amazing

There’s a reason that carbon fiber is a favorite material for supercar automakers like Lamborghini and McLaren — it’s lightweight and crazy durable. During development, GMC torture tested this groundbreaking truck bed. It shrugged off cinder blocks, gravel, and water-filled steel barrels dropped into it, and even resisted a studded-track snowmobile revved at full throttle. While those tests would have mangled a steel truck bed, the CarbonPro survived with hardly a scratch. It even held up against corrosion and extreme temperatures.  

How it’s made

Each CarbonPro truck bed starts off as a flat sheet of thermoplastic carbon fiber. In order to soften them up for stamping, the sheets are heated in a large oven, then stamped by a 3,600-ton press. Smaller pieces are shaped by a 1,000 ton press. Once stamped, water jets trim off any rough edges, cut holes, and create slots for tie-down hooks and lights. Once all of the parts are stamped and cut, they’re joined with a heat-cured adhesive.

Leftover bits of carbon fiber don’t go to waste. They’re gathered, heated, and shaped into smaller pieces of the truck bed.

A touching tribute

During the stamping process, GMC included a heartfelt Easter egg. On the bottom of the base of the bed, you’ll find the message “Connors Way.” This recognizes Tim Connors, the belated GM chief of engineering, who was a strong supporter of carbon fiber beds. You’ll find these innovative beds on the CarbonPro Edition of the 2019 Sierra Denali and AT4, with greater availability expected in the 2020 model year.

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Sources: AutoBlog, CNET