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2021 GMC YUKON: EVERYTHING TO EXPECT

The New Yukon Debuts Today

2021 GMC Yukon

The following is based largely on what’s already been announced for the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, while also adding GMC-specific details. Considering the formula that GM has followed for decades when it comes to the close development of its Chevrolet and GMC vehicles, we expect this information to be entirely accurate. The 2021 GMC Yukon family will officially break cover later today.

It Starts With A New Chassis

Based on GM’s T1 body-on-frame full size vehicle architecture, the 2021 GMC Yukon lineup will share its bones with the current GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck. The big difference, however, is the introduction of an independent rear suspension. In doing so, not only is this expected to make the new GMC Yukon ride better than ever before, but it also greatly increases interior storage volume, as a live rear axle is no longer encroaching on interior space.

Since its dimensions are expected to be essentially identical to the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, we can say that the new GMC Yukon base model will see a 4.9-inch-longer (125 mm) wheelbase and a 6.7-inch (169 mm) increase in overall length is expected to bring 40 percent more third-row legroom a 66 percent increase in cargo volume behind the third row, with max cargo room increasing by a figure of 30 percent.

Like the large 2021 Suburban, the new Yukon XL is expect to see a 4.1-inch (105 mm) increase in the wheelbase and a lower cargo floor, and maximum cargo volume is expected to increase 19 percent to 144.7 cubic feet.

Along with finally fitting the Yukon with an IRS, available Magnetic Ride Control dampers and a first-in-class Air Ride Adaptive Suspension are expected to make an appearance, as well.

A More Complete Lineup

While the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Z71 is a standalone model with a unique front clip, suspension, wheels and tires, we expect the GMC Yukon AT4 to follow the same formula as other vehicles in the sub-brand, such as yesterday’s freshly announced GMC Canyon AT4. This means that GMC will likely equip the anticipated Yukon AT4 with similar wheels, tires and suspension as the Z71 Chevys, but will likely forgo the more aggressive front clip for something more approachable. As in, the air dam and lower bumper will probably stay as they are. Expect the Yukon AT4 in both standard and long (Yukon XL) wheelbases.

If GMC doesn’t pull the sheet off a 2021 Yukon AT4 today, then look for it down the road in the not-too-distant future.

On the top end of the lineup will be the 2021 GMC Yukon Denali. True to form, it will represent the pinnacle of premium for the GMC brand, and will feature the latest in interior technology, creature comforts, and overall refinement. The 2021 Yukon Denali will primarily separate itself from the rest of the family with a larger infotainment screen, unique upholstery, and subtle tweaks to the exterior that’s in line with what we’ve come to expect from the 21-year-old sub-brand.

Variety Of Power

Like its siblings from Chevrolet, the 2021 GMC Yukon Family will come standard with a 355 hp 5.3L L84 V8 engine, with an optional 3.0L Duramax inline-six diesel, and a 420 hp 6.2L L87 V8 engine for top shelf models. Everything will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Segment Leading Technology

Technologies pioneered by GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado will be present, including a trailering app with trailer profiles, trailer tire pressure, and temperature monitoring and Side Blind Zone Alert for trailering.

There will be up to nine camera views – more than any competitive full-size SUV outside the GM fold.

In terms of safety, Automatic Emergency Braking standard is expected to be standard on all models, along with available technologies like HD Surround Vision, Rear Pedestrian Alert, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Front and Rear Park Assist, and a Head-Up Display.

There will be a Max Trailering package available and includes a high-capacity radiator and cooling fan, an integrated trailer brake controller, Hitch Guidance with Hitch View feature and the Chevrolet trailering app.

A 15-inch Head-Up Display is expected to be standard on the 2021 GMC Yukon Denali and available on the 2021 Yukon SLT. Tahoe offers an available rear-seat media package that includes dual 12.6-inch-diagonal LCD touchscreens that offer independent connections and the ability to mirror content from an Android phone to a screen along with allowing rear-seat passengers to send navigation points to the central infotainment screen in the front.

Like all GM vehicles, the Tahoe features a built-in Wi-Fi Hotspot with available 4G LTE data, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, multiple USB charging ports and, wireless charging with charger cooling.

The 2021 GMC Yukon family will utilize General Motors’ all-new Global B electronics architecture which brings five times more data-processing power than the current models. The ECU is encrypted and can handle over-the-air updates, and has 4.5 terabytes per hour of processing power – enough to run semi-autonomous and autonomous systems alike–however, no announcement regarding such capabilities have been made so far. Other upgrades from the Global B architecture include more tangible things like better screen resolution.

And You’re Going To Pay For It

Expect pricing of the all-new Yukon to start above $50,000, while the range-topping Yukon Denali will likely start above $70,000. Deliveries are expected the second half of 2020.

Watch this space for official details on the 2021 GMC Yukon in the coming hours.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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