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2022 GMC SIERRA 1500: EVERYTHING WE KNOW AHEAD OF ITS DEBUT

Big Red’s Big Breadwinner Will Bow In At 8:00 PM, ET Tonight

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate
Image via GMC

The day of the official 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 reveal is here, and it’s officially taking place at 8:00 PM, Eastern. Because of the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 reveal last month, along with tons of spy shots, teasers, and exclusive reporting done by yours truly, we’re able to paint a very, very clear picture of what the world can expect for Big Red’s latest breadwinner. Let’s dive in.

Update: the 2022 Sierra 1500 has been revealed! For details on the rugged Sierra AT4X, click here. For more on the top-shelf Sierra Denali Ultimate, click here.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Design Updates

From the outside, the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 will have a slightly milder refresh than what we saw with the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. The headlights will be edited slightly, retaining the brand’s signature “C” design daytime running lamp pattern. They may be a little bigger than before. The grille will feature a more toned down look, and that’s about it. A nip and tuck, really.

The bigger story on the 2022 GMC Sierra design updates will be found in the interior. They will be most apparent on higher end trim levels such as the SLT, AT4 and Denali. With it will come a larger touch screen, likely measuring 13.4-inches-diagonally, complimented by a 12.3-inch-diagonal digital instrument cluster. There won’t be a column shifter on the 2022 Sierra Denali. There will likely be a center console-mounted shifter for other trim levels like the AT4X. This kind of content was announced for 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks above the spartan work truck trim, and considering GM’s long standing parts sharing between its two truck families, there’s little reason to assume otherwise.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country LTZ 1500 GMC Sierra SLT Denali General Motors GM Super Cruise hands free driving semi autonomous technology
Image via General Motors

Engines, Equipment And Options Similar To 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

General Motors has been streamlining the engine lineup of both the GMC Sierra, as it has with the Chevy Silverado. The 2022 Silverado 1500 announcement confirmed the death of the the 4.3L LV3 V6 engine, which is based on the same Gen V small block architecture as the larger 5.3L and 6.2L V8 engines. Replacing it outright is going to be the 2.7 L3B turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which got a major power update. While a four cylinder, the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 base truck should produce a class leading 310 horsepower, and 420 lb-ft of torque, with improvements in max towing capacity, depending on the trim level. GM engineers are rather proud of it.

GM is also cutting the L82 V8, which is an older version of the 5.3L L84 V8 that doesn’t feature dynamic fuel management. It produces the same output as the L84 (355 hp, and 383 lb-ft), so eliminating the L82 rids the Sierra lineup of some redundancy. We also expect GMC to drop the six-speed automatic transmission that’s still found on its entry level Sierra pickup trucks.

The final update to the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 engine family is the 3.0L LM2 Duramax diesel engine. Its max towing increased by 4,000 pounds in the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, but because just about every truck is rated to pull different weight than another, we’ll have to wait (pun not intended) and see what the final numbers are for the new Sierra 1500.

2022 2022i GMC Sierra 1500 Denali with Super Cruise Ultra Cruise Hyper Cruise General Motors Trucks
The 2022 GMC Sierra Denali digital cluster and Super Cruise indicator light. Photo via GMC

2022 GMC Sierra 1500: Expected Technology

The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is expected to make big strides in regards to technology that will augment towing, safety and highway driving. The killer app will be the addition of Super Cruise, which GMC confirmed would arrive on the Denali package earlier this year. And, not only will the 2022 Sierra be able to pilot itself on mapped freeways across the country, the technology is also sophisticated enough to tow a trailer while engaged. No competitive truck maker will be able to say as much. At least for now. The new Sierra will also come with an available Trailer Side Blind Zone alert, per earlier reports.

It’s unclear how the global microchip shortage will affect Super Cruise availability for the GMC Sierra at this time, let alone the Chevrolet Silverado.

Like the new Silverado, the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 should feature Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play right on the infotainment screen. This new feature should work with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, and offers new levels of customization and flexibility for customers.

A minor addition will be the Buckle to Drive feature, which means that occupants will need to have their seatbelts fastened before the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 can be put in gear. This technology seems to have some of our readers flustered. But they shouldn’t worry, as the feature can be overruled by simply disabling it via a driver options menu.

All of this powerful technology requires more powerful processing power, so the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 will graduate itself from the GM Global A electrical architecture it currently rides on to the Global B system (also known as GM VIP). This new brain will allow for crisper infotainment and camera displays, faster load times, OTA updates, and (unfortunately) an encrypted ECU. Tuners beware.

While Chevrolet didn’t announce an answer to the incredibly useful Pro Power Onboard inverter generator system found on the 2021 Ford F-150, perhaps the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 will.

Image copyright Muscle Cars & Trucks

The First-Ever GMC Sierra AT4X

Update: the 2022 Sierra 1500 has been revealed! For details on the rugged Sierra AT4X, click here. For more on the top-shelf Sierra Denali Ultimate, click here.

Which brings us to the most anticipated addition to the GMC Sierra 1500 family: the AT4X. MC&T was first to accurately disclose information on the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X, which will compliment the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 with a bit more of a buttoned-up approach.

While the formula will closely follow what we currently see with the Silverado ZR2, there will be some discrepancies. Primarily, we don’t expect the GMC Sierra AT4X to have bumper cutouts like the ZR2, taking on a more pedestrian design. It will otherwise feature Multimatic DSSV dampers, upgraded belly armor, a unique set of wheels, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler M/T tires, improved approach and departure angles from the base AT4, locking front and rear differentials, transfer case, and a unique 3.23 rear gear ratio. The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X will also feature a unique “crawl mode” setting, not unlike Trail Control, which we see on the Ford F-150 Tremor and others.

Concerning the competition, the adventure-ready Sierra 1500 is expected to slot in between the Ford-150 Tremor and Raptor within the landscape. And for Ram, that means in between the Rebel and TRX. This is because the 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X is expected to have superior off-road capabilities compared to both the Tremor and Rebel, but will lack the sheer power that we see in the 700+ hp TRX and upcoming Raptor R.

The new GMC Sierra AT4X will be exclusively powered by one engine: the 6.2L L87 V8 engine at launch. No diesel, and no smaller V8 engine options are expected just yet. Perhaps later. The GMC Sierra AT4X will also come in just one body style: a short bed crew cab. That’s it.

2021 2022 GMC Yukon At4
Image copyright Muscle Cars & Trucks

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate: Confirmed

Update: the 2022 Sierra 1500 has been revealed! For details on the rugged Sierra AT4X, click here. For more on the top-shelf Sierra Denali Ultimate, click here.

Teasers from last week confirmed the return of a range-topping package on the GMC Sierra 1500: the Denali Ultimate package. Little else is known about this premium truck on what separates it from the more standard Denali trim level, other than what the brand is describing as the “most advanced and luxurious pickup in its class.” These days, that’s saying a lot. But considering that the GMC Sierra Denali was the original luxury pickup truck (Cadillac Escalade EXT and Lincoln Blackwood notwithstanding), the reveal of the 2022 Sierra Denali Ultimate package should feel like a coming home party.

2022 Sierra 1500 Reservations Confirmed, Pricing TBA

Update: the 2022 Sierra 1500 has been revealed! For details on the rugged Sierra AT4X, click here. For more on the top-shelf Sierra Denali Ultimate, click here.

Along with the Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate package, GMC also confirmed that customers will be able to reserve the new pickup truck immediately after the 8PM reveal, but hasn’t disclosed the reservation fee. In the case of the GMC Hummer EV – the first time the brand used a reservation process – the fee was only $100 USD. That could be the same for the 2022 Sierra, as well.

With minimal changes at the entry level, we don’t expect the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 base MSRP to fluctuate that much, other than perhaps an inflation adjustment. At the higher end, we do expect the prices for the GMC Sierra 1500 SLT, Denali and others to rise a bit, with the added technology options like Super Cruise and fancier material usage taking the premiums to a record level. After all, if Ford can sell you an $80,000-plus F-150, GMC fancies it can do the same with a Sierra. The 2022 Sierra AT4X price is likely to fall within the mid $50,000 range more than the Ram TRX. Yikes.

Production Timeline

After delays suffered from the past 18 months, the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is expected to begin production in the first quarter of 2021. Hopefully the global microchip shortage, COVID delays, or WW3 doesn’t push the timeline out further.

LM2 Duramax Diesel GM T1 General Motors Trucks SUVs SUV Chevrolet Silverado GMC Sierra Cadillac Escalade Yukon Tahoe Suburban Denali XL
3.0L LM2 Duramax I6 Diesel Engine. Photo via GM.

2022 Sierra 1500 Limited VS New 2022 Sierra 1500: Know The Differences

Making up for lost time in the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 timeline is a stopgap variant known as the 2022 Sierra Limited. The GMC truck is mostly a carryover for the 2021 model year, save for a few engineering updates, such as the addition of the LM2 diesel engine to the AT4 package. Over at Chevrolet, the mechanical twin to the 2022 Sierra Limited is the Silverado 1500 LTD. Both brands have so far pretended that these stopgap trucks don’t exist.

Internally, the updated Sierra is described as a “2022i” model year. But at the dealership, they will simply be known as 2022 models. The Sierra Limited is expected to phase out with the production start of the true 2022 GMC Sierra 1500.

The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 will officially debut tonight, October 21, at 8PM, and be sure to check in with MC&T as the big news happens. It’s bound to be a big day for all GMC truck fans.

Update: the 2022 Sierra 1500 has been revealed! For details on the rugged Sierra AT4X, click here. For more on the top-shelf Sierra Denali Ultimate, click here.

2022 GMC Sierra AT4 AT4X 1500
Image via GMC

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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