When the 2011 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty broke cover at this year's NTEA Work Truck Show in St. Louis, Missouri, it made headlines for not only arriving refreshed but for having GMC's top-shelf Denali trim jump over from the light-duty 1500-series lineup for the first time in history. Initially announced for just a single three-quarter-ton 2500HD model, General Motors has decided to expand the Denali name to more of its heavy-duty trucks, including the one-ton 3500HD.

While we have been aware of the Denali's availability on the Sierra 2500HD with a crew cab, four-wheel drive, and the standard 6.5-foot box, the exclusive trim now spreads to the rear-wheel drive model of the previously configured truck as well. Within the 3500HD line, the Denali badge may be worn on all crew cabs, whether it runs rear- or four-wheel drive, has a standard or long box (8 feet), or utilizes a single- or dual-rear wheel orientation.

"Our Denali line sets the premium standard for the industry," said Lisa Hutchinson, GMC product marketing director. "We received such an overwhelming response to the new Sierra Denali 2500HD, that we worked quickly and decided to extend the model into the 3500HD series so those GMC buyers can also benefit from blending capability with premium features and styling."

Checking the Denali box on the order form adds extra shine to GMC's bigger trucks. A Denali-specific four-bar front grille with a chrome surround, chrome door handles, and new 18- and 20-inch polished forged aluminum wheels (17-inch on dual-rear wheel setups) are standard fare while body-colored bumpers are mounted in place of the non-Denali model's chrome bumpers. In the cabin, a Bose sound system, brushed aluminum trim, power-adjustable pedals, and 12-way adjustable power seats add a premium touch to the interior. Extra options include a heated steering wheel and heated and cooled seats.

The 2011 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty goes on sale this summer with a newly available LML-series Duramax diesel engine sporting 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque. Pricing starts from $46,865, including destination, for the three-quarter-ton-rated Sierra Denali truck.

Source: General Motors