GMC Torture-Tests CarbonPro Carbon-Fiber Bed for 2019 Sierra 1500
Tough, Lightweight Bed Option Coming This Summer
When we got a chance to see the new-for-2019 GMC Sierra 1500 in the flesh last year, company representatives told us there would be a carbon-fiber bed option, branded CarbonPro. After about 12 months of waiting, the advanced-construction cargo box is ready for prime time.
CarbonPro will be available on the Sierra Denali and Sierra AT4 starting this summer, and to make sure it withstands the torture some owners place on their trucks, GMC put the bed through a rigorous regimen of validation testing. That included drop tests of cinder blocks, 1,800-pound loads of gravel, and massive steel drums, similar to what Chevrolet did in its advertising a few years ago. The company also subjected the CarbonPro box to task by loading it down with a snowmobile with a studded track, then accelerating it at full throttle with a 250 pound rider on board. GMC says the bed only sustained minimal scratching. It was also validated in high heat and extreme cold conditions, as well as under the concentrated blast of a portable electric generator’s exhaust. Each of these tests revealed an acceptably low level of wear and tear.
In addition to the bed’s robustness, it’s also corrosion-resistant and at least 59 pounds lighter than an equivalent steel bed (not surprising given its composition). That weight decrease is invested back in the truck’s payload capacity, and carbon fiber’s greater flexibility means it can be formed to more complex shapes, yielding a 1-cubic-foot increase in total bed volume. Similar to GM's more conventional steel bed, the CarbonPro has extensive tiedown locations as well as molded notches that make for perfect wheelstops for motorcycles. Corrugated and grained for traction, the CarbonPro box also reportedly negates the need for a spray-in or molded bedliner, similar to the composite box construction of the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline.
GMC didn’t announce pricing of the CarbonPro bed option, which joins with the solidly impressive MultiPro tailgate to make the business end of a pickup truck more innovative and exciting than it’s been in years. For now, both features remain GMC exclusives, giving Sierra 1500 owners right to brag in at least two instances relative to their Chevrolet counterparts.