One would typically associate carbon fiber in race cars, hypercars, or just about anything with performance inclinations. The last place you'd look for carbon fiber is in a utilitarian pickup truck. But GMC has done just that, and they're saying it's not just for show.
Soon to be an option on their Sierra Denali 1500 and the Sierra AT4 1500 models, GMC has dubbed their fiber bed the CarbonPro, and there are actually several benefits for using this rather exotic material.
For starters, it's lighter; by at least 26 kilograms over a standard steel bed, says GMC. And because it's not made of steel, it won't be susceptible to corrosion either. GMC is even claiming that it has a bigger cargo area compared to the regular steel bed, the carbon fiber version is less bulky to make, which in turn, frees up more space.
But what about durability? GMC addresses that concern by performing a series of drop tests on it. Some of the things they dropped on it included cinder blocks, 1800 lbs (about 800 kg) loads of gravel and 450 lbs (a little over 200 kg) water-filled steel drums from varying heights. They also did what they call the snowmobile test, which is pretty extreme. What they did was to stick a snowmobile with metal studded tracks on the bed and went full throttle. It's been heat-tested too, by exposing it in the dry Arizona sun, as well as by mounting a generator on it.
GMC is adamant that a carbon fiber bed offers a load of benefits while being more robust than a standard steel one. Does this mean carbon fiber will be the future of pickup beds?
For now, GMC has not announced the price of this option. It is likely that it will still be on the pricey side since they are an early adopter. But should it prove to be a success, it is possible that we could see other pickups going for that in the future.