The all-new 2014 GMC Sierra has undergone specific design changes to boost both fuel efficiency and interior quietness, after spending a major portion of its development time in a wind tunnel. Every millimeter of the truck was scrutinized by aerodynamic engineers to find areas of improvement, and as a result, debunked some myths.
It’s interesting to note that the regular cab body was what was tested most heavily, as it’s the truck many buy because of their work. Also, many of these trucks get fitted with aftermarket parts on the tailgate, whether for personal preference or job requirements. Our first look at the new 2014 GMC Sierra Regular Cab brings up issues of performance, styling, and aerodynamics.
Thanks to the aerodynamic advancements, the 2014 GMC Sierra will be the most fuel-efficient V-8 pickup on the market. “We can’t stop air; we can only guide it through the path of least resistance. It’s like electricity, without the shock. The biggest misconception is that it’s all about single components. But a certain side mirror design doesn’t create a certain amount of drag, its interaction with the rest of the vehicle does,” said Diane Bloch, GM aerodynamic performance engineer, in a recent interview.
Thanks to the new air dam below the new Sierra’s front bumper, drag has been significantly reduced, as the air is directed downward to the ground. The tailgated and center high-mounted stop light have been optimized to guide air around the truck. New sealing has also been added between the cab and the bed to prevent unwanted airflow.
There has been a debate as to whether a raised tailgate hurts or hinders aerodynamics, and according to Bloch, when the tailgate is up, it is the most aerodynamically efficient. “Replacing the tailgate with an aftermarket net is worse than having no tailgate at all. Imagine dragging a solid object and a fishing net through water. The net is going to require more muscle.”
Source: General Motors