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GMC Sierra History

The following historical data of the GMC Sierra, manufactured by GMC, were retrieved from many sources.

1999-2007 Classic

The GMT800 Sierra 1500 was released in 1998 as a 1999 model. The “classic” light-duty GMT400 C/K trucks were continued in production for that first year alongside the new models, and the Heavy-Duty GMT400 pickups were continued through 2000, with the new GMT800 Sierra HD introduced in 2001.

The light-duty trucks generally use the 1500 name. They are available in three cab lengths, 2-door standard/regular cab, 3 or 4-door extended cab, and front-hinged 4-door crew cab. Three cargo beds are available, including a 69.2 in short box, 78.7 in standard box, and a 97.6 in long box. The short box is only available with the extended or crew cab, and is the only option on the latter.

For the first year, only the regular cab and 3-door extended cab were available, along with the Vortec 4300 V6, Vortec 4800 V8, and the Vortec 5300 V8. A 4-door extended cab was added for 2000, and output on the 5.3L engine increased to 285 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.

The 6.0L Vortec 6000 V8 was added for the 2001 HD models, rated at 300 hp, with the GMC Sierra C3 getting an updated 25 hp version of this engine. The C3 became the Denali for 2002, and Quadrasteer was added. GM made a reworked version of the Sierra in 2003, with a new front end, and a slightly updated rear end.

The HD variant is a heavy-duty light truck. It is strengthened version of the Sierra light-duty, and is available in the 1500HD, 2500HD, and 3500 models. The 1500HD, introduced in 2001, offers a Vortec 6000 V8. The 2500HD also offers an available Duramax V8. Also available is the Vortec 8100 V8.

The 2500HD has an available five-speed Allison 1000 transmission. The Sierra 3500 offers the same engine/transmission features that the 2500HD does, however it is usually equipped with dually twin wheels at the rear and has a stronger suspension and axle. The HD models are primarily used for towing and high-weight cargo.


The redesigned GMT900 generation of the Sierra arrived in the last quarter of 2006 as a 2007 model. It features a completely redesigned exterior, interior, frame, and suspension as well as power increase on a select few of engines. The new Sierra has greatly improved aerodynamics like steeply raked windshields and tighter panel gaps that help improve fuel economy. The GMT800 models were continued in 2007 badged as “Classic” models.

The new Sierra offers consumers a choice of 2-door regular cabs, 4-door extended cabs, and four-door crew cabs with the rear door opening in the same direction as the front doors. The Sierra is also offered in the traditional 2WD and 4WD configurations. The new Sierra is powered by the Generation IV small block V8 engine family, featuring upgrades such as increased power and Active Fuel Management on the 5.3L and 6.0L V8s. A new high-performance 6.2L V8 was introduced with the GMC Denali line. This addition now makes the GMC Sierra the most powerful half-ton trucks available.

The 8.1L big-block V8 is no longer offered on the HD models, and no replacement has ever been announced. The majority of the new GMC Sierra trucks continue to be equipped with the four-speed transmission that was found on the GMT 800 platform. A more modern 6L80 six-speed transmission is standard on the GMC Sierra Denali and the similar 6L90 is standard in all HD models.

There are two dash options offered in the new Sierra. A luxury-inspired dash that closely mimics the dash in their GMT900 SUVs, and a pickup dash that is more upright to make way for a passenger seat in place of a center console.

All GMC Sierra ½ ton models received a revised bumper and shortened front fascia fro 2009 and a full mid-cycle refresh followed in 2010, including new interior door panels and a six-speed automatic transmission on regular and extended cab models with V8’s was also made standard.

Sources: Wikipedia, GMC