The truck's styling also contributes to this fuel savings. If you were to compare an '07 to an '06 Silverado or Sierra, you'd see how much tighter the bed is to the cab, and the bumpers are to the body. Closing these gaps, along with refining other aspects of the trucks' design, significantly reduce aerodynamic drag. GM claims that these trucks have the best aero figures in the segment.

All of these improvements are mighty impressive, given that the dimensions in the cab and bed are larger, giving people and cargo more room. Additionally, dash heights were lowered, improving visibility. The folding rear seats now work like seats in a movie theater. To create more cargo space, they fold up flat against the backrest. It's a natural, one-handed operation that doesn't require releasing a latch or pressing a button; all you do is lift and they smoothly fold into place and stay there until you fold them back down. With this design, the load floor is free of cargo-damaging seat hardware.

In these times when everybody is looking for more safety, GM delivered what the market asked for. More safety features are standard, including roof-mounted head curtain side airbags and pre-tensioners on the front safety belts that cinch up the belts in front and rear collisions. A tire pressure monitoring system is also available. Shorter drivers will appreciate power pedals.

We expect the pickups to drive at least as well as the new generation of GM SUVs that went on sale this summer. That's a good thing. Those SUVs are tight, and even with the 5.3L engine, they really move out. Given what we've seen so far, GM has another winner on its hands. We'll bring you road tests as soon as trucks become available.

HOT-ROD PICKUP
Just look at the facts: It has 400 horsepower, variable valve timing, a six-speed gearbox, coilover front shocks, full electronic stability controls, four-wheel disc brakes with the latest Bosch ABS, 18-inch rims, short 3:42:1 gears, an Eaton automatic locking differential, and a stout 9-1/2-inch rear axle. These could be the specs on a new Corvette, Mustang, Challenger, or some other performance car. But, they're not. Meet the '07 GMC Sierra Denali. It's the hot rod of the '07 GM truck family.

Power comes from the Denali's 6.2L Gen IV small-block engine. It's the same motor you'll find under the hood of the new Cadillac Escalade, but you can't get it in any other pickup. The smooth shifting six-speed automatic sports twin Overdrive gears with Sixth being a super-tall 0.67:1 for efficient and quiet cruising. This tranny also has the ability to tap up and down through the gears, using a stalk-mounted rocker switch that GM introduced on the ultra-heavy-duty Allison six-speed automatic it pairs to the Duramax Diesel.

Because any hot rod has to look as good as it goes, the Denali sports a style all its own. The exterior styling adds glitz and glamour to the basic GMC Sierra look, just like on Denali-badged GMC SUVs. There is more chrome and that distinctive Denali-only grille. Chromed 20-inch rims are optional.

Inside, the Denali takes the luxury-oriented interior found on Sierra SLT to a more elegant galaxy. Wood, chrome, and other polished surfaces let you know you're in the ultimate pickup from GM. Supple leather wraps the steering wheel and seats, and a unique center console is the perfect place to store your computer, cell phone, or MP3 player.

We can't wait to test this beast, and we want a face-off between the standard two-wheel-drive and optional all-wheel-drive version. It should be a close match.

By the Numbers- TRUCKS VS. CARS

How popular are pickup trucks? Buyers in the U.S. snap up more than 2-1/2 million fullsize trucks every year. General Motors, through Chevrolet and GMC, sent more than 900,000 new big trucks over the curb in 2005, with Ford in hot pursuit only a few percentage points behind. By comparison, the most popular car in the U.S. is the Toyota Camry with sales of just more than 400,000. It's no contest-the best-selling names in the automotive world are trucks.

Trick Suspensions - FROM THE FACTORY

General Motors knows that trucks get used for different things. The guy hauling drywall needs a different suspension than a guy who just wants to haul. Five different suspensions are available:
Z83: Delivers a solid, smooth ride with monotube front shocks and twin-tube rear shocks.
Z85: Designed for enhanced handlingand trailer towing, with monotube front and rear shocks.
Z71: Delivers enhanced off-road capability; features specific monotube front and rear shocks.
Z60: Designed for maximum street performance and offered with 20-inch wheels.
NHT: Designed for maximum towing capacity, it includes monotube rear shocks, 17-inch wheels and off-road tires, and high-capacity rear springs.