2018 GMC Yukon Denali gets new grille, interior trim and 10-speed automatic transmission

Article by Christian A., on May 26, 2017

The upscale version of the GMC Yukon body-on-frame sport utility vehicle – the GMC Yukon Denali – has been refreshed for the 2018 model year. It now sports a new grille for a more expressive front end, a new interior trim for more depth, as well as a new 10-speed transmission for a more refined performance.

Although this is a refresh of the GMC Yukon Denali, it is enticing enough to attract new and even returning customers. First off, the 2018 iteration of the GMC Yukon Denali has a new grille that is flanked by HID headlamps and LED Signature Lighting. This is an evolved version of the iconic Denali grille, featuring a more sculpted and layered appearance.

Matt Noone, director for Global GMC Exterior Design, remarked that the new grille advances the design legacy that was set by original Yukon Denali in 1999. He noted that while the new grille features a more exciting and sophisticated design, it allows the Yukon Denali to be immediately recognizable as a member of the GMC Denali family.

This new grille has been designed to provide greater airflow to the radiator. When travelling on a highway – and with certain conditions met – the active aero shutters behind the grille would close to decrease aerodynamic drag while improving efficiency.

Inside, the new GMC Yukon Denali is provided with new Mastique Ash wood trim, which should add more richness and depth to the interior while justifying the SUV’s high-end luxury price point.

As standard, the new GMC Yukon Denali is powered by a 6.2L V-8 engine with direct injection and Active Fuel Management, delivering 420 hp of output to the wheels through a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission. This new gearbox features a wider, 7.39 overall gear ratio spread, compared to the previous eight-speed automatic transmission. This spread allows for a lower numerical top gear ratio, thereby resulting to higher level of efficiency. Moreover, the 10-speed transmission’s optimized gearing and proprietary controls enable the engine to deliver smooth operation paired with aggressive response.

In addition, the new GMC Yukon Denali features a number of standard and available features like StabiliTrak electronic stability control, auto grade braking, hill start assist and trailer sway control. It rides on 20-inch wheels as standard, although 22-inch rims are also available. An eight-inch diagonal customizable driver display with head-up display is also standard.

According to GMC, the Denali trim accounts for over half of all Yukon sales. For those looking for more interior space and more cargo room, they could avail of the Yukon XL Denali, which comes with a 14-inch-longer wheelbase. GMC will commence sales of the 2018 Yukon Denali this fall.

Press Release

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Elevates Style, Refinement

GMC is elevating the 2018 Yukon Denali lineup with styling and trim enhancements, as well as a new, advanced 10-speed automatic transmission.

A new, sculpted grille design distinguishes the Yukon Denali, while new Mastique Ash real wood trim adds depth and richness to the interior.

The new Hydra-Matic 10-speed transmission — paired with Yukon Denali’s 6.2L V-8 engine — enhances refinement with world-class shift smoothness, responsiveness and quietness.

“Yukon Denali has always matched style with substance, and the enhancements for 2018 advance that legacy,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “The foundational elements of exclusive design, premium touches and uncompromising capability have made Yukon Denali an icon for nearly 20 years.”

Multi-Dimensional Grille Design

GMC designers evolved the iconic Denali grille with a multidimensional, sculpted interpretation that, like other contemporary GMC elements, was designed in a layered manner. It’s a theme seen in other new GMC models such as the Acadia and Terrain.

“The new grille, which is flanked by HID headlamps and LED Signature Lighting, advances the design legacy established with the very first Yukon Denali in 1999,” said Matt Noone, director, Global GMC Exterior Design. “It’s a more exciting and sophisticated design, while remaining instantly recognizable as part of the GMC Denali family.”

In addition to a more sophisticated appearance, the new grille offers greater airflow to the radiator. Active aero shutters behind the grille close in certain conditions on the highway to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance efficiency.

10 Speeds, Refined Performance

The Yukon Denali’s new 10-speed automatic leverages the engineering experience of General Motors’ multispeed transmissions to deliver improved performance.

A wider, 7.39 overall gear ratio spread, compared to the Yukon Denali’s previous eight-speed automatic, enables a lower numerical top gear ratio and contributes to greater efficiency.

The transmission’s optimized gearing and proprietary controls allow the 6.2L V-8 engine to deliver a winning combination smooth operation and precise response.

Standard and available features include:

420-hp 6.2L V-8 engine with direct injection and Active Fuel Management
StabiliTrak electronic stability control, tow/haul mode, trailer sway control, auto grade braking and hill start assist
Magnetic Ride Control for improved body motion control
Standard 20-inch wheels and available 22-inch wheels
Automatic locking rear differential
Four-wheel-disc brakes with Duralife™ brake rotors
Active Noise Cancellation for a quieter interior
8-inch diagonal GMC Infotainment system with Navigation includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
Standard 8-inch diagonal customizable driver display with head-up display
Multiple USB ports and accessory power outlets, including a 110-volt three-prong outlet, to support electronic devices
OnStar Basic Plan1 is standard for five years and includes access to an in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot2 and select features via the myGMC mobile app3
Wireless phone charging
Heated and ventilated driver and passenger seats, heated second-row seats
Hands-free programmable power liftgate
The Denali trim accounts for well more than half of all Yukon sales. It is offered in Yukon and Yukon XL models, with the XL featuring a 14-inch-longer wheelbase (20 inches longer overall), for increased third-row legroom and more than double the cargo room behind the third-row seat.

The 2018 Yukon Denali goes on sale this fall.

Source: GMC

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Topics: gmc, gmc yukon, denali



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