Next-Gen GM Pickups Could Use Carbon Fiber Cargo Beds

It would seem that carbon fiber isn't just for sports cars anymore.

As General Motors prepares to launch its next-gen full-size trucks, a new report from The Wall Street Journal (via Fox Business) suggests that the automaker is developing a carbon fiber bed design the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Since this material is extremely expensive to produce, a carbon fiber cargo bed will reportedly be an optional feature on high-end versions of these trucks, like the Silverado High Country and Sierra Denali.

The stakes are quite high in the full-size pickup truck market, and the investment to utilize carbon fiber could pay off for GM when it comes to bragging rights for fuel economy and hauling capability. According to the report, carbon fiber is 75 percent lighter than steel and 50 percent lighter than aluminum, and stronger than both. This move would allow GM's new truck beds to be lighter and tougher than steel without using aluminum, which GM has spent plenty of money knocking Ford for in recent years.

This report doesn't mean that aluminum is totally out of the question for the next-gen GM trucks, though. It's likely the new trucks could use aluminum body parts such as the hood and door panels.

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra will most likely be unveiled in January at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. As for the carbon fiber bed, it probably won't be available until after the trucks go on sale.