GMC, General Motors’ truck brand that fills the gap between Chevrolet and Cadillac badges is a very important marque for the American automaker. It’s also quite popular here in our region, with the Denali sub-brand being the favourite. Now, GMC has announced a mid-life update for its flagship Yukon Denali full-size SUV with a new 10-speed automatic transmission along with styling and trim improvements.

Anchoring the styling changes is a new “sculpted” and “multidimensional” grille, which follows the same theme seen in the new 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,” says Matt Noone, director, Global GMC Exterior Design. “It’s a more exciting and sophisticated design, while remaining instantly recognisable as part of the GMC Denali family.” Apart from the cosmetic enhancement, the new grille apparently offers greater airflow to the radiator, with active aero shutters behind the grille closing at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve efficiency.

Meanwhile, the new Hydra-Matic 10-speed transmission promises to add to the 6.2-litre V8’s refinement and performance. “Yukon Denali has always matched style with substance, and the enhancements for 2018 advance that legacy,” says 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.”

The 2018 Yukon Denali goes on sale later this year.