GMC unveiling 2021 Yukon, Yukon XL on January 14

Ronan Glon


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UPDATE: We received a reply back from a representative at GMC confirming that the new Yukon will be revealed on January 14. The text has been updated to reflect this.

General Motors is renewing its body-on-frame SUVs, and GMC's Yukon is next in line to receive a full makeover. It's scheduled to break cover on January 14 alongside the long-wheelbase Yukon XL.

It's reasonable to assume we would have gotten our first glimpse at the next Yukon during the 2020 Detroit Auto Show had the event not moved to June. The new date is too close to the model's on-sale date, so GMC will unveil it during a standalone event held in Vail, Colorado, according to GM Authority. We reached out to GMC, and a representative confirmed that is indeed the reveal date for the full-size SUV.

Spy shots suggest stylists took GMC's two biggest SUVs in a sharper, bolder direction. Both models share the same front end, which borrows styling cues like C-shaped headlights from the Sierra pickup. Brand-specific rear lights help the Yukon models stand out from their Chevrolet-badged siblings, the Tahoe and the Suburban, which hasn't always been the case. The standard Yukon and the Yukon XL will each grow in size, though there's no indication GMC's naming structure will change to reflect that; Yukon XXL admittedly doesn't have much of a ring to it.

While we haven't seen the interior yet, we expect it's getting a generous serving of technology, including a new, touchscreen-based infotainment system. The larger exterior dimensions will clear up more space for people and gear, so average-sized adults will be able to fit in the third-row seats. The range-topping Denali variants of both models will return to satisfy those who crave sumptuousness.

The sheet metal will hide much of the same hardware found under the Tahoe/Suburban duo, including an independent rear suspension added in the name of comfort and handling. Powertrain specifications should carry over, too, meaning the entry-level engine will be a 5.3-liter V8 rated at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. The list of options will include a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower on tap, and we're betting the straight-six turbodiesel available on the Bowtie-badged SUVs will also be offered at an extra cost. Rear-wheel drive and a 10-speed automatic transmission will come standard, and buyers will be able to pay extra for four-wheel drive.

The next GMC Yukon and Yukon XL will go on sale halfway through 2020 as 2021 models. Cadillac will complete the trio of body-on-frame SUVs when it introduces the next-generation Escalade in Beverly Hills on February 4, 2020. The model will get a star-studded debut in one of America's wealthiest zip codes, and it will play a key role in the 2020 edition of the Academy Awards.