There’s a lot of difference between 2024 GMC Sierra EV’s design and gasoline Sierra pickup, but one point that we immediately noticed is the position of the headlights. Above GMlarge petrol truck, the headlight is as far ahead as possible. In the Sierra EV, they are positioned significantly deeper and into the lower bumper below the grille.
Why have we highlighted this particular aspect of the design? Well, unless you’ve only ever driven large, high-riding trucks, you’re probably pretty used to being blinded by them on the road these days. When describing the Sierra EV’s headlight placement, the designers told us that they intentionally put the lights down deeper to improve the problem. We pulled Phil Kucera, a GMC design director, aside to ask him about the change.
“It tends to be in a better position to not have other people staring into the eyes of others,” says Kucera.
In addition to blinding others, placing the headlights lower than the truck’s face also improves headlight performance for drivers.
“Usually, the lower the better, because that’s where they’ll be on the road, so there’s less of a reflection in fog or rain,” explains Kucera. “If you raise them to a certain height, they will reflect certain things like snow, rain or the like into your eyes.”
Of course, you’ll notice on the Sierra EV that the daytime running lights (DRLs) are still big and bold at the top of the front end. However, these lights are around for decoration and function as part of the design rather than a functional way to see at night. In other words, they’re lights, but they won’t dazzle oncoming traffic or dazzle drivers like headlights shining down the road.
Moving those lights further down the front will hopefully have a positive effect on other drivers passing by the Sierra EV and on the truck drivers themselves. However, the way the lights are aimed also plays an important role in how other drivers perceive the incoming lights, so we’ll have to wait and see the real-world performance on this one.
We’ll also note that moving the actual headlights further down the front end doesn’t take away anything from the Sierra EV’s design. It still has a strong, upright stance that the world is used to seeing from today’s new trucks. No surprise, but GM agreed.
“It works with design,” Kucera finished.