Interior Upgrade| Transforming a 2023 GMC Sierra Interior

When the Stock Look Isn’t Enough

Nowadays, when you buy a brand-new truck, the interior is always luxurious, the audio is leaps and bounds better than what we had when we were kids, and just about every option you could want is available. So, what do you do when you want more than what the manufacturer offers? 

Without the ability to change the head unit on modern vehicles—every aspect and most control of the vehicle as well as HV/AC are integrated into the factory screen—most people feel upgrading audio is impossible. Factory leather is standard in most non-base trucks, too, so most people feel that is all they will every need. But for us gearheads who are addicted to custom trucks, those factory options are never enough.

In this instance, I purchased a 2023 GMC Sierra Elevation, which was well equipped. It had black leather seats, woodgrain trim, upgraded audio, and a pretty nice interior. The audio that came with the truck was actually impressive. My first thought was, “Maybe I should leave the factory speakers and be content.” Then instantly, it switched to, “Let’s see how loud we can make this trucks stereo and still keep a clean, factory look.”

Knowing the plan was to add an upgraded sound system, I couldn’t stop there and leave the interior factory. The all-black interior was boring, so I had to add some color. The original plan was to redo the seats and add a of couple small matching details, but just like any build, those plans changed, and it turned into a full-blown upgrade.

From Nice to Showstopper

While this article isn’t meant to show the install process and how to wrap panels and build boxes or wire amps, it’s to show you, the reader, what is involved in transforming an already nice truck interior into a showstopper. Even with the fully integrated dashes in every new truck out there, you can easily upgrade the audio and interior and keep the dash working like it did when it was stock.

The first thing was to ditch the black leather seats for something a little flashier. Classic Soft Trim in Charlotte, North Carolina, installed Roadwire Leather seat covers and matching center console cover in full red leather with diamond stitching to match the exterior color. This instantly changed the interior look, but I felt it needed more.

To do this transition, I reached out to our friends down at Ultimate Audio in Lexington, South Carolina. I have used them on all my SEMA builds since 2015, so I knew they would be able to handle the level of upgrade I was after. Knowing that an all-black interior with red seats wouldn’t cut it, shop owner Shawn Arnold and I sat down and came up with a game plan. Most of each door panel would receive the same red treatment to match the seats as well as part of the dash.


Noticing that the factory brown woodgrain would look out of place with all the red, it was all pulled and sent to Trey Steele at TS Paint Shack to paint it all piano black to match the factory dash bezel. I was also having the 3rd brake light color-matched, but to do so, the headliner had to come out. Since it was out, I decided to wrap it and the pillars in gray suede to up the luxury look even more. In the doors, custom speaker grills were built to retain the factory speaker pockets that now house a 6.5-inch Memphis Audio mid and matching tweeter. MTI A-pillar pods were added to hold the Memphis Audio 3.5-inch mid and tweeter on each side. MTI also built an under-seat sub box to hold two 12-inch Memphis Audio MB subs. The rear seat had to be raised 2 inches to give enough air space for the subs. While all the panels were apart, a multicolor Racesport Lighting kit was added, which gives the new interior a cool look at night. We also added a set of Husky Liner floor liners to protect the floor and from daily dirt and water.

Following though the photos, you can see how involved a job like this is. The truck is pretty much completely gutted, torn apart, and reassembled. Tearing apart a brand-new vehicle isn’t for everyone, but if you are as custom driven as we are here at Street Trucks, go for it!


01. For the rear doors, a set of Memphis Audio VIV60V2 speakers were added.
02. Memphis Audio VIV603CV2 components were added to the front doors and MTI pillar pods, while an additional tweeter set was added for more front fill.
03. To power all the vocals, a Memphis Audio VIV400.4V2 6-channel amp was used.
04. The sub amp is VIV1100.1V2 to give Memphis Audio MB 12-inch subs enough power to flex the cab of the truck when cranked.

05. To convert the factory audio signal into RCA outputs, the Wavtech Link 8 was added inline. This processor gives plenty of output to the amps while still retaining the factory dash and steering wheel controls.

06. The factory all-black interior with woodgrain, even though it looks good, still needed some upgrades.
07. To completely redo a truck’s interior, it must be gutted. Half the dash and the carpet were all that was left once Ultimate Audio pulled out all the parts they needed to modify.

08. The MTI rear wall mounting plate designed for this truck was added and gave plenty of room to mount the Wavtech DSP and both amps. This plate was cut specifically for the GM 1500 trucks so bolted directly in the truck. MTI offers multiple vehicle options for this plate.
09. Even though everything behind the rear seat will never be seen, OEM looking Tesa tape was used to make all the wiring look factory as well as protect it. We used a MTI amp rack that bolted directly to the back wall and allowed room to mount everything.

10. The Wavtech Link 8 was mounted behind the rear seat between both Memphis Audio amps to convert the factory radio output to RCA connectors to allow amps to be plugged in.

11. From the stock front door panel to the modified finished product, the red vinyl to match the leather seats ties it in perfectly. The painted woodgrain and suede inserts also make it flow nicely and look factory.

12. The rear door panels continue the flow of the new look.
13. The newly wrapped dash panel and piano black panels make the red leather Roadwire seats look factory.

14. To bring more details into the interior, all woodgrain panels were painted piano black to match the factory dash bezel. The gray suede from the headliner was also brought into the door panels to ensure everything flowed smoothly throughout.

15. The custom-built MTI Stage 4 box with two 12-inch Memphis Audio MB subs were stuffed under the rear seat, but only after a 2-inch seat lift was added to give the airspace needed.
16. With the rear seats folded down, you almost wouldn’t know two massive subs are under the seat. Keeping that luxury factory look was a must with this build.
17. With all the extra Racesport Lighting added throughout, even at night, the interior is extremely different that the boring stock black interior.



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