GMC Unleashes the Sierra 1500 AT4 in New York


We've already seen the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Trailboss, the off-road-ready version of Chevy's completely redesigned 2019 full-size pickup truck, at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and during its Texas reveal. Well, you didn't really think that GM's other truck brand wasn't going to get something equally capable, did you? Of course not. And here it is: the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4. Not the All-Terrain, as we saw on the last Sierra. No, this pickup marks the debut of a new sub-brand for GMC (think Denali). The AT4 moniker is set to appear across the GMC lineup on other vehicles as well, Global GMC Vice President Duncan Aldred said in a press release; it will always denote an off-road specific model with extra equipment.

Revealed at a media event ahead of the 2018 New York International Auto Show, the Sierra 1500 AT4 starts with the same equipment we saw on the Trailboss: a 2-inch lift kit, standard four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case, locking rear differential, skid plates, off-road Rancho monotube shocks and 18-inch wheels with either all-terrain tires or mud-terrain Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs. Optional are 20-inch wheels and all-terrain tires. Power comes from a standard 5.3-liter V-8 engine, but later in the year an optional 6.2-liter V-8 and turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine will become available. No power or torque numbers were made available for any of these engines.

From an appearance standpoint, the AT4 gets something of a blackout treatment. The front bumper, grille surround and rear bumper are done in body-color paint, while the grille is black chrome. That black chrome also adorns the LED foglamp bezels, while the window trim, mirror caps and skid plate are done in black gloss. Red accents are added to the emblems and front tow hooks.

Inside it's also slick and somber, with dark-tinted plastic and textured aluminum trim. Leather seating is standard, with Jet Black/Kalahari your only interior color choice. AT4 badges are embroidered into the head restraints and all-weather floormats are standard.

The AT4 will feature technology that aids its off-road mission, including the Traction Select System, which adjusts the vehicle's stability control program, throttle mapping and transmission shift points to tailor the truck's performance to driver-selected terrain or weather conditions. Like other Sierras, a multicolor head-up display is optional; it includes data such as an off-road inclinometer that displays fore-and-aft degree of tilt, front tire angle and left-to-right tilt. The ProGrade Trailering System and related smartphone app also will be optional, as will 360-degree camera function displayed on the multimedia screen.

The novel new MultiPro Tailgate will come standard on the Sierra AT4, allowing six different configurations for using the pickup's bed. The CarbonPro carbon fiber bed also will be an option, replacing the steel inner bed box with a carbon fiber resin version for durability and weight savings. Still no word yet on what this will cost, however.

So, if you liked the equipment on the Chevy Silverado Trailboss but wanted something a bit more luxurious (and perhaps a bit less wildly styled), GMC's version might just be the answer. Look for it to start appearing in showrooms in the fall.

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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