New Car Previews

Preview: 2019 GMC Sierra AT4

Ford has the Raptor. Ram has the Power Wagon. Toyota has a 2019 Tundra TRD Pro bouncing down the pipeline. You think GMC, with its storied tough-guy “professional grade” rap, is going to stand by while other pickup makers build halo off-road specials that play right into the macho ethos of the pickup universe? With the reveal of the 2019 Sierra AT4 in Manhattan, two nights before the opening of the New York Auto Show, the answer is a definite “Hell, no.”

“We believe the AT4 will give the customers all the premium features they want along with that little bit of extra off-road capability we’ve heard them asking for.”

Okay, the Sierra AT4 is not really an off-road special. Granted, this full-size pickup does get a 2-inch suspension lift and Rancho monotube shocks, but that is the extent of the meaningful mechanical upgrades. Standard features include 4WD with two-speed transfer case, 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires (20-inch optional), hill-descent control, locking rear differential and skid plates.

GM’s 5.3L V8 is standard, with available 6.2L V8 or Duramax 3.0L inline-six-cylinder turbo-diesel, the latter two paired with GM’s impressive 10-speed auto.

AT4 is a new premium “off-road light” GMC trim line that bows with the Sierra and will make its way to the entire brand portfolio within two years. Basically you’re getting a raised ride height and some attitude-enhancing cosmetic upgrades. In the GMC hierarchy, AT4 sits upper middle, coming in below the top-tier Denali models.

Key to the AT4 is black chrome exterior trim (grille insert, fender surrounds, fog lamp bezels), body-coloured grille surround and bumper along with red vertical tow-hooks. The interior gets black trim, dark-tinted textured aluminum finishes, and special leather with contrasting inserts. Standard is GMC’s Traction Select System with presets that tailor the transmission, throttle, and stability control to various terrain/road conditions.

This all-new Sierra is a fine-looking truck in any guise, distinguished by its C-shaped LED headlight structures and upswept C-pillar. The AT4 will be available in all the regular Sierra’s colours, and the standard leather cabin comes in any colour you like – as long as it’s black.

Standard on the Sierra AT4 is GMC’s ingenious MultiPro Tailgate that completely rewrites the book on that once-simple hinged metal flap. It’s a six-function affair that works like a normal tailgate, but also has a hinged upper portion with its own flip-up panel that, in combination, can act as a step, a half-tailgate, a two-level cargo retainer, a work bench, and more.

Of course, the AT4 can be optioned up with numerous goodies like a 3.7-inch multi-coloured head-up display (with off-road inclinometer showing fore-and-aft tilt, front tire angle, and left-and-right tilt), bird’s-eye-view camera, and all-new ProGrade trailering system with trailering app. There’s a full suite of available safety features including lane-change alert with side blind-zone alert, front pedestrian braking, and low-speed forward automatic braking.

Another unique option is an industry-first carbon-fibre box (CarbonPro) that is tougher than the steel unit, corrosion- and dent-resistant, and 28 kg lighter. It also features three moulded wheel indents in the front bulkhead of the box to locate and secure the front tires of motorcycles or quads.

Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC says, “We believe the AT4 will give the customers all the premium features they want along with that little bit of extra off-road capability we’ve heard them asking for.”

The 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 will hit showrooms in late 2018.