• GMC's new sub-brand focuses on off-road enthusiasts
  • AT4 combines capability and comfort
  • Carbon-fiber truck bed an AT4 and Denali exclusive

 

Following up on the wild success of its high-style Denali models, GMC has now launched "AT4" a new sub-brand aimed squarely at the off-road audience craving both capability and comfort. Unveiled at the New York auto show, the 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 is the debut model for the new sub-brand which Vice President of Global GMC Duncan Aldred says, “will be seen on every vehicle in our lineup in the next two years.”

Off-Road Beauty

To deliver the Sierra AT4's enhanced off-road-leading-to-no-road credibility, GMC adds two inches of ground clearance and a meatier off-road suspension setup to the truck, as well standard 4-wheel drive with a 2-speed transfer case, a locking rear differential, and front skidplate. Other standard features include Hill Descent Control, exclusive-design dark-tinted 18-inch (or optional 20-inch) wheels shod with muscular all-terrain tires, and the Traction Select System which lets the driver choose varying drive modes to adapt to different terrain profiles and weather conditions.

For action in the AWD Sierra AT4, GMC is running the Sierra AT4 with a choice of three engines. In standard form, an enhanced version of General Motors' tried-and-true 5.3-liter V8 connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission moves things along. Also boasting higher performance for 2019 is the already mighty 6.2-liter V8, running its power through a 10-speed automatic. And if you want diesel torque and fuel economy, just ask. The all-new 3.0-liter inline-6 Duramax diesel will be available (also using the 10-speed automatic). Horsepower and torque figures for all of these engines are still TBD, but Tim Herrick, GM's global chief engineer for crossover vehicles told us that the upgrade power and fuel economy in the two V8s and the new diesel would be benchmarks for the class.

Also: Check out more latest news from the New York Auto Show

Elegant Strength

Style is still a signature GMC quality, and the AT4 off-road models pose no exception to that rule. Outside, dark-themed colors are set off by black chrome accents and a high-gloss black finish on the window trim, mirror caps and skidplate. Red tow hooks add a touch of color.

Inside the Sierra AT4, the bold overcast color theme continues with the interior trimmed in dark-tinted, textured aluminum and black accenting. This time, the color is added by subtle contrast stitching on the leather interior.

Also: Get your first look at the other new and redesigned cars of 2019

The Bonus Round: Options and Upgrades

For those who want to go one step beyond in their new Sierra AT4, GMC offers plenty. Highlights include upgraded safety features like automatic front pedestrian braking and low-speed braking, and one of our biggest recommendations: Surround Vision, which provides a bird's-eye view of the area around your Sierra -- a boon and a blessing when parking, backing up or maneuvering tight spaces. Another available plus is a 3-inch by 7-inch head-up display that includes inclinometer information, like how your Sierra AT4 is setting on an off-road slope.

The height of cool, however, promises to be CarbonPro, the first-ever lined carbon-fiber bed box. It's both lighter and more durable than a standard steel bed, and if you're willing to pay the price of carbon fiber, you'll have bragging rights that don't quit. The CarbonPro option is offered exclusively to Sierra Denali and Sierra AT4 buyers.

The 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 will go on sale late in 2018. Pricing is yet to be announced, but GMC execs assure us that the Denali versions will maintain their status as the premier GMC vehicles. As for desire, GMC customers have no problem paying extra for extra exclusivity, something they'll certainly get with the Sierra AT4 -- a full-size truck blending champagne tastes with all-terrain talents.

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