Look at them teensy-weensy wheels. So cute!
The 2019 Sierra was one of the first unveilings to take place at the 2018 New York Motor Show, but here GMC chose to showcase the full-size pickup in its more off-road-ready guise, the first in new line of vehicles under the spin-off AT4 sub-brand following the luxury off-shoot, Denali.
There’s plenty of dark detailing and some rather small wheels - 18-inchers - when put in context with the sheer enormity of the Sierra they are attached to. According to GMC, the AT4 package “enhances its confident, broad-shouldered stance with sophisticated, functional design elements that support its off-road capability.”
Additional aesthetic accents include new LED fog lamp bezels and fender trim in black chrome, high gloss black along the window trim, mirror caps, and skid plate while smaller red highlights are placed to lend some contrast.
“The 2019 Sierra AT4 is designed for the customer who wants an elevated presence on the road and the capability to venture off life’s beaten path,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “It’s also the beginning for the AT4 brand, which will be seen on every vehicle in our lineup in the next two years.”
To make it more competent off road, GMC has outfitted the Sierra AT4 with a factory-installed 2-inch suspension lift kit. Of course, ground clearance improves as a result of this, but contributes to the shrunken appearance of those 18-inch wheels (upgradable to the highly recommendable 20-inchers, wrapped in Goodyear Wrangler Duratecs).
A 2-speed transfer case has been fitted, one that includes low-range four-wheel drive gearing for especially tough terrain. Aiding this effort are off-road tuned Rancho monotone shock absorbers, a locking rear differential and Hill Descent Control.
Each Sierra AT4 can be optioned with a Multi-Colour Head-Up Display, a Rear Camera Mirror, and GMC’s Carbon Fibre Pickup Box. In standard configuration, it’s powered by a 5.3-litre naturally aspirated EcoTec V8 producing 264kW and 519Nm. However, this can be upgraded to either the 313kW/624Nm 6.2-litre V8 petrol or the new Duramax 3.0-litre straight-six turbodiesel.
All engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission shared with its cousin, the Chevrolet Silverado, and indeed the Ford F-150.