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The 2019 model year is a momentous one for domestic-brand full-size pickups. The Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Ram 1500 are all redesigned, and the Ford F-150 sees some notable updates. As always, these big haulers are available in a dizzying array of body and cab styles, trim levels, and powertrain options, and the GMC Sierra roster gets even bigger with the mid-year addition of the new AT4 trim level and an accompanying performance package.
GMC has long used the tagline, “Professional Grade,” promoting the brand as being a cut above others in the same class. That has been best demonstrated in the top-line Denali trim level — recently offered on nearly all GMC models — which has been elevated to essentially a “luxury” sub-brand. It’s been particularly noteworthy in the case of the company’s Sierra full-size pickups, as the rest of the lineup didn’t really offer much over its very similar Chevrolet Silverado cousin. But that’s changing.
Even if you are only a casual follower of the new-vehicle marketplace, you are likely familiar with GMC’s popular Denali trim level. Denalis are the best-equipped, most luxuriously trimmed trucks in any given GMC vehicle model line. Denali has proven to be a profit center for GMC, with the customer take rate on the pricey trim level running as high as 50 percent on the Yukon/Yukon XL large SUVs.
In advance of the 2018 New York Auto Show, GMC unveiled the Sierra AT4, an off-road-ready variant of its soon-to-be-released 2019 Sierra 1500 pickup truck.
“The Sierra AT4 is designed for the customer who wants an elevated presence on the road and the ability to venture off life’s beaten path,” said GMC Vice President Duncan Aldred.
If you’re looking for obvious visual differences that separate the 2017 GMC Sierra HD Duramax from its 2016 predecessor, there is one main tip-off: a new hood scoop. That might not sound like much, but that scoop sits atop the ’17 Sierra HD’s biggest news: a revamped 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 diesel engine that cranks out class-leading horsepower.
Class: Large Pickup Trucks
Miles Driven: 469
Fuel Used: 25.8 gallons
According to a domestic manufacturer of full-sized trucks, 1 in 4 pickups sold today are heavy-duty models. That ought to serve the producer in question—General Motors—quite well, considering that it makes 2 of the 4 brands on the market, and its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HDs have been redone, as 2015 models, with new exterior styling, interiors, and features.
Between the Chevrolet Silverado and similar GMC Sierra full-size pickups, GM will net more than 700,000 high-profit sales in 2012. That’s not a number to be taken lightly. So any time the company looks to redesign those pickups, it’s a big—and important—deal.
This is an installment in a series of posts looking back on show cars that we feel deserved a little more attention than they got. If you have a suggestion for a Forgotten Concept topic, please shoot us a line or leave a comment below.