2019 GMC Sierra AT4 Exclusive Interview – audio

The premium off-road truck gets a new entrant with the 2019 GMC Sierra AT4

2019 GMC Sierra AT4

GMC, the brand that proudly labels itself “professional grade,” has found success at the top end of the various SUV and truck segments in the past few years. Now it is taking a page out of that same playbook as it introduces the all-new 2019 GMC Sierra AT4. It is a full-size pickup that, GMC executives say, redefines the off-road truck segment. In the exclusive interview that you can access here, we spoke with Stu Pierce, Sierra marketing manager, and he told us the extreme levels GMC went to give the AT4 authentic off-road capability while at the same time delivering on GMC’s premium promise.

2019 Sierra AT4 adds off-road credibility with a lift kit

As many off-road trucks do, the 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 starts with a lift kit, in this case factory-installed. Four-wheel-drive is standard as are two-speed transfer case, locking rear differential and skid plates. The AT4 is a looker, but it’s obvious it is also ready to get dirty. Other off-road equipment includes 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, Rancho monotone shocks and red vertical recovery hooks.

The AT4’s electronic driver aids also contribute to its expected off-road prowess. It is equipped with both Hill Descent Control and Traction Select System. A full-color head-up display enables you to keep you eyes on the (off) road, and the Surround Vision is engineered to operate at up to eight miles per hour. That way it doesn’t just aid in parking; it also can assist you in preventing massive boulders from marring its attractive flanks. Other available electronic aids that add to the AT4’s safety quotient are Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking and Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking. Each member of that array could save a life.

The standard engine is the venerable 5.3-liter V-8, while 6.2-liter V-8 and Duramax 3.0-liter inline-six turbo-diesel are optional.  The AT4’s most over-the-top feature — and one sure to win big-time bragging rights at the local Grange — is the optional carbon-fiber truck bed. Its incredibly light structure is also incredibly strong. Another big-wow feature is the MultiPro tailgate that features six unique functions and positions, including a standing workstation mode. GMC claims it is the segment’s most innovative tailgate ever, and we can’t disagree.

The 2019 GMC Sierra AT4’s exterior has a brawny, smoky look that is enhanced by the rugged grille design finished in black chrome. The LED lighting is C-shaped, and font and rear bumpers are finished in body color. As Pierce told us, “Buyers won’t mind getting it dirty, but they probably don’t want to get it scratched.”

The smoky-cool theme continues in the interior with dark-tinted and textured aluminum finishes on the steering wheel, center stack and sill plates. The “leather-appointed” seats feature black color accents and AT4 badges to help remind you why you paid so much.

To hear what GMC’s Pierce has to say about the new vehicle that will arrive in the fall, click the player above. To hear what FCA’s Rob Wichman has to say about the all-new Ram 1500, click here.