The pickup truck market is still plenty hot. With such brutal sheetmetal as the Ford F-150 Raptor SVT and the Ram Heavy Duty Power Wagon, it's only natural that GMC get a contender as well. And it may, if it decides to green light the vehicle you see here: the Sierra 2500 HD-based Sierra All-Terrain HD Concept. The concept is slated for a Detroit debut next month.
The concept GMC previewed Thursday features a 39-degree approach angle and 31 degree departure angle. Built on an '11 Sierra 2500 crew cab body, with a 1500's five-foot, eight-inch box, the concept has a stock Duramax turbodiesel, making 390 horsepower and 745 pound-feet, like the production engine. Transmission also is stock, the Allison six-speed automatic. Thanks to the non-stock box/body combo, the concept's wheelbase is 149 inches, two inches shorter than a Sierra 2500 Crew Cab.
Suspension features custom upper- and lower-control arms, and Fox supplied second rebound shocks front and rear.
Tires are knobby 35-inch BFGs on 20-inch aluminum wheels. The front clip and hood is unique to the concept, with larger hood intakes to feed more air to the 6.6-liter Duramax.
On the profile, you'll notice a blacked-out b-pillar and anodized trim. A custom automatic swing-down entry/exit step stays out of the way for serious off-roading, and there's another swing-down step for the box just behind the rear doors, for easier loading and unloading.
It's no basic work truck, which means the leather interior is straight out of the HD Sierra Denali. A new radio includes an 80-gig hard drive. The concept adds lockable side storage compartments, with an electrical outlet, a compressed air outlet and a 360-degree floodlight in the box.
Way in back, the designers have added LED taillamps and an integrated skidplate, and dual exhausts.
So, any production plans? It would be easy for GMC to build this truck, mostly with off-the-shelf parts. And like the Ford F-150 Raptor SVT, it would be a low-volume, high-price halo truck, anyway. It's more important as a kind of hint about what the next Sierra will look like. The styling suggests homage to the ground-breaking "fuselage"-style GM pickups of 1973, though there's a bit of Ford F-Series in the grille graphic.
It's also a chance for GMC to facelift the current Heavy Duty Sierras, which were redesigned for '11. Due to budget constraints, GMC (and Chevy with the HD Silverado) concentrated on making a new truck under the skin. There's very little visual difference from the previous heavy duty trucks.
-- Todd Lassa