With a long line of highly-capable pickup trucks behind them, we wanted to believe something “big” was coming when GMC told us they were ready to open a new chapter in the Sierra legacy. That chapter is here; and from the looks of things, GMC is looking to write more than just a chapter in their own book.
For a basic idea of the upgraded trim package features, look to the 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 Trailboss; the two premium pickup trucks feature many similar features, such as a trail-tuned, two-inch suspension lift with Rancho shocks and 33” Goodyear Wrangler Duratracks at each corner, according to Driving. While many “basic” features of the two trucks are very similar, the AT4 is only getting warmed up in what’s appearing to be a completely-revolutionary pickup truck design.
Usually, we’d work our way back from the front – in the case of the AT4 however, it makes more sense to start from the rear – in bed, where all the magic starts. It’s a fairly-typical spec sheet; five and eight-foot beds are available, each with a 62.9 and 89.1 cubic-foot capacity, respectively. From here, goodies like an integrated 110V receptacle and a dual-articulated, folding step that deploys from the tailgate garnish the rear half of the pickup. But that’s still just a short order of cheap thrills. The standout feature of the AT4’s tail-section is the actual bed itself – a carbon-fiber composite bed!
It won’t be available until later on in the year – but General Motors’ willingness to toss a bone so early to prospective truck buyers is indicative of their eagerness to showcase their new trend in truck building. We’ve seen Dodge with the implementation of their integrated-toolbox design; GMC is taking that concept to a new depth with the carbon-fiber composite bed panels that will reduce weight and increase durability. Will they also use this dual-material construction to take advantage of the lost space between the bed liner and the outer skin?
Moving forward, the entire exterior has been slightly “touched up” with a hint of performance, such as red tow hooks and grille inserts. A multi-color head-up display and rear-camera mirror head an impressive list of features fit for a premium truck buyer, and it’s likely you’ll forget you’re in a truck if you’re not towing anything.
Time will tell how well they decide to leverage the potential of this new design, but it’s unbelievably clear they are very proud of the dynamic flexibility in which they are beginning to build pickup trucks with. The 2019 Trailboss is rated at 15/20mpg already, without the benefit of a composite bed construction. Will we start to see economy ratings for pickup trucks skyrocket as their composition begins to mirror that of a more contemporary automotive design? Time will tell.