GMC Sierra All Terrain HD concept
3rd January, 2011
The GMC Sierra All Terrain HD concept, which will appear
at this month's Detroit Motor Show, is an exploration of heavy-duty American 'pick-up' truck capability
combined with greater off-road versatility. It is highlighted by a bold exterior design and enhanced
all-terrain suspension – all designed to enable greater access to off-road destinations.
The new 2011 Sierra HD underpins the All Terrain HD concept, with a modified, production-based 4WD
chassis and the Duramax diesel/Allison 1000 six-speed powertrain. The enhanced suspension and unique
body dimensions, including increased ground clearance and wider track, as well as greater
approach/departure angles, deliver off-road capability while maintaining HD levels of payload and
“The Sierra All Terrain HD concept takes GMC’s outstanding new HD platform to the next level,
marries it to the legendary Duramax diesel/Allison transmission, and provides a heavy-duty expression
of GMC’s premium All Terrain package,” said Lisa Hutchinson, GMC product marketing director.
“It delivers the exceptional capabilities of the Sierra HD – hauling, towing and performance – and
applies them to the toughest driving environments. It’s the ultimate professional-grade tool for
construction crews, ranchers and adventurers whose activities aren’t limited by where the pavement
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The Sierra All Terrain HD features a unique five-foot, eight-inch Crew Cab/short box body
configuration that supports a wheels-at-the-corners proportion. Shorter in overall length than
production Sierra HD models, the concept’s dimensions contribute to greater approach/departure
angles. Additional off-road elements include:
- Wider, 73-inch (1,853 mm) track for greater stability
- Approximately 3 inches (76 mm) greater ground clearance
- Custom front upper and lower control arms
- Specially constructed Fox off-road shocks with remote fluid reservoirs (integrated in the
wheel house liners)
- Front and rear jounce shocks
- Electronic front stabiliser bar disconnection
- 35-inch-tall BFGoodrich KM2 “mud terrain” tyres mounted on 20-inch machined aluminium wheels
- Full composite underbody protection.
“The capability-enhancing attributes of the Sierra All Terrain HD build on the already
outstanding capabilities offered in the all-new production Sierra HD trucks,” said Hutchinson.
“Although it is strictly a concept, it is a pretty realistic one.”
From every angle, the All Terrain HD looks the part of a dedicated off-road performer, with bold,
accentuated features complemented by a wide stance and tall profile.
Streamlined bumpers are designed to enhance approach/departure angles and incorporate frame-mounted
recovery hooks – with integrated skid plates. A large, airflow-optimised grille maximises cooling in
tough conditions, while a forced-induction bonnet delivers more air to the Duramax diesel engine.
“The design of the All Terrain HD is an expression of its capabilities – strong, functional and
absolutely professional grade,” said Carl Zipfel, design manager. “We’re excited about the
design elements and exploring how they could apply to future GMCs.”
Large mudguard flares stretch away from the body to cover the 35-inch-tall BFGoodrich tyres. At the
rear, the cargo box features lockable, lighted storage compartments, along with a number of tie-down
cleats, including a pair in the bed floor and two on each side of the bed. A non-slip rubber pad is
used on the tailgate, while two special compartments inside the cargo box provide access to a 110-volt
power outlet and air compressor. A composite bed liner with a unique “circuit board” pattern provides
a protective cover for the bed.
Motorised, deployable assist steps for the cab and cargo bed make it easier to enter and exit the
All Terrain HD, while maximising ground clearance during off-road driving. It also incorporates a
number of industrial-grade lighting elements to provide greater visibility for safer driving where
stars may be the only other source of illumination. The lighting details include:
- High-intensity LED headlamp, taillamp and fog lamp lighting mounted in impact-resistant composite
housings and featuring edge-lit illumination
- High-intensity LED park and turn signal lamps
- Smooth-appearance front marker lamps integrated behind the top edge of the windshield glass
- Integrated centre high-mounted stop lamp and rear marker lights mounted at the top edge of the
rear window glass
- LED floodlights for the cargo bed and assist steps.
The All Terrain HD is painted Iridium Metallic – a dark charcoal colour that reveals a reddish,
anodised inflection when viewed from certain angles. It complements other anodised and satin-metal
finishes on the exterior, which give the truck a more precise and functional appearance.
The interior matches the exterior aesthetic, with premium appointments and increased functionality,
including enhanced lighting. It conveys solidity and precision, blending accent details such as
stainless steel mesh and satin chrome with an amplified expression of the All Terrain’s premium
features. Two-tone dark grey leather seats, matched with embossed carbon fibre-style leather on the
seating surfaces, have red contrast stitching. Additional leather-wrapped interior features include
the steering wheel, instrument panel and centre console.
A new navigation radio is also featured on the Sierra All Terrain HD concept and previews future
radios to be offered in GMC vehicles. An integrated 80-gig hard drive contains map data for the
navigation system. It eliminates the need for a map disc and provides greater storage of music from
portable devices. It also features DVR-style “time lapse playback,” which allows up to 20 minutes of
recording/playback from the AM/FM/XM radio stations.
All Terrain chassis and suspension
Based on the chassis of the 2011 Sierra HD trucks, the All Terrain HD features a fully boxed steel
frame with exceptional strength and torsional stiffness. It incorporates the production model's new
independent front suspension and asymmetrical rear leaf-spring suspensions, but with a wider 73-inch
(1,853 mm) track (front and rear) that enhances stability during off-road and highway driving. A
production Sierra 2500HD has front and rear tracks of 68.8 inches (1,748 mm) and 67.3 inches (1,709
An increased ride height provides greater ground clearance of 21.1 inches (536 mm) at the rockers
and 11.8 inches (300 mm) at the skid plates, while specialised Fox off-road shocks deliver
exceptional damping on tough terrain. They were provided specially for the All Terrain HD, with
specific valving. The shocks feature visible, remote fluid reservoirs – connected to the shock bodies
via custom hoses – mounted in the wheel house liners and are matched with front and rear jounce
shocks. They add additional compression damping and more controlled rebound, which helps increase
control, stability and handling.
The All Terrain HD also features electronic disconnection of the front stabiliser bar, which
enables greater crawling capability on rocky terrain. The driver simply pushes a button inside the
cab to disconnect it from the front suspension.
Custom upper and lower control arms for the front suspension are designed to work with the Fox
off-road shocks and jounce shocks, while supporting the greater ground clearance and ride height.
They contribute to the wider track, as do the aggressive 20-inch machined aluminium all-terrain
wheels. The wheels are deep, with six split-spoke elements, and are constructed in a reverse
drop-flange method that ensures optimal strength. They also feature a mix of satin chrome and
anodised aluminium finishes, which provide durability and a premium appearance that complements the
body’s Iridium Metallic colour.
A full composite underbody protection system shields the All Terrain HD’s transmission,
drivetrain, fuel tank, exhaust system and axle differentials. It starts with the front bumper, which
rolls beneath the truck and leads to a composite, integral 'belly' pan that covers a front
suspension skid plate. Protective covers are also mounted beneath the driveline components, while
the front and rear differentials feature direct-mounted skid plates. The rear bumper is integrated
with the rear skid plate.
The Sierra All Terrain HD concept is propelled by the new, production 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel
V-8 and Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission powertrain combination offered in the 2011
Sierra HD trucks. The Duramax is rated at 397 horsepower (296 kW) and 765 lb.-ft. of torque (1,037
The powerful 6.6L Duramax is more fuel-efficient – with up to 11 per cent greater fuel economy
than previous versions – and reduces NOx emissions by up to 63 per cent. The powertrain’s efficiency
is assisted by the Allison 1000 transmission, which requires less engine power to funnel torque to
the axles. It also incorporates a “smart” exhaust brake feature that helps save wear on the brakes
on downhill grades, a feature available on production Sierra HDs.
With the same proven powertrain as production Sierra HD trucks, the All Terrain HD delivers
comparable hauling and towing capabilities, including:
- Estimated payload capacity of 2,700 pounds (1,225 kg)
- Estimated conventional towing capacity of 13,000 pounds (5,896 kg)
- Estimated fifth-wheel towing capacity of 15,600 pounds (7,076 kg).
The Sierra All Terrain HD also features four-wheel drive, with automatic locking front and rear
differentials, while the 14-inch, four-wheel disc brake system from the production Sierra HD provides
the stopping power for this unique off-roader.