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Auto Show:  2011 Naias

GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept - 2011 Detroit Auto Show

January 2011 author photo


January 14, 2011

Not many companies were thinking big at this year’s Detroit show. Chevrolet unveiled the Sonic, BMW debuted an M version of its compact 1 Series and Hyundai launched its tidy Veloster two-door. GMC, it seems, decided to take up all the room the others had left.

The Sierra All Terrain Concept truck is huge. Those machined aluminum wheels measure 20 inches in diameter and when they are wearing big BFGoodrich off-road tires, the combination reaches 35 inches. There are motorized steps to for easier access to the cabin and cargo bed. The engine is a turbocharged, diesel-powered, 6.6-liter V8 that churns out 765 pound-feet of torque -- the kind of muscle that could pull tree stumps from the ground as if they were mere weeds.

This five-passenger crew cab pickup is based on the 2011 Sierra HD, featuring traditional body-on-frame construction, but it has shorter overhangs for better ground clearance, and more advantageous angles of approach and departure. With “All Terrain” in its name, it’s only natural that this thing features four-wheel drive. And the front stabilizer can be disconnected electronically for greater axle articulation once tarmac becomes a distant memory.

“It delivers the capabilities of the Sierra HD -- hauling, towing and performance -- and applies them to the toughest driving environments,” said Lisa Hutchinson, GMC product marketing director. “It’s the ultimate professional-grade tool for construction crews, ranchers and adventurers whose activities aren’t limited by where the pavement ends.”

Vehicles made especially for shows are one thing, getting the metal onto showroom floors another. Could the Sierra All Terrain become reality? It’s not as though it’s powered by cold fusion or anything far-fetched. Hutchinson admits this is a concept but “a pretty realistic one.” So maybe we’ll see a production model at next year’s Detroit show.

author photoCOLIN RYAN has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept - 2011 Detroit Auto Show - Autotrader