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GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept Interior and Exterior Tour video

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GMC concept hints at red-meat styling

By GREG MIGLIORE on 12/22/2010

GMC can lay claim to being the beefiest of the meat-and-potatoes truck brands. After all, the wimpiest thing it makes is the Terrain, and that's still a pretty stout crossover. Even the mighty F-150 has to share the Ford badge with the Fiesta, and the Ram (gasp!) will soon be sold near Fiat 500s.

Clearly GMC has an opportunity: Man up and carve an image that almost no one can compete with, and when you offer heavy-duty beasts that crank out power to the tune of 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, that shouldn't be an insurmountable task.

Workers around the nation depend on GMC trucks for their utility and dependability. And the upgrades for 2011 HD models were to the powertrains and chassis—exactly where it matters for a customer base that means business.

But the one dent in this formidable brand's armor is its appearance. For the most part, GMCs look pretty similar to their Chevrolet brethren, and the most recent redesign left the sheetmetal largely untouched. Chevy, Ford and Ram have true identities; GMC has flown more under the radar.

GMCs are decent-looking trucks, without question, but there is a chance here as General Motors focuses on just four brands to really establish GMC with its own identity. The design doesn't need to be a drastic departure, just a little more unique.

Enter the Sierra All-Terrain HD concept that will bow at the Detroit auto show. I got a look at this brute at a preview, and the designers clearly got a workout here. The All-Terrain has flared fenders, edge-lit LED lights, 20-inch wheels wrapped in 35-inch mud tires and a luxe interior.

Now this says attitude.

GMC has had some interesting concepts in recent years, including the Granite (2010) and the Denali XT (2008), but those were smaller, less red-meat vehicles--though they were rather cool-looking. The new Sierra concept is a big, bold, real truck, and GMC hints that it could offer a peek into its styling future.

Chief engineer Carl Zipfel says the truck is envisioned as a competitor to the vaunted Power Wagon rather that a true Raptor fighter, but at least the edge is there.

“This truck's really about enhanced off-road capability,” he says.

That and hard work have been this brand's bread and butter for 109 years. It's always gotten the grunt right. Let's see whether that can translate to the design.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20101222/FREE/101229963#ixzz18rUXZZcj

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I see more and more production ready inovations in this truck.

I also like the bottom shield. They said it was to protect the driveline but I wonder how it effects drag? It could show up on regular trucks if it has enough effect to cut drag and increase MPG.

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The functional innovations (bed lighting, side step, 'bed lockers', outlet/air hookups, etc) are very very appealing.

I would not need the off-road aspects of this truck, but everything else I can work.

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The functional innovations (bed lighting, side step, 'bed lockers', outlet/air hookups, etc) are very very appealing.

I would not need the off-road aspects of this truck, but everything else I can work.

I get the feeling we are in for a inovation and technology explosion in the truck market.

Lets face it 98% of the market does not need the ability of a Raptor. It is the cool factor that you can do it that sells.

I see the many inovative items getting spread cross the line up. I just hope that GMC doesn't copies Fords Man Step. The Bed light thing is a real keeper.

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Having spent years working out of a '94-era F-150 and my current '04 2500HD, I take particular note that the current interior is so upscale that there is no 'dash face' piece that creates a tight seam along the edge of the instrument panel; ideal for tucking notes & other paper bits as reminders. Unintentional yet highly functional.

Knowing my buddy's '08 1500 interior well, it's quite nice but is becoming slowly less work-flexible and more of a cush-mobile.

The AT/HD interior upgrades over the current interior nicely, without getting impractical. Like the color scheme.

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The functional innovations (bed lighting, side step, 'bed lockers', outlet/air hookups, etc) are very very appealing.

I would not need the off-road aspects of this truck, but everything else I can work.

Bed lighting - Avalanche had it in 2002

Locking bed boxes - Avalanche had it in 2002

Lighted bed boxes - Avalanche had it in 2002

Avalanche had an integrated step in the lower part of the bumper... in 2002 - much simpler than Ford's "Man step" You couldn't put it on the side of the Avalance because the sail panels were in the way, but it otherwise looks identical.

Power outlet in the bed? - Chevy Silverado Hybrid in 2006

Air compressor in the rear? Bonneville 1989, Aztek 2001, Buick Rendezvous 2001, optional on most of the GMT360s.

Don't get me wrong, I like this truck and I think it shows impressive promise, but the "innovations" it is showing... really aren't anything that hasn't been done before.... even by GM itself.

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^ Granted & noted.

However, in my line of work, the Avalanche does not meet my requirements, so is a non-consideration for me. Need a back seat AND more than a 4' bed when using such.

Sticking with traditional trucks- these features would be very welcome.

WRT the Avalanche bed lighting; its the 270-degree feature here that's different. Not sure it's necessary, but would like to see in in person.

My 2500HD is tall enough that I have an infant's metal crib rod (has a 180-'hook' in the one end) to help 'grab' items in the bed from the sides. A dropped step here, near the front of the bed would be great.

But boy am I in love with those bed rail boxes (in general). Gets my vote for the best new feature of the past decade (even tho it's pretty simplistic).

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Agreed on the bed rail boxes.

I see this truck as a close to production synthesis of some good ideas that have been kicking around for a while.

I also expect that we will see the cab and interior change before it hits production.

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^ Granted & noted.

However, in my line of work, the Avalanche does not meet my requirements, so is a non-consideration for me. Need a back seat AND more than a 4' bed when using such.

Sticking with traditional trucks- these features would be very welcome.

WRT the Avalanche bed lighting; its the 270-degree feature here that's different. Not sure it's necessary, but would like to see in in person.

My 2500HD is tall enough that I have an infant's metal crib rod (has a 180-'hook' in the one end) to help 'grab' items in the bed from the sides. A dropped step here, near the front of the bed would be great.

But boy am I in love with those bed rail boxes (in general). Gets my vote for the best new feature of the past decade (even tho it's pretty simplistic).

I guess I'm just bothered by Levin (the Pickuptrucks.com guy) in the video going all gaga over these things when they aren't new and on top of that said "other manufacturers did it first" with regard to the bed boxes.

GM should get credit where credit is due.

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Carl Zipfel

This guy is my own personal GM Hero. He designed the 2000 GMC Terradyne Concept I so love, and now this, the 2011 GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept. Does anyone know what else he has worked on? I'm thinking maybe the Hummer Hx Concept and other truck concepts, but I'd be interested in knowing his overall contributions to GM vehicles too (concept or production). TIA!!

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