2011 Detroit Auto Show: GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept is the off-road definition

Article by Christian A., on January 11, 2011

GMC revealed its new GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, and honestly to tell you the car made quite a buzz. GMC created this rugged concept to fill the gap in the market between the extremely stylish Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and the simpler Dodge Ram Power Wagon. GMC provided this full photo, giving an in depth look at a possible off-road version of the big truck.

GMC also showed styling elements that are expected to appear in its upcoming production model.

The pickup features a combination of the standard Crew Cab from the four-door 2011 Sierra HD with the 5′ 8″ box, which is presently not available on HD models yet. GMC gave the All Terrain concept a special front end with a massive front grille, custom matte-chrome accenting and LED lights. The package also includes a two-inch lift, with Fox Shox and custom control arms.

To boost the off-road capability of the truck, it has been fitted with a sculpted front end that offers increased approach angle and the side steps that are retractable too.

A special hard composite has been used to coat the entre undercarriage for maximum durability. The truck is powered by a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8 engine that offers 397hp and 765 lb-ft (1037 Nm) of torque to all four wheels, using a six-speed automatic gearbox. The truck features 20-inch 8-lug wheels, which are covered in a set of 35-inch-tall BFGoodrich KM2 'mud terrain' tires.

Exterior Design

Whatever angle you look at it from, the All Terrain HD has the appearance of a reliable off-road vehicle, offering accentuated bold features that combine well with a towering profile and a broad stance. Streamlined bumpers are installed to create improved angles of departure and approach and integrate frame-mounted recovery hooks with attached skid plates.

A big grille with an optimized airflow enables maximum cooling when weather conditions are tough while more air is delivered to the Duramax diesel engine from the forced-induction hood. The company wants to show all capabilities of the All Terrain HD via its design, which aims to show how “strong, functional and absolutely professional” it is, stated the Design Manager of the company Carl Zipfel.

In addition, its big fender flares expand from the body to wrap the BFGoodrich tires that have a height of 35 inches. At the back, there are storage compartments that are well lit and lockable in the cargo box, as well as several tie-down cleats, a couple of them in the bed floor while another two are on every bedside.

The tailgate features a rubber pad that is non-slip while an air compressor and an 110V power outlet can be reached through the special compartments in the cargo box. A bed liner with an original “circuit board” design offers a cover for the bed.

In order to make entering and exiting easier, the vehicle features deployable, motorized steps. Considering they are deployable, you will have maximum ground space when driving off-road. This model also integrates various lighting elements which are able to offer bigger visibility, which is an important safety feature as it will make your driving safer during times when the light of the stars is the only source you have.

The available lighting includes: LED taillamp, headlamp and fog lamp lighting of high intensity installed in the composite housings that are resistant to impact; LED turn and park signal lamps of high intensity; Attractively designed front marker lamps incorporated behind the windshield glass, at its top edge; Incorporated rear marker lights and stop lamp behind the rear window glass, at its top edge; and LED lights for the deployable steps and the cargo bed .

Iridium Metallic is the color the new model of All Terrain HD’s paint. This dark color turns reddish when viewed from certain angles. This goes well with other satin-metal and anodized finishes, giving this truck a more functional and precise appearance.

Press Release

GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept

The GMC Sierra All Terrain HD concept is an exploration of heavy-duty truck capability combined with greater off-road versatility. It is highlighted by a bold exterior design, enhanced all-terrain suspension and premium details expected of a GMC - 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 trailering capacity.

"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 ends."

The GMC 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 stabilizer bar disconnection
35-inch-tall BFGoodrich KM2 "mud terrain" tires mounted on 20-inch machined aluminum wheels
Full composite underbody protection.

"The capability-enhancing attributes of the GMC 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."

Purposeful design

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-optimized grille maximizes cooling in tough conditions, while a forced-induction hood 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 fender flares stretch away from the body to cover the 35-inch-tall BFGoodrich tires. 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.

Motorized, deployable assist steps for the cab and cargo bed make it easier to enter and exit the All Terrain HD, while maximizing 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 center 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 color that reveals a reddish, anodized inflection when viewed from certain angles. It complements other anodized 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 gray leather seats, matched with embossed carbon fiber-style leather on the seating surfaces, have red contrast stitching. Additional leather-wrapped interior features include the steering wheel, instrument panel and center console.

A new navigation radio is also featured on the GMC 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 models' 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 mm), respectively.

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 specialized Fox off-road shocks deliver exceptional damping on tough terrain. They were created 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 stabilizer 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 aluminum 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 anodized aluminum finishes, which provide durability and a premium appearance that complements the body's Iridium Metallic color.

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.

Powertrain details

The GMC 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 Nm).

The powerful 6.6L Duramax is more fuel-efficient - with up to 11-percent greater fuel economy than previous versions - and reduces NOx emissions by up to 63 percent. 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 GMC 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.


Body style / driveline: 5-passenger crew cab, 3/4-ton 4-wheel-drive heavy-duty pickup
Construction: body on frame
Engine: Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel
Horsepower: 397 hp (296 kW) @ 3000 rpm
Torque: 765 Nm (1037 lb.-ft) @ 1600 rpm
Transmission: Allison 1000 six-speed automatic
front: long- and short-arm independent with torsion bars
rear: semi-elliptic two-stage multi-leaf spring
Steering type: integral power-assisted recirculating ball
Brakes (type): power-assisted, Hydroboost brake-apply system, four-wheel disc, four-wheel ABS
Brake rotor (diameter x thickness)
front: 13.97" x 1.57" / 355 x 40 mm
rear: 14.17" x 1.34" / 360 x 34 mm
Wheel size and type: 20 x 9.5-inch aluminum
Tire type and size: BFGoodrich KM2 325/60R20
Wheelbase: 148.6" / 3774 mm
Overall length: 230.9" / 5864 mm
Overall width: 83" / 2106 mm
Overall height: 81.8" / 2077 mm
front: 73" / 1853 mm
rear: 73" / 1853 mm
Minimum ground clearance
21.1" / 536 mm (at rocker panels)
11.8" / 300 mm (at skid plates)
Approach angle
front: 39°
rear: 31°
Maximum payload (est.): 2700 lbs. / 1225 kg
Maximum towing capacity (est.)
ball hitch: 13,000 lbs. / 5896 kg
fifth-wheel hitch(est.): 15,600lbs. / 7076 kg

If you liked the article, share on:



It is already an open secret that the newest Police Interceptor Utility is the police cruiser version of the 2020 Ford Explorer. But there is surprise. As revealed at the...
by - February 12, 2019
Ford Motor Co.’s Explorer family of sports utility vehicles has just been expanded with the arrival of two new models. The base, XLT, Limited and Platinum models of the Explorer...
by - January 30, 2019
It has been three years since Toyota’s luxury division, Lexus, unveiled the LC Coupe at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), which is also known as the Detroit...
by - January 23, 2019
The 2019 Detroit Auto Show – formally known as the North American International Auto Show – is standing witness to the debut of the refreshed iteration of the Lexus RC...
by - January 22, 2019
Ford surprised visitors at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan when it introduced the all-new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, which it touts as the...
by - January 21, 2019