From Camera Enhancements to More Efficient Tie Down Points, the GMC Sierra AT4 is Built to Haul
Story And Photos By: Tyler Tate
If you love dirt bikes, motorcycles, ATV’s, UTV’s and trucks raise your hand?
It’s ok if you are the only one in the room raising your hand. All that means is that you are correct to love all five and that you need to read these words.
The GMC Sierra AT4 might be the truck for you.
For reasons beyond the truck performance which is detailed further down in the article, the GMC Sierra AT4 was built with you in mind. From their trailering features, three purpose built places into the carbon fiber truck bed to park your dirtbikes then higher tie down points to make securing them easier than ever.
For those of you pulling the trailer be it camper or utility, the trailering features of the Sierra AT4 are numerous.
Features include: Jack-Knife Alert, Trailer Length Indicator, enhanced Rear Trailer View with rear guidelines, an enhanced Rear Side View and Cargo Bed View now with zoom and Hitch Guidance along with many other features that will make your trailering life, a solo experience if you find yourself in that position.
Five new 2021 features that set the GMC Sierra, Sierra AT4 and Sierra HD apart are:
Trailer Length Indicator: New for 2021, when enabled and driving forward with the turn signal activated, the center console screen displays a red overlay twice the length of the compatible trailer and shows when other vehicles are present and may interfere with a lane-change maneuver.
Jack-Knife Alert: New for 2021, Jack-Knife Alert tracks the position of the compatible trailer in relation to the vehicle. If the front of the trailer approaches the rear of the vehicle, an alert is displayed when there may be a potential jack-knife situation.
Cargo Bed View Enhancements: This available feature uses a camera in the center high-mounted stop lamp, which allows you to see inside the bed to check on cargo while driving. When enabled, and new for 2021 GMC Sierra, drivers can utilize additional features like a cargo bed zoom view and bed hitch guidance for help with hooking up a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailer.
Rear Trailer View Enhancements: Rear trailer view now includes guidelines to assist when backing a trailer into place, and a trailer-angle indicator to show the relationship between the truck and trailer. Rear trailer view requires the customer-installed available GM auxiliary accessory camera.
And who do we have to thank for this intricate detail that makes our lives all the better? That would be GMC designer Carl Zipfel.
“Part of this design is my direct influence,” said Zipfel. “We designed it with a small team and the engineers. We wanted to push our influence and some innovation into other places of the truck to make it something even better and unique to the AT4. This is the first truck to ever feature anything like this. Beyond the cut outs and the tie down anchor points, the multi pro tailgate makes loading the bike so much easier and safer. The carbon fiber bed was a natural lead in to create this because of the durability of the material but it was also a flexible material to form. The design of the entire truck bed is all about function and not wasted space. Beyond that, the carbon fiber is lighter than other truck beds and that 60-pound weight difference aids in the efficiency of the truck.”
The AT4 is the beefed-up, rough-and-ready alternative to the posh GMC Denali. But do not for a moment let the thought enter your mind that the AT4 is not posh. It gains a 2.0-inch factory-installed lift kit, a set of protective skid plates, an Eaton locking rear differential, upgraded Rancho monotube dampers, and all-terrain or mud-terrain tires on 18- or 20-inch wheels. The AT4’s styling is finished off with bright red tow hooks at the front. And being quite honest, it looks pretty awesome. Despite its off-road readiness, the ride is smooth. This is a truck you could drive every day whether you’re patrolling the American desert to ride dirt bikes or driving to the skatepark.
The MultiPro tailgate consists of an upper and lower section with six different configurations that help with ingress and egress, the ability to reach into the box, and/or handling longer loads. It’s standard on the AT4 and having proved itself to us as truly useful on other Sierras, is perhaps the biggest must-have pickup feature we’ve seen in years. MultiPro admittedly has greater functionality, including a further upgrade that embeds within it a pair of speakers, rudimentary audio controls, and USB and aux inputs and for tailgating purposes, it would be a nice addition.
“Understanding the customer is important to us especially at the design level,” said Zipfel. “The trim level is such an important feature because there are all different types of truck users out there, everyone has different needs and lifestyle. We had so much support from the top leadership at GMC to create this vehicle that from the first idea to seeing it on the truck was 6 months. In car design that is lightning quick. We knew we had a great idea when we had that much support to make it happen in that time frame.”
“For me, it is so satisfying to be able to take my personal influences and my love for dirt bikes and motorcycles and create something for customers,” said Zipfel. “To have the support from the top was amazing but to see the customer response is even more gratifying. We have such high expectations from our design team, and we know our customers have high expectations too.”