With the success of the Ford SVT Raptor, and the announcement of the Dodge Ram Runner, GMC looks to make their mark on the Off Road industry with their Sierra All Terrain HD Concept. It is on display now, at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
The biggest difference between the GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept, and the Ford Raptor is the GMC will be based on their 2500 series HD pickup, not the half-ton Silverado. Did GMC feel they could not directly compete with the Raptor, or is this their way to shine in a new light, an off road truck you can pound on and still haul a trailer with? I think it may be the latter.
Starting with the front suspension on the All Terrain HD Concept we see GMC still using torsion bars to suspend the front of this big truck. By most this is not as good as some truck manufacturers that have already made the switch to coil-over shocks, but just like the SVT Raptor, the HD Concept will have internal bypass shocks made by FOX SHOX. Where GMC stepped it up was in the rear. Instead of using piggy-back FOX internal bypass shocks they are using remote-reservoir versions for increased oil capacity which is a plus.
There is another benefit we see with using the FOX bypass shocks. It gives the new GMC HD 2 inches more travel up front (11 inches) and 3 inches more in the rear (11.75 inches) over the stock monotube shocks. When you are looking for the most in off road performance big travel numbers are what you focus on.
For stability while going fast in the desert, it helps to have the widest possible track width you can. GMC increased the track width of the HD Concept by 4.2 inches over the stock GMC HD Trucks with newly designed double a-arms and offset wheels. The CMD HD Concept is only .6 inches narrower than the Raptor.
An extra addition to the HD Concept is factory installed E-Lockers front and rear. Not only is it great they come from the factory, but this also means they are covered under warranty. E-Lockers are not cheap to install of fix.
Along with the E-Lockers giving you the traction you need for a little rock crawling you also get an electronic disconnect for the front stabilizer bar. This helps by giving the front axle more room to articulate over uneven terrain.
The new suspension also had an effect on ground clearance. You will now have 3 more inches of clearance, for a total of 11.8 inches at the skidplate over the current model HD trucks.
We think GMC was smart to carve their own niche in the off road segment for trucks, but we will have to wait to see if this concept ever goes into production. Having the towing capabilities of an HD pickup and the speed capabilities of a prerunner should be a truck that hasn’t been built by anyone yet.