GMC Introduces Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV, Uses Up Nation's Supply of Acronyms

gmc introduces sierra 1500 at4x aev uses up nation s supply of acronyms

The crew at GMC has decided to launch yet another off-road special of its Sierra 1500 pickup truck, continuing GM’s collaboration with aftermarket outfit American Expedition Vehicles. The AT4X AEV is a hotted-up AT4X, which is itself a hotted-up AT4.

This brings up a question – is GM slicing its off-road pie into vanishingly small segments?

Consider the following. On the bowtie side of its truck showrooms, one can select from a dizzying array of dirt road trims on the Silverado: Z71, Trail Boss (in Custom or LT), ZR2, and the upcoming ZR2 Bison. Most of those are replicated on the smaller Colorado midsizer. Across the tile floor at GMC, shoppers can find the likes of X31 Off-Road, AT4, AT4X, and now AT4X AEV. Rinse and (mostly) repeat for 4×4 variants of the little Canyon.

This is not a complaint. Your author welcomes every single off-road-focused truck a manufacturer can produce, whether that’s a factory-built brawler or some sort of blank canvas with which to build a Moab monster. However, spare a thought for customers who are not as indentured to the off-road lifestyle as this writer who perpetually has dirt under his fingernails and axle grease on his Levi denim jeans. Trying to explain the difference between an AT4, AT4X, and AT4X AEV to a befuddled customer is likely to be a trial, leading to them either walking out the door in confusion or simply buying the one they think looks best. And you better believe the latter happens more often than not – leading shoppers to palm the keys of a truck in which they will never use even a percentage of its capability.

Speaking of capability, let’s land the plane and circle back to the initial reason for this post: The new GMC. Teaming up with American Expedition Vehicles, the same crew with whom GM worked to create the ZR2 Bison, has resulted in a Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV with beefy new steel components compared to a non-AEV truck. Stamped front and rear bumpers are ready to take a beating from that rock you didn’t see and your spotter missed, a quintet of hot-stamped boron steel skid plates over expensive undercarriage bits like the t-case and rear diff, plus unique wheels and 33-inch Goodyear off-road meats.

The grille and front fascia are said to have been tweaked so they can be force-fed that bumper and those tires, while the typical smattering of trim-specific branding is scattered about the exterior. There are functional improvements to measures like approach angle, which climbs by more than a quarter compared to a stock truck, increasing to 32.5 degrees. The venerable 6.2-liter V8 and its 420 horsepower remain untouched.

Look for them later in the 2023 model year, barring meltdowns in the supply chain.

[Image: GMC]

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7 of 21 comments
  • Redapple Redapple on Jul 13, 2022

    Can you refuse any On Star connection when buying new? I will not participate is any of that bull shirt. I dont anticipate ever buying any GM garbage, but I may need a V 8 truck before the pervert demon cats kill them off.

    • See 3 previous
    • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Jul 13, 2022

      "Pervert Demon Cats" sounds about right for the name of a sh!tty death metal band.

  • PlaysInTraffic PlaysInTraffic on Jul 13, 2022

    Don't worry, Traitor Joe can remedy that by raiding the nation's Strategic Acronym Reserve (SAR).

  • EBFlex This is not news. People don’t want autonomous vehicles just like they don’t want EVs. Both are unnecessary and dangerous.
  • Redapple2 I hope i fit in the new version.Wanted one since 1990
  • Redapple2 BeautySoulClass/eleganceRarityExpense.Very interesting series
  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.