Floating on Snow in the GMC Sierra 2500 All Mountain Concept

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By Matthew Barnes

We recently had the opportunity to drive the GMC Sierra All Mountain concept truck in Park City, Utah. The GMC Sierra All Mountain, affectionately referred to by our guides as SAM, is based on the GMC Sierra 2500 platform with the gas 6.0-liter V-8. There are actually five SAMs in existence across North America right now, in All Terrain X or Denali trims. Some SAMs have the 6.0-liter gas V-8, while others have the more grunt-worthy and powerful turbo-diesel 6.6-liter Duramax.

The most noticeable upgrade to the SAMs are the Mattracks 150 series tracks in GMC Red. These tracks add about the same amount of ground clearance to the truck as a set of 40-inch tires would, which would also require a 6-inch suspension lift. The tracks are 16 inches wide and have a contact length of up to 59 inches in soft terrain. That provides a contact patch (where the tread is making contact with the ground) of more than 900 square inches in soft terrain, which allows it to float across the snow. To allow these tracks to fit under the truck, GMC added a 6-inch suspension lift to make sure nothing interfered with the truck body or undercarriage parts. Apart from that, the truck has special graphics, a GMC Sierra sports bar, 3-inch step bars, snowboard and ski racks from Thule, underbody lights and light bars from Rigid Industries, external dual pod speakers from Kicker and a soft tonneau cover from Advantage.

During our drive in the 6.0-liter version of a SAM in All Terrain X dress, the first thing we noticed was its massive size, both in height and width. The tracks are much wider than a set of tires would be, and with the lift and tall tracks, it's very tall as well. To climb in, we had to step up use the almost thigh-high step bar. Upon getting into the driver's seat, we were met by the same comfortable interior of a GMC Sierra 2500 All Terrain X.

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After getting a short overview of the course, we had our turn to tear it up. We drove across snow more than 3 feet deep, and up and down some steep slopes. It was impressive to see how well the truck could handle the terrain. While I sank to my hips trying to walk on the snow, the SAM drove along without getting stuck, almost floating on the surface of the snow. Even with the tracks on, the truck provided excellent feedback. It was easy to tell exactly what the pickup was doing. The steering was a little bit heavier than a factory truck, and the turning radius was understandably larger, but it wasn't difficult to control by any means. The SAM was pleasant to drive and wasn't fatiguing at all. One thing we wish we could have tried was the Duramax diesel version. The gas-powered SAM pulled through everything we attempted, but it would have been interesting to see how the extra torque of the diesel performed in the same environment. Our guess is that it would have flung the snow even farther into the air.

While GMC has no plans to produce this truck (we've been told tracks like these can cost as much as $10,000 per corner), we have no doubt that there are custom shops around the country willing to build one for the right customer. We think a SAM would be useful for those with remote cabins in the mountains: Having tracks would allow people to travel in a comfortable, climate-controlled environment without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a snowcat. One of the greatest benefits of a SAM is that it's easy to switch between street-legal tires and tracks. This potentially allows the vehicle to be used in a variety of environments all year-round, avoiding the need for a dedicated winter vehicle and a dedicated summer vehicle.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams

 

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Comments

slap a snow plow on the front. Get chew summa dat!!!

Nice, If you have the cash to spend on a toy like this! I'm so sick of snow right now here in Midwest! I just want some Joe Nichols, "Sunny and 75"!!!

On another note, since Pickup trucks.com hasn't released it yet, I just read the engine specs from GM and I am not happy with the info! Glad I got a 2018!!

6.2L 425HP and 450TQ
5.3L same as last year---355HP and 383TQ

nothing on diesel or 4.3L or another base engine??
Very disappointed in GM

I’m surprised as well on GM essentially holding over the gas V8s. 6.2 still only available on high end models. I think GM has a turbo v6 coming tho. GM V8 purists will loath although I’d expect competative HP/TQ ratings. Wonder if this foretells the coming of the end of the pushrod era? GM has some VERY stout DOHC motors.

Better do something with that cable in the front hanging down- not sure what its for, but I'd imagine one ice chunk will rip it out and your done.

-CT

Some guys have all the fun, no snow this year here in the midwest.

Hey I have some better news FORD JUST REJECTED GARBAGE MOTORS COMPANY NINE TRANSMISSION. I guess is just garbage.

Ford Refuses To Use GM's 9-Speed Automatic transmission

motor1April 23, 2018
GM 9-speed automatic transmission
GM 9-speed automatic transmission
Thanks, but no thanks.
On April 15, 2013, Ford and General Motors signed an agreement to jointly use automatic transmissions developed by the two automakers. The Blue Oval’s part of the deal was to share its own 10-speed gearbox catering rear-wheel-drive cars with GM and in return have access to a 9-speed ‘box to be used in FWD models.

Check out models using the nine-speed auto:
2017 Chevy Malibu | Why Buy?

Refreshed 2019 Buick Envision Adds Nine-Speed Automatic

However, the Hydra-Matic 9T50 seen here and originally introduced on Chevy models with the 2017 Malibu, 2017 Cruze Diesel, and the 2018 Equinox will not find its way inside a Ford. Instead, the company has opted to use an eight-speed ‘box for models like the Edge and the MKX-replacing Lincoln Nautilus. Why the change of heart? Because Ford believes GM’s transmission is not efficient enough to offset the extra weight commanded by the additional gear. Not only that, but it also argues that it doesn’t justify the increased cost required to adapt it for the Ford models.

Ford’s gearbox is part of a series of three eight-speed transmissions, with one being based on GM’s nine-speed and another based on a six-speed co-developed with GM to be used on sportier models like the V6-powered Nautilus and the Edge ST. There’s also a third version for smaller cars featuring engines generating a lower amount of torque.

Interestingly, the report goes on to mention Ford’s decision to use an eight-speed instead of a nine-speed was actually made before General Motors began implementing it on the production cars mentioned above. While final fuel economy numbers are not available at the moment of writing for the cars using Ford’s eight-speed, the company is confident it will be able to match the efficiency of GM’s nine-speed. The Transit Connect and Wagon models fitted with the new turbodiesel 1.5-liter EcoBlue engine are both estimated to return 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

@ Chingon

They don't want to use it bc it would cost them to much to adapt it to their vehicles! Not bc its junk!!

Because Ford believes GM’s transmission is not efficient enough to offset the extra weight commanded by the additional gear. Not only that, but it also argues that it doesn’t justify the increased cost required to adapt it for the Ford models!!

Comprehension my man!!

If ford is that good why do they need help.
I thought they were the best

@TNTGMC

re: Nine speed

Actually, my friend, the Ford Edge (and probably the Lincoln too) are VERY long in the tooth and Ford's dev team is loathe to spend the development cycles on an aging model like the Edge and its derivatives.

That's what I just said. Nothing to do with the nine speed being junk like Chingon was stating...all about cost

If he installed those snow tracks on a F-150 Eco-Boost all that engine power would bust those tracks apart

6.2 still only available on high end models.

Posted by: Grnzel | Apr 23, 2018 8:47:09 AM

I wouldn't call the Silverado LTZ trim "high-end". It's their upper trim for sure, but you can get an LTZ with a 6.2 for less than $40k out the door. Might not be able to do that when the 2019's first land at dealers, but by next year, prices will be flexible.

Mattracks although very cool are nothing new.

They work just like they always have on every truck you put them on annnd it has 0 to do with the truck manufacturer annnd it wont be offered via the manufacturer.

Same as it was 10 years ago only old news.

@HDRAMKING
Point being, the premium GM engine is not as widely available as the premium motors from Ram and Ford. You can get a hemi and EB in work trucks. GM was supposed to increase production capacity - so we’ll see. Im curious, post a link to the sub 40k 6.2 & it’s true availability - maybe you’ll be helping a GM fan find their truck.

@ Grnzel

I agree with you about getting a hemi in a lower tier model truck, but isn't the 2.7L ecoboost only one you can get in a work truck??

And yes, GM needs to expand, but I have heard from guys who work for GM stating that they can't make the 6.2L fast enough?? IDK if I believe that!! Hopefully the 5.3l is reprogrammed so it doesn't have that hesitation feel with it. After I tuned mine it would beat my stepdads 13 ecoboost..

@TNT
You can get the 3.5 EB in a stripper XL with 8 ft bed $29,700.
Personally, I’d go for the 5.0 in XL with 6.5ft bed $29,300. Both 2wd. That 5.0 would be a great platform to build a sleeper Lightning.

@Grnzel

Gotcha!!! Yes, a new 5.0L 2 or 4 wheel drive would be a real sleeper. I drove one with new 10spd.....STX, that new lead gray color, with appearance package...very nice truck. 10 Spd shifted very well. I would turn off the start/stop though. That was annoying!

Deep snow? You are driving on a groomed ski hill. WTF?

Take it into fresh powder snow and see how far you get!



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