When GMC brought the new Sierra AT4X trim to the market, many thought it would be a direct counterpart of the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2. Boy were those people wrong. The one item that GMC got wrong with the AT4X was the front bumper. Thankfully, with the new GMC Sierra AT4X AEV model, this truck is the off-roader we’ve been waiting to drive.
What held the Sierra AT4X back from being comparable to the Silverado ZR2?
Most notably, the difference between these two trucks is the front bumper used for each model. While the Chevy went for a rugged bumper made to clear tall obstacles and add to the ground clearance, the GMC did not. Originally, GMC chose a typical front bumper in fear that the more aggressive model on the Silverado would deviate from the preferred styling of the GMC Sierra.
Using the standard AT4X front bumper limits the approach angle to 25.5 degrees and doesn’t fit the 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory Mud-Terrain tires used for the ZR2. This leaves the AT4X a little behind and not the truck that hardcore off-roaders want to drive.
Add the genius of American Expedition Vehicles, and we’ve got the 2023 GMC Sierra AT4X AEV
While the name of this truck is a mouthful, the AEV Edition of the AT4X trim takes off-roading to a whole new level for the GMC Sierra. The AEV team not only fixed the front bumper problem but also did a lot more for the Sierra. The AT4X AEV Edition includes:
- AEV stamped steel front and rear bumpers with heavy-duty recovery points and winch capability in the front bumper
- Five hot-stamped boron steel skid plates
- Unique, race-inspired, laser-engraved 18-inch AEV Salta wheels finished in gloss black with the AEV signature recessed valve system
- 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory Mud-Terrain tires
- Updated front grille and fascia
- Exclusive AEV badges throughout the vehicle
- Optional off-road rocker panels
- Optional bolt-on step assist (used when not off-roading)
The GMC Sierra AT4X AEV delivers the desired off-road numbers
When talking about hardcore off-roading, angles are incredibly important in the conversation. The upgrades made that give us the AEV Edition improve the off-road angles to be:
- 32.5 degrees front approach angle
- 23.4 degrees departure angle
- 23.0 degrees breakover angle
- Improved ground clearance to 11.2 inches
These figures are an incredible improvement over the angles of the AT4X, which is already an impressive off-road truck, with these off-road stats:
- 25.5 degrees front approach angle
- 23 degrees departure angle
- 22.7 degrees breakover angle
- 10.8 inches of ground clearance
That added AEV protection makes a huge difference in the GMC Sierra
The hot-stamped boron steel skid plates of the 2023 GMC Sierra AT4X AEV Edition are said to be 3.5 times stronger than cold-stamped plates. That’s a fantastic difference and something that allows off-road enthusiasts to feel more confident about this truck.
Will the GMC Sierra AT4X AEV become a standard package?
For 2023, the AEV treatments are part of a special package that will take the price of the AT4X trim ($79,295) and raise it by several thousand dollars. GMC intends to make the AEV upgrades standard on all AT4X models, but that won’t happen until later in the model year.
Until then, we get the pleasure of knowing the AEV team fixed the GMC Sierra AT4X to deliver an off-road pickup that’s not only comparable to the Silverado ZR2 but it surpasses the Chevy truck.
Next, find out how new Chevy Silverado EV owners plan to use their trucks or watch the 2023 GMC Sierra AT4 AEV Edition video below: