First Drive: 2018 GMC Sierra All Mountain Concept
Snow Bash: Tearing It Up With GMC’s All Mountain Concept
High in the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City, in a valley filled with tall pine trees and amid a driving snowstorm, we climb up into the tall cab, thanks to a 6-inch lift, and get behind the wheel of an ’18 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD. This isn’t any ordinary GMC HD pickup, however—equipped with 150 Series tracks by Mattracks, it is more like a luxury tank than a pickup. This creation is aptly named the All Mountain Concept.
Putting it in gear, the 6.0L V-8 gasoline engine roars to life with 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, and the tracks slowly start churning through the snow. Sitting comfortably in the cabin, we have a commanding and comfortable view. The seat and steering wheel warmers came in really handy with temperatures below freezing, as well.
Driving a tracked vehicle is much less about how well it corners, but rather making small steering wheel inputs to keep it on the path you intend. Flanked by the more common tracked snow machines commonly known as snowmobiles, we make our way around an opening in the trees to take in the idyllic mountain views. While recent warm weather has diminished the snowpack, it was still deep enough to get into trouble.
Although the gasoline engine does an admirable job, we do have to wonder how much better a Duramax-equipped model, with its 910 lb-ft of torque, would do with the tracks. Turns out, there are actually five of these tracked concept trucks in existence based at various Vail Resort locations, with a mix of gasoline and diesel engine between them. While we daydream about the diesel, back to the reality and the gasoline engine.
Our main goal, beyond getting the heavy truck buried in snow, is to keep the rpm down. Naturally, the speedometer means very little driving through the snow with our meager top speed of 25 to 30 mph. Instead, the rpm are the main concern considering the energy needed to keep the tracks moving requires a considerable amount of horsepower.
Keeping it from redlining, we come across a bend and climb up toward a bridge. While the field of snow makes gauging elevation differences difficult, the bridge serves as a great guide informing us of our ascent. Monitoring the rpm gauge, we quickly surpass 4,000 and throttle back to take a more cautious approach. Holding it back to 4,000 doesn’t really change the driving experience since the tracks make short work of the climb keeping a steady pace to the top.
Besides the tracks, GMC added a sportbar, 3-inch stepbars, Thule snowboard and ski racks, Rigid Industries underbody lights and lightbars, an Advantage tonneau cover, and set of external dual pod Kicker speakers.
Unfortunately, GMC doesn’t have any plans to offer this pickup to the public. However, consumers can bolt on their own accessories and add a set of the Mattracks. Pricing for the tracks is a bit elusive to find, with installers only wanting to offer quotes—typically meaning: If you have to ask, you can’t afford them. Online forums seem to suggest north of $10-$20K per track. While pricing is going to be an obstacle for some, we can only imagine how much fun a private party with your buddies on the side of a mountain would be with a GMC All Mountain.