For when and where a snowmobile just won't cut it.
GMC knows its customers. They are affluent and highly active, so partnering up with the mountain resort company Vail makes a lot of sense. Vail has 13 North American ski resorts, including the one in Colorado where the 2021 Yukon was revealed. As part of the partnership, GMC provides Yukon XL vehicles for complimentary services at select resorts and sponsors events.
At the tail end of 2017, GMC unveiled its Sierra 2500HD All Mountain concept as "a one-of-a-kind snow-climbing machine." It features a 6.6-liter turbo diesel V8 with 445 hp and a snow-shredding 910 lb-ft of torque, but what stands out is that the wheels and tires are replaced with bright red, aluminum-framed, Mattracks 150 Series Tracks. GMC has now made the Sierra All-Mountain available for Vail Resorts to help the company create an "experience of a lifetime."
We wanted to know what it's like to drive one of these snow-bred monsters, so when the opportunity arose to slip behind the wheel and go for a spin, we didn't need to be asked twice.
Looking at the Sierra All-Mountain for the first time in the metal, it's incredibly imposing, and you can't miss GMC's branding. Paint it green and mount a machine gun in the back, and you would have one seriously intimidating GM military machine.
GMC engineers add the tracks in one of its workshops. While there, the Sierra All-Mountain is also kitted out with official GMC accessories including a Sierra-branded sports bar, 3-inch off-road steps, LED accessory lighting, a soft roll-up tonneau cover, a hitch-mounted ski and bike carrier, and a bed extender. Added to the package is a customized Kicker audio system mounted into the sport bar.
Climbing inside the All-Mountain, and you do have to climb, the interior is all standard Sierra 2500HD except for the view from being higher up. Starting up and moving off, the six-speed Allison transmission controls the immense torque needed to get the machine moving in surprisingly undramatic fashion. It's surprising because the tracks add an extra 1,600 lbs to the already heavy truck's 6,950 lbs of weight.
While the interior is GMC Sierra comfortable, the usual ride quality flies out the window as the All-Mountain bounces over every lump on the track. GMC says that the tracks fitted with a suspension lift add extra ground clearance to help it "float" over powdery snow. However, you need almost no throttle to keep it moving, and venturing into melting snow requires the driver to keep the momentum going for fear of sinking. There's still grip when turning as the edges of the tracks dig in, but we'll never know how they do at real speed - the maximum speed rating for the tracks is around 40 mph. Still, add some throttle mid-corner, and it starts to drift out and throws a sheet of slush and snow over any camera person getting too close.
Part truck, part snowmobile, the Sierra All-Mountain will go anywhere it damn well pleases whether the snow is fresh, slushy, or has melted away to leave thick mud. We didn't have a chance to put it through its paces properly and walked away wishing we could steal the keys for a day. With the ability to seat five comfortably plus all the gear you could need for a day exploring, it's a fearsome machine for the well-heeled and the adventurous.
GMC wouldn't tell us how much they cost, but they're being produced in small batches for the resorts. If you happen to find yourself in a Vail resort with Sierra All-Mountains, we thoroughly recommend finding the time to experience one.