General Motors is rolling out two new high-end GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, including one called the Denali Ultimate that will start at more than $80,000 – making it the most expensive full-size, half-ton pickup on the market.
The new models aim to build upon Sierra’s already high-profit margins and average transaction prices, which are at $53,342. That includes $61,695 for the current Denali 1500 pickup, which starts at about $57,700.
The other new pickup is the AT4X, a more luxurious and off-road capable pickup than the brand’s current AT4, starting at $74,995. It features many, but not all, of the tech enhancements as the Denali Ultimate with off-road parts and accessories. It also features less chrome on the exterior, opting for more blacked-out features and tires.
“There is opportunity to add even more luxury and even more capability. We think that there is a market for that. There are people who are willing to pay an even higher price point,” Duncan Aldred, global head of GMC, said during an interview earlier this year.
The new models are part of an updated lineup of the full-size pickup for the 2022 model year that includes a refreshed exterior and a redesigned, more technologically advanced interior on most models. The trucks are debuting Thursday night online and during an ad on Thursday Night Football between the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns.
The updated models offer more than 40 diagonal inches of digital display, including a new 13.4-inch-diagonal color touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster, and 15-inch head-up display. Both the AT4X and Denali Ultimate feature a standard 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 420 horsepower and 383 foot-pounds of torque.
While the GMC Sierra shares its bones with the Chevrolet Silverado, the automaker has purposefully differentiated the pickups as well as brands in recent years. The differentiation has allowed GM to push the GMC brand further upmarket, despite many of the vehicles sharing platforms and characteristics with Chevrolet vehicles.
The vehicles are scheduled to go on sale in spring of next year, according to GM. The automaker is taking $100 refundable reservation deposits for the 2022 Sierra models on GMC’s website.
Starting pricing for the 2022 GMC Sierra lineup will range from $32,495 for a work-oriented pickup to $80,395 for the Denali Ultimate. Pricing includes a mandatory $1,695 destination fee.
GMC is not the first to offer a truck with a starting price of more than $80,000. Ford Motor offers a handful of pickups over that price but they are larger Super Duty trucks than the GMC Sierra 1500.
GM executives have touted Denali as one of its profit gems for many years now. It started in 1999 as a small trim on the Yukon SUV but has expanded in recent years to every vehicle in the brand’s lineup.
The Sierra Denali Ultimate is a fully-loaded vehicle, coming with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free highway driving system, which the company announced is expanding to 22 models by 2023. The technology will be available on the regular Denali but not standard.
“The first-ever Sierra Denali Ultimate trim is the most advanced and most luxurious pickup in its class, taking the popular Denali sub-brand to an even higher threshold of capable luxury,” GM said in a release Thursday.
Other features include a carbon fiber-composite pickup bed, top-end suspension and ride components, massive 22-inch wheels, full-grain leather appointments, and open-pore Paldao wood trim on the interior.
GM is calling the AT4X a “balanced execution that delivers advanced off-road capability” without compromising on-road comfort.
Like many other automakers, GMC wants to capitalize on increasing sales of SUVs and demand for off-road-capable vehicles. The looks and features of such vehicles have become more popular with mainstream consumers in recent years.
The vehicle features an upgraded suspension system and other off-road parts and accessories such as a two-speed transfer case for rock crawling.
GM’s Chevrolet brand last month also a new off-road model for the Silverado 1500 called the ZR2.