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Ready for real off-road: 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV edition revealed

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Armed with boron steel skid plates and a host of other improvements, the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV edition has been revealed.

Before we get to AEV edition specs, let’s talk about the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500. While the standard-and-only 6.2-liter V-8 engine is a carryover from prior years, like most of the truck, the interior has made a substantial leap forward. Plus, the AT4X is new for 2023 offering an even more premium interior and features to make it that much better than the stock AT4.

The AEV edition takes those improvements one step further.

What is the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV?

This edition brings in the off-road experts at American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) and adds their gear as well to the truck.

For example, AEV took the stock AT4X and use new 3-millimeter-thick stamped steel for the front and rear bumpers, which are also powder and e-coated for durability. Front and rear bumpers have heavy-duty recovery points, and there is winch capability for the front bumper.

The bumpers allow for several improvements off-road. For the front, there is a 27% improvement in approach angle to 32.5 degrees. The departure angle for rear improves slightly to 23.4 degrees (23 stock) and the breakover angle improves to 23.0 degrees (compared to 22.7 degrees). Finally, the truck’s overall ground clearance improves to 11.2 inches from 10.8 inches.

Next, AEV added five hot-stamped boron steel skid plates to cover the front approach, steering gear, transfer case, fuel tank and differential. Boron steel is three and half times stronger than equivalent cold-stamped high-strength steel, and it is much lighter and more resistant to gouging and bending.

AEV also swapped out the tires and wheels for a more unique look like you’d expect with a special-edition truck. The race-inspired, laser-engraved 18-inch AEV Salta Wheels in gloss black with AEV’s signature recessed valve system for added protection from rocks on the trail really pop.

These wheels are wrapped with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires, as found on the Chevy Silverado ZR2, replacing the smaller 32-inch tires.

2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV

The front grille and fascia have also been reworked to accommodate the new bumper and larger tires. Gloss black door handles were added and a black contrast inner tailgate were also changed on the exterior.

Throughout the exterior and interior, you will find a collection of AEV branding.

Finally, available off-road rocker panel protectors can help prevent rocks from damaging the sides of the truck. They also offer an optional bolt-on step assist when you are not off-roading.

The bottom line

The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV will be available later this year (fingers crossed), and pricing will be announced closer to availability. For comparison, the AEV Bison package on the Colorado ZR2, the only GM truck with it, adds $5,750 to the price. The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X starts at $79,745.

General Motors is smart to partner with AEV yet again. The Colorado ZR2 Bison (an AEV-modified pickup) was a great way to attract new consumers and keep loyal fans energized. Applying the same winning formula on the GMC Sierra AT4X is a no brainer.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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