When GMC introduced the AT4 signature with its Sierra pickup, fan interest in the truck was instantaneous. It's been going strong ever since. It’s not surprising then that the Canyon compact pickup will get the same treatment. The truck division of General Motors (GM) confirmed the news this week, and it will happen for the 2021 model-year.
This off-road-focused edition is not be confused with Chevrolet's approach with the ZR2 version of the Colorado. It will, however, provide enthusiasts with increased off-road capability, thanks a series of modifications to its spec sheet.
For one, the 17-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, designed to be at their peak when conditions aren't ideal. A lockable Eaton G80 rear differential is responsible for transmitting power to all four wheels, limiting wheel slip. Also, a skid plate protects the transfer case and a hillside control system is in place to help drivers on steep descents.
Aesthetically, the AT4 versions feature a larger grille with dark chrome accents, AT4 lettering on the seats and red tie-down hooks in the front.
Under the hood, the 2021 Canyon will still be powered by a 2.5L, 4-cylinder engine good for 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque with the base versions. Those who need more power have two choices, a 3.6-litre V6 making 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, and a 2.8L, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine delivering 186 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
No more manual
6- and 8-speed automatic transmissions are still on the menu, but to the chagrin of many GMC has removed the 6-speed manual transmission from the catalogue.
Other changes will be made up and down the Canyon lineup for 2021. The Denali variant, in particular, will benefit from significant improvements. For the moment, GMC has not released details or images of any version other than the AT4, but we do know the Denali will get a new layered-pattern front grille, 5-inch chrome side steps and a new 20-inch alloy-wheel design.