Beyond the headlines of mandated electrification, autonomous vehicles, switching to a bug-based diet, along with owning nothing and being happy, market demand has gone absolutely rabid for go-anywhere, do anything vehicles of all kinds. As a result, the used pickup truck market has demand exceeding supply. There’s evidence that the aftermarket is pivoting more and more towards off-road vehicle support. Additionally, automakers themselves have hedged high-voltage mandates by expanding portfolios of off-road trucks and SUVs in various shapes and sizes. General Motors, for example, started with the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 in 2016. But by 2023, that off-road truck lineup will include a larger Silverado ZR2, as well as a mega-sized GMC Hummer EV. In standard GM fashion, the company will leverage the GMC brand for even more off-road truck entries, which will twin what we see at Chevrolet, starting with the upcoming 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X.
2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Details
Based on the 31XX-2 platform, as MC&T first reported, the GMC Canyon AT4X will be a step above the AT4 trim level, and looks to feature identical hardware as the upcoming 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. This means the latest iteration of Multimatic DSSV dampers, meaty 33-inch Goodyear tires, 17-inch wheels, and bumper cutouts for improved approach and departure angles. For comparison, the outgoing Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 only has 31-inch tires.
Powering the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X will be a high-output version of the 2.7L L3B turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, likely floating around 325 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque as seen in the Cadillac CT4-V. A lower-output version of the L3B engine is found in the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado and 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks, at 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque. So, if GM is keen on rivaling the next-generation 2023 Ford Ranger in output, these numbers should be enough. And the L3B engine will have to do, as there will be no V6 or diesel variants of the next-generation Chevrolet Colorado and/or GMC Canyon, as MC&T originally reported two years ago.
Those seeking a longer truck bed will also be upset to learn that the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X and 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will only come in crew cab form.
In other words: one body style, and one engine. That’s it.
Tuning them will likely be a futile attempt, as well. Thanks to the encrypted nature of the GM Global B electrical architecture, the engine control unit (ECU), and transmission control unit (TCU) of the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X will be under lock and key. And, as we reported just yesterday, GM does not intend to unlock these modules for tuning.
Despite the rigid terms of these next-generation trucks, it’s encouraging to see General Motors expand its off-road truck family with the GMC nameplate. And, based on what we’re seeing from the 2022i Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, it’s likely that a similar recipe will be followed for the 2022i GMC Sierra, as well.