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This Is How GMC “Envisions The Future Of Canyon”

GMC Canyon AT4X AT4-X OverlandX Concept Overland Expo West
Image via GMC

If you’re not into thrilling street performance, then perhaps this weekend’s Corvettes at Carlisle event taking place in Pennsylvania isn’t your thing. Maybe your thing is the same level of thrill, but at walking speeds, traversing rocks and obstacles through trails in the middle of nowhere. If so, Overland Expo West is happening this weekend in Colorado, and it’s basically the SEMA Show for off-road vehicles. With it came some official news from Detroit, in the form of the GMC Canyon AT4 OverlandX Concept. And we’re going to use the phrase “concept” as lightly as possible here, because this truck is a big sneak preview of the next-generation GMC Canyon AT4X off-road truck.

GMC Canyon AT4 OverlandX: The Details

Being Overland Expo and all, it makes sense that this off-road GMC truck would be festooned with backwoods kit from its red tow shackles to its swinging rear spare tire mount. The truck also features integrated front recovery points wheel flares with integrated task lamps, and guy lines to protect the front windshield from low hanging branches, plus an AEV rear bumper, an off-road jack, stainless steel bed cap, and traction boards. Helping transform the art of camping in to a more enjoyable experience is a roof-mounted tent, a 270-degree awning, jerry cans for extra fuel and water (or whatever kind of liquid you want really), a cooler, a propane kitchenette, a slide-in bed storage system with drawers, and solar panels.

GMC Canyon AT4-X AT4X OverlandX Overland Expo Concept
Image via GMC

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Off-Road Truck Previewed

Peel away the aftermarket kit and we have a big teaser for what’s to come. As one would expect, there are Multimatic DSSV dampers on the GMC Canyon OverlandX Concept, just like what we currently see on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 Bison off-road trucks. The front bumper also appears to be inspired by the current Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. This means that the lower edges have been cut out so that the front tires can approach the upcoming obstacle more directly. A factory-installed lift kit, a wider stance, underbody protection, and rocker panel protection all seem to come from the Colorado ZR2 parts bin, as well. Lastly, front and rear lockers are also present and accounted for, as are cast iron control arms.

All of this hardware can currently be found on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 or in the Chevrolet Performance Accessories catalog. So it’s nice to see the Chevy truck sharing some clothes with its sister.

MC&T originally reported that GMC would be taking the next-generation Canyon to new levels of off-road capabilities with an AT4-X variant, which would match the capabilities found in the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. And we might even see some sort of GMC companion to the ZR2 Bison as well, which may be teased here by the Canyon AT4 OverlandX Concept’s AEV Crestone wheels. American Expedition Vehicles was essential in the development of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, which stands as the most capable mid-size pickup truck on the market right now. Another detail from AEV on this overland build appears to be the snorkel, which should fit on today’s GMC Canyon just as it does with its Chevrolet Colorado twin.

GMC Canyon OverlandX Concept
Image via GMC

Note too the engine choice. It’s not the 2.8L Duramax turbo diesel four-cylinder engine. As we also originally reported, General Motors has been scaling back production of this engine with its announcement to cease manufacturing operations in Thailand, where the engine is exclusively built. As such, there will not be a diesel offering for the next-generation GMC Canyon or Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks. So it makes sense that GM would rather shift focus away from the little Duramax.

The GMC Canyon AT4 OverlandX Concept also features a 33-inch tire. BFG KM3 mud-terrain tires, in this case. This is opposed to the current 31-inch tire we see on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. We believe that this upgrade in tire size previews what will happen with the next-generation 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and new GMC Canyon AT4X, as well. 

With these mechanical upgrades, the GMC Canyon AT4 OverlandX Concept features a 27.7-degree approach angle, a ground clearance of 10.0 inches, and 32.1 inches of water fording capabilities. We’ll have to come back to these specs in a year or two when the actual GMC Canyon AT4X has been revealed.

Image via GMC

All But Officially Confirmed

Don’t just take our word for it. Because GMC admits that the Canyon OverlandX Concept is “is the perfect concept vehicle to show how GMC envisions the future of Canyon and how the brand is looking ahead to serve its growing customer base of off-roading and overlanding enthusiasts.”

With the take rate of the AT4 trim level climbing to 30 percent of all GMC Canyon buyers, could it be any more obvious as to where things are going?

Image via GMC

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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