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GMC is signaling a move into serious off-road territory with this Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX concept. As its name suggest, this one-off was put together as a demonstration of what an overland-style GMC midsizer could potentially look like, but a glance beneath the surface reveals the bones of what we expect to be the forthcoming Canyon AT4X.
While “AT4” has been trickling down through the GMC lineup for the past few model years, AT4X kicks the basic off-road formula up a notch, à la Chevrolet’s Colorado ZR2, which gains extra underbody protection, locking front and rear differentials and Multimatic’s phenomenal DSSV dampers.
OVRLANDX takes that to the next level, borrowing (and building upon) cues from the even-more-rugged ZR2 Bison, including rocker panel guards, cast-iron control arms, a custom front bumper with an integrated winch, built-in front recovery points, wheel arch trim with integrated LED task lighting, and guy lines for protecting the windshield from low-hanging branches. The custom rear bumper is even from American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), with whom Chevy partnered to produce the Bison’s unique exterior bits. Does that seem like a wink and nod to you?
“We wanted to showcase GMC Canyon with this concept and punctuate GMC’s commitment to premium, off-road capable vehicles,” said Buick & GMC Global Vice President Duncan Aldred. “Consumer reaction to this concept’s design will help us further serve the growing market of buyers leading authentic outdoor lifestyles.”
To that end, they threw a few more goodies at the concept. In a way, the roof-mounted tent, awning, cooler and kitchenette are just there to disguise the fact that GMC will likely build a production pickup with much these same specs when the new model debuts for the 2023 or 2024 model year – or perhaps even sooner. While this concept is built around GM’s existing 3.6-liter V6 powertrain, the redesigned Canyon is expected to be offered with just one engine: a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder lifted from the Silverado and Sierra pickups.
Rumors have pointed to a GMC variant of the Colorado ZR2 since the midsize pickup adopted the AT4 branding for its off-road variant. We’ve seen high-riding prototypes with a set of knobby Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires and what appear to be thinly disguised DSSV shock housings. We can tell that this is a Canyon rather than a Colorado thanks to the GMC-style fog lamp design, which differs from the Colorado prototypes we’ve already seen testing.
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