This Canyon AT4 was a surprise Easter egg.
Roman and Tommy are currently on the 2020 GMC Sierra HD towing event, when they spotted an interesting Easter egg hiding inside the trailer used for the event. This is our first glimpse at the upcoming 2021 GMC Canyon AT4, a truck which GM says is coming in early 2020.
Like the Sierra AT4 replacing the previous “All Terrain” model, so too will the Canyon AT4 replace its All Terrain predecessor. Now, when GMC says it will arrive in 2020, there is some space for interpretation. By “arrive”, the company could reveal the truck as part of the updated Canyon lineup that’s slated for the 2021 model year. We could actually see the truck at a reveal sooner, as well. From there, it could go on sale around early 2020. Regardless, this HD towing event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming did give an indication that it is still coming.
There’s not a whole lot that’s immediately visible apart from the hood. The grille and headlights are still completely covered, though they don’t look remarkably different from the current Canyon. GM Authority reported earlier than the Canyon and Chevy Colorado are getting a few minor tweaks, but this is not a major update. The 2021 GMC Canyon AT4, however, will technically be a new addition to the lineup. The AT4 will debut alongside the standard base Canyon, SLE, SLT and Denali trims.
Standard fare for AT4 trims includes higher ground clearance, new suspension components, skid plates and a host of aesthetic changes over the standard models. Like the Sierra 1500 and upcoming Sierra HD AT4, we expect similar off-road gear to make its way onto the AT4 variant of the Canyon.
Competition is intensifying among midsize trucks, so now is a good time for GMC to introduce a new Canyon AT4. Remember, it competes against the likes of the Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road, Ford Ranger FX4, Nissan Frontier Pro-4X and, to a lesser extent, the Jeep Gladiator. GMC will certainly give the 2021 Canyon AT4 more kit to fend off that competition.
However, GM does have a serious midsize off-road truck in the Chevy Colorado ZR2. Odds are the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 won’t lean quite that hardcore. That will give the ZR2 space to compete against the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, as well as the Ford Ranger Raptor we still hope is coming, without having to compete with its own sibling.
Since this is a minor update, we expect the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 to pack the standard 3.6-liter V6 gas engine. The 2.8-liter Duramax diesel should also be available, as it is in the current Canyon All Terrain.