New Model News

Refreshed 2021 GMC Canyon adds AT4 trim, improves Denali grade

The new GMC Canyon AT4 carries over many of the equipment and design attributes of the GMC Sierra AT4.

Photo courtesy of GMC

GMC is upping its game at just the right time. As the midsize truck segment gets more competitive with the addition of new Jeep, Honda, and Ford trucks to the roster, the Detroit-based automaker is moving to to make the 2021 GMC Canyon more off-road worthy and more premium.

The first iteration of the GMC Canyon AT4 trim level brings the type of equipment improvements and styling that are featured on the GMC Sierra and Sierra HD AT4 grade. Designed for active lifestyle buyers, the model has a bold exterior design with dark chrome finishes, a larger grille, and red recovery hooks. Its 17-inch aluminum wheels are wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTec tires. The truck has an off-road tuned suspension with the Advanced Hill Descent Control System. Its four-wheel drive system has an Eaton G80 Rear Automatic Locking Differential while the transfer case skid plate provides additional protection.

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 The Canyon AT4 is meant for buyers with an active lifestyle. Photo courtesy of GMC

The Canyon AT4's cabin is outfitted with unique detailing including Kalahari stitching and AT4 headrest embroidery.

"The new 2021 Canyon AT4 broadens the appeal to midsize truck customers who live an active lifestyle," said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. "Much like the Sierra AT4 has attracted new customers from outside GMC, the Canyon AT4 will attract outdoor enthusiasts looking for a premium midsize truck to GMC with the capability, technology and refinement they've come to expect."

The 2021 GMC Canyon Denali gets 5-inch chrome assist steps, signature chrome accents, and Denali-exclusive 20-inch Diamond Cut aluminum wheels as well as an interior filled with open-pore ash wood trim, aluminum accents, and unique stitching. The model has standard heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 The interior of the AT4 features unique stitching on headrests. Photo courtesy of GMC

"Denali represents GMC's bold design philosophy and these changes further elevate the Canyon from the mainstream competition, while delivering a modern look for the customer," said Holt Ware, director of exterior design, GMC. "It features a more distinctive and sophisticated design that has become synonymous with Denali."

Both models are powered by a standard 308 horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine. A 2.8-liter diesel engine is available and delivers 369 pound-feet of torque.

The 2021 GMC Canyon is built at GM's Wentzville Assembly Center in Wentzville, Missouri and will be available later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the model's on-sale date.

Kia Motors has given insight into the company's future product plans.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia is charging ahead with an aggressive electric vehicle (EV) implementation plan that includes 11 new vehicles in the next five years. The strategy, called "Plan S" starts with the company's first dedicated EV in 2021.

Plan S is a dual-focus shift for the company. On one side they will be progressing toward an EV-centric product strategy while in the other hand Kia will be focusing on customized mobility solutions. They will also be focusing on autonomous vehicle development.

By the end of 2025, Kia plans to offer a full line-up of 11 battery electric vehicles. The company is aiming to have 25 percent of its vehicle sales outside of China come from what they call "eco-friendly cars" by 2025 on their way to achieving a 6.6 percent market share in the global EV market (500,000 annual EV sales excluding China). According to a McKinsey & Co. analysis published April, the U.S. EV market almost doubled to 360,000 EV units in 2018, mainly because of the strong sales performance of Tesla's Model 3.

From 2022, Kia plans to add EVs in the passenger vehicles, SUVs, and MPVs categories. They further outlined their electric vehicle development:

The dedicated EV model to be launched 2021 will be built on a unique platform specifically engineered to accommodate the car's world-leading EV powertrain and technologies. It will offer a crossover design which blurs the boundaries between passenger and sport utility vehicles, a future-oriented user experience, a single-charge driving range of over 500 kilometers, and sub-20-minute high-speed charging time.

Across its EV line-up, Kia plans to operate two different types of EVs with different charging capabilities (400V/800V) -- high-performance dedicated models and derivative models with reasonable pricing -- to meet the diverse needs of customers.

Growth in global EV sales will be pursued in accordance with a customized, market-oriented strategy, which considers regional differences in environmental regulation, subsidies, infrastructure and more.

These EVs are expected to first be sold as a trim level option in Kia vehicles in the same vein as the Niro EV and Soul EV.

Additional Kia expansion is planned to come from car-sharing and e-commerce businesses.

"Plan S is a bold and enterprising roadmap for Kia's future business transition, buttressed by the two pillars of electric vehicles and mobility solutions," said Han-woo Park, president and CEO, Kia Motors. "Our approach is to put customers first, and Kia will reinvigorate its brand innovation by developing products and services that offer new experiences for customers."

Easily missed in this plan is Kia's proposition to raise the sales of internal combustion engined vehicles while at the same time establish the development system for EV architecture. Though they say that they'll focus those efforts on emerging markets, it's relatively safe to say that the Soul, Forte, and Telluride aren't going away any time soon.

Kia is activating recent partnerships and company share acquitions to get to this goal. Last year, the Korean automaker invested in Croatian performance EV manufacturer Rimac Automobili and IONITY, which specializes in building high-speed charging infrastructures.

They're also planning on building "Mobility Hubs", transfer stations between electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles. Long term plans call for self-driving robotaxis and on-demand roboshuttles to also populate these Mobility Hubs.

Kia is part of a car-sharing services joint venture with Repsol, Spain's major energy corporation, in Madrid via its WiBLE brand.