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2021 GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition is enhanced and trail-ready

The 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 has gotten a performance upgrade with a new edition.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The GMC Canyon midsize truck is getting more capable thanks to a fresh performance spec introduced by the automaker this week. The 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition is a step up in off-road performance capability from the traditional Canyon AT4, which was added for the 2021 model year.

"When customers are looking for a capable off-road truck, we know that they want improved vehicle height as well as additional protection," said GMC Marketing Director Rich Latek. "Whether it's tackling die-hard off-road courses or embarking on a weekend adventure, the Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition provides an improved approach angle, enhanced maneuverability and underbody protection to key parts of the truck, while still delivering a premium GMC experience."

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition

Photo courtesy of GMC

The GMC Canyon AT4 debuted in January and featured many of the same components that General Motors has put in its other AT4 models, which now include every truck and SUV in the GMC lineup. The Canyon AT4 includes 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, an off-road tuned suspension package with Advanced Hill Descent Control System, and a four-wheel drive system with Eaton G80 Rear Automatic Locking Differential.

The Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition builds on that roster adding a factory-installed suspension leveling kit. The front air dam has been removed to improve the truck's approach angle by more than 35 percent, to nearly 30 degrees. Rocker panels and performance front and mid skid plates help protect the truck's undercarriage during off-roading. The skid plates are made from 5/32-inch aluminum.

The Off-Road Performance Edition changes out the Canyon AT4's equipment and adds to it. A roster of equipment includes unique 17-inch Gloss Black wheels, Carbon Black AT4 logos, and a Gloss Black performance exhaust tip. The truck also has accessory floor liners and a spray-in bedliner.

The 2021 Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition will be available to order later this year. The Canyon AT4 starts at $27,595. Buyers who want the Off-Road Performance Edition will pay a premium on that price.

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Larger tires headline the upgrades.

Jeep

The off-road wars are heating up. This year alone, we've seen the new Ford Bronco, Rivian's R1T electric pickup truck, new off-road models of the Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and Chevrolet Silverado, and more rugged versions of the Subaru Outback and Forester. Jeep, already deep in the game, doesn't need to do much to bolster its off-road offering, but the brand is doing just that for 2022. The automaker is offering a new Xtreme Recon Package for the Wrangler Willys SUV, which brings more capability and style to the boxy off-roader.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package The package can be ordered for Wrangler Willys models later this year. Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package

Beyond beefy 35-inch tires tires, the Wrangler Willys with Xtreme Recon Package gets a 1.5-inch factory lift, a 4.56:1 axle ratio, 17-inch wheels and swing gate reinforcement. Jeep says those improvements give the Willys best-in-class approach and departure angles, ground clearance, and water fording capability. Approach angle improves to 47.4 degrees, breakover angle improves to 26.7 degrees, and departure angle jumps to 40.4 degrees. The extra ride height also pushes ground clearance to 12.9 inches and the water fording depth to 33.6 inches.

The package's 35-inch tires make the Willys Jeep's third Wrangler model with hardcore rolling stock. It joins the Wrangler Rubicon and Wrangler Rubicon 392 in the 35-inch club, all of which can be equipped with the tires directly from the factory.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package A factory lift helps improve ground clearance and capability.Jeep

The Xtreme Recon Package can be ordered starting in October and will be available for the Jeep Wrangler Willys with 3.6-liter eTorque engine. The package adds $3,995 to the Wrangler Willys' price tag, which brings the total starting price to $40,930, including a $1,495 destination charge.

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The concept has been extensively modified for a life lived off the beaten path.

GMC

Overlanding has become a world of its own, with several parts and vehicle customization companies, media publications, and guide services popping up all over the place. GMC realizes this, and to capitalize on the overlanding craze, the automaker built a Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX off-road concept to show off at the Overland Expo Mountain West 2021, which took place last week.


GMC Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX Concept The OVRLANDX concept carries a kitchenette, solar panels, and more.GMC


Some of the upgrades on the truck include:

  • Cast-iron control arms
  • A heavy-duty front bumper with winch
  • Front and rear electronic locking differentials
  • An off-road jack and mount
  • Multimatic DSSV dampers
  • Off-road rocker panel protectors


Listing the rest of the upgrades would take more words than anybody cares to read but rest assured that they are plentiful and impressive. GMC says that the concept truck gained legitimate capability from the upgrades. The approach angle is 27.7 degrees, and the truck can ford water up to 32.1 inches, which come thanks to a ground clearance of 10 inches and a custom-built snorkel system. The truck rides on 17-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch BFGoodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires.

Since it's an overlanding concept, the truck needs the ability to support its passengers well off the beaten path. To do that, GMC gave the Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX a cooler and kitchenette, solar panel, and a truck bed storage system with drawers.



GMC Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX Concept You can build something similar to the concept with off-the-shelf parts.GMC


As a concept truck, it's unlikely the AT4 overlanding rig will make it into production as it sits. That said, it's an interesting idea for an intrepid Canyon owner to use as a blueprint. Outside of the chassis work, most of the parts and upgrades can be purchased and installed without a major hassle, but if you're in the market to build a rig, it's best to research your truck's payload capacity and capabilities before overloading for overlanding.

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