Competition for attention in a specific, rough-riding piece of the midsized truck market is becoming more intense that competition is clear when examining the 2021 GMC Canyon that will compete with the Toyota Tacoma TRD and the Ford Ranger FX4.
GMC initially pulled the wraps off a GMC Canyon AT4 back in January but the marketing effort for the truck got lost as the pandemic forced GM to cut back on its advertising and promotion efforts during the first half of the year.
Now GMC is back with the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition, which is described an upgrade of the truck that made an appearance back in January. The new model is specifically designed to let owners venture into rugged terrain in style and comfort, GMC representatives said.
“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.”
The list of standard equipment inf the off-road edition of the new Canyon includes much of what one would expect for an off-roader, like 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, an off-road suspension package with an advanced hill descent control system and a four-wheel drive system with an Eaton G80 rear automatic locking differential, according to GMC.
The suspension package on the truck also includes a factory-installed leveling kit and the removal of the front air dam to improve the truck’s approach angle by more than 35% to roughly 30 degrees, helping the truck traverse the most rugged terrain.
The change in the approach angle is also matched with other upgrades like rocker panel protectors and front and mid skid plates, adding to the truck’s off-road capability and overall maneuverability, while protecting the almost all of the drivetrain.
The skid plates are made 5/32-inch aluminum and help protect the lower radiator, front differential, steering gear and oil pan, according to GMC.
The Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition, which will be available towards the end of year, also comes with 17-inch Gloss Black wheels, Carbon Black AT4 logos and Gloss Black performance exhaust tip, which the truck bed is equipped with accessory floor liners and spray-in bedliner.