Today’s pickups and SUVs may look rugged, but most drivers seldom use them to do anything more than commute or run chores. But there’s been a small but growing shift underway, accelerated by the pandemic, with more owners looking to see what their trucks can do.
And manufacturers have embraced this trend, introducing new, more rugged models capable of doing some serious off-roading. GMC, in particular, has been rolling out an entirely new sub-brand, AT4, that is right in that wheelhouse. And the Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX Concept is designed to show just what it’s capable of.
“We wanted to showcase GMC Canyon with this concept and punctuate GMC’s commitment to premium, off-road capable vehicles,” said Duncan Aldred, who serves double-duty as head of both the GMC and Buick brands. “Consumer reaction to this concept’s design will help us further serve the growing market of buyers leading authentic outdoor lifestyles.”
Recognizing the trend
GMC wants to position itself as a major player in the back-to-nature trend and while the OVRLANDX Concept isn’t likely to go into production, it demonstrates what buyers of the Canyon AT4 can do with their truck — while also testing interest in an assortment of accessories that could soon wind up in the GMC catalog.
The Canyon AT4 is already a serious off-roader, with its higher ground clearance and Multimatic shocks. Now add features like 33-inch BFGoodrich KM3 Mud-Terrain tires on 17-inch AEV Crestone wheels, additional underbody protection, modified off-road bumpers, and a heavy-duty front bumper with an integrated winch.
Front and rear electronically locking differentials help ensure that power from the Canyon AT4’s 3.6-liter V-6 gets a grip, even when you’re creeping over rocks or fording through a stream. The OVRLANDX Concept can handle water up to a depth of 32.1 inches using its custom snorkel.
The idea behind the concept, however, isn’t to just take an afternoon jaunt through the local off-road park. It’s meant for serious, long-haul journeys where you sleep in the customized roof-mounted tent. There’s even a cooler and small kitchenette so you don’t have to live on jerky and breakfast bars. And there are jerry cans for both water and fuel — just don’t mix them up.
Good looking and good off-roading
“The Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX concept truck was designed to balance functionality with aesthetics. When you’re overlanding, capability is an important factor, but doing it with premium style and comfort elevates the experience even further for customers who truly want zero compromises,” said John Owens, lead creative designer for the concept truck.
The OVRLANDX Concept even helps you stay powered up when you’re miles off the grid thanks to built-in solar panels. Add a folding awning to let you lounge in the shade.
There’s been a clear bump up in sales of products aimed at serious off-roaders since the pandemic began, and the trend is expected to continue as manufacturers bring more options to market. Like GMC, we’ve seen Ford turn the newly revived Bronco into a family of off-roaders, while Subaru is expanding the new Wilderness line.
Toyota, of course, dominates the midsize pickup segment, with growing demand for its TRD models. With the OVRLANDX Concept, GMC is hoping to give the market leader a bit more of a challenge while boosting demand for its accessory lines.