Certain details about the AT4 sub-brand strategy are surfacing after an interview with Duncan Aldred, the marketing vice president for both Buick and GMC. It’s understood that AT4 will phase out the All Terrain badge, and also enhance the capabilities of the models it will replace. For instance, the 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 adds a two-inch lift kit to go with its locking rear differential and skid plates and Rancho monotube shock absorbers. Meanwhile, the Acadia All Terrain will be replaced by a more off-road capable Acadia AT4, when the time comes. As for the future GMC Canyon AT4, it certainly means more off-road capability than the Canyon All Terrain X it will replace, but it won’t mirror the proficiencies of the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pickup.
“They’re going to have different capability levels,” said Aldred. “The ZR2 is extreme capability. AT4 isn’t positioned as extreme… not intended to rival the ZR2.”
We envision the GMC Canyon AT4 to be more in line with the Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss: a package that featured more aggressive off-road tires, G80 automatic locking rear diff, transfer case skid plate, sport bar with projector lights, and specific wheels. The Colorado Trail Boss was phased out in favor of the more extreme ZR2 version, but buyers can still option most of the exterior accessories a la carte for a Trail Boss look. We hope that the impending GMC Canyon AT4 will offer more qualifications than looks alone, even if it’s not counterpart to the ZR2.
GMC has not yet revealed the cadence of how it will roll out the planned AT4 variants through its lineup.