For anyone already wondering what’s going on here, here’s a brief recap: earlier this week, GM Authority showed you images of a prototype for the next-gen, 2023 GMC Canyon midsize pickup truck with with more off-road equipment than would be expected in the AT4 trim level, which we spied just a few weeks earlier. This additional off-road equipment included 285/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires with an overall diameter of 33 inches (for greater ground clearance) plus MultiMatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers. That has prompted us to conclude that a more capable and rugged version of the 2023 Canyon AT4 will be made available as the Canyon AT4X.
That said, we should note that there has been no confirmation from General Motors that a vehicle called the AT4X is on its way, but GM Authority did report that GM filed to trademark that name in the United States in February of 2016 and in Mexico in May of 2019.
If the Canyon AT4X will be brought to market like we imagine, then it will be GMC‘s first (rough) equivalent of the Chevy Colorado ZR2. It might also be followed by a similar vehicle elsewhere in the range, such as the Sierra 1500 full-size, half-ton pickup truck. This would be characteristic of GMC, which typically replicates a successful formula over several models. For example, every vehicle in the current GMC range (Savana commercial van excluded) is available in the AT4 and Denali trim levels.
This is not to say that a GMC Sierra AT4X is definitely on the way, but there is no obvious reason why a GMC Sierra AT4 could not gain larger tires and DSSV dampers, along with some other equipment, plus appropriate badging, resulting in a Sierra AT4X. In fact, such a vehicle would be quite similar to the upcoming Chevy Silverado ZR2.
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The 2021 Sierra 1500 is available in Crew Cab Short Bed, Crew Cab Standard Bed, Double Cab Standard Bed, Regular Cab Standard Bed and Regular Cab Long Bed format, and comes with a choice of six engines.
Five of these are fueled by gasoline. They range from the 4.3L V6 LV3, which produces 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, to the 6.2L V8 L87, which is rated at 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The single diesel offering is the turbocharged 3.0L I6 LM2, which makes 277 horsepower and (like the L87) 460 pound-feet of torque.
The transition to the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is expected to involve a significant refresh, known within GM as a mid-cycle enhancement (MCE). This will include changes to the front and rear fascia, a complete revamp of the cockpit, the introduction of the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driver assistance system, an increase in payload capacity and addition of production at the recently re-opened GM Oshawa plant in Ontario, Canada.