The 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X dangled in front of truck fans ahead of its debut

Update: This post has been updated with the reveal date and confirmation of an AT4X Edition 1.

Did anyone really not see this coming? Ever since the introduction of the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, midsize off-road enthusiasts have been clamoring for a counterpart to its mechanical sibling, the GMC Canyon. In the years since, GMC added the Canyon AT4 to its lineup (for 2021), along with an off-road performance package that added a slight lift, larger tires, rock rails and more to the already capable Canyon AT4. Then the company rolled out the impressive Canyon AT4 OverlandX concept at the 2021 Overland Expo Mountain West event, and the desire for a more powerful Canyon only grew stronger.

Hot on the heels of its successful Hummer EV launch, GMC has released some teaser images of what the company describes as the “next-generation” Canyon, which will include an all-new Canyon AT4X off-roader that might just answer those GMC Canyon lovers’ prayers.

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Off-Road Hardware

While the teaser photo seems limited in scope, there’s still a lot we can glean from it. First, and most obvious, is the inclusion of 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels. As with other companies that have offered beadlock capable wheels, end users will need to purchase the beadlock rings separately. The truck is also fitted with rocker rails to protect the rockers from off-road damage, which are likely the same stainless units used on the Colorado ZR2. Tires are the awesome Goodyear Wrangler Territory M/T, which is an improvement over the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires used on the ZR2. What we don’t know, however, is the tire size. The current Colorado ZR2 is equipped with a 30.5-inch 265/65R17 tire, while the upcoming 2022 Sierra 1500 AT4X will be fitted with 32.5-inch 265/70R18 tires. We’re hopeful the Canyon AT4X will be equipped with a 33-inch tire (the 2022 Yukon AT4 will also come with a 33-inch tire), but we’re not holding our breath either.

“The AT4X is a new pinnacle of premium off-road performance underpinned by serious capability and uncompromising refinement. First introduced on the 2022 GMC Sierra, the AT4X trim is the off-road-optimized evolution of GMC’s increasingly popular AT4 sub-brand.”

“AT4X is a new peak of premium off-road performance underpinned with serious capability and uncompromising refinements. First introduced on the 2022 GMC Sierra, the AT4X trim is the off-road-optimized evolution of GMC’s increasingly popular AT4 sub-brand. “”” class=”_3Qbpj”>

Less obvious is what the Canyon AT4X hides under its outer shell. Based on what we know about the current ZR2 and AT4X lineups, we’d bet good money that the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X will be dwarfed by the impressive Multimatic DSSV damper. We also venture to guess that the truck will have electronic locking differentials front and rear. It’s also safe to assume the Canyon AT4X will have a similar 2.0-inch ride height increase and 3.5-inch track width increase as the Colorado ZR2. The truck should also be equipped with a full skid plate package, a trailer hitch as standard and of course red front tow hooks.

What an engine and transmission will the 2023 Canyon AT4X have?

What intrigues us most about GMC’s statement is calling this truck “next generation.” The current model Canyon went on sale as a 2015 model (after being adapted for the US market from a global pickup that had already been on sale for some time, effectively making it even older) and has seen little more than cosmetic updates since. Currently, GMC offers a 308-hp 3.6-liter gas V-6 and a 2.8-liter Duramax diesel with 369 lb-ft of torque. Both of these engines would be a suitable option for the new 2023 GMC Canyon, but we suspect there is more in store for this truck.

There have been reports that GM will stop using the 2.8-liter Duramax diesel engine for the next-generation Colorado and Canyon, due in part to the closure of its assembly plant in Thailand. Rumors suggest that the company’s turbocharged 2.7-liter gasoline I-4 engine may make a stopover in the midsize Canyon for 2023, and we’d certainly welcome the addition. If the engine came with a 10-speed automatic transmission, we’d be even happier.

Is the 2023 GMC Canyon really all-new?

To say the GMC Canyon is ready for a refresh would be an understatement. It’s not that it’s a bad truck, but it’s been seven years and technology has improved significantly in that time. Taking a close look at the cryptic photo that GMC has shared, we can be sure that this is the full update we’ve been waiting for. The front fenders along with both doors appear to have completely different profiles than the current 2022 model. Also hidden in the details appears to be a camera nub on the bottom of the wing mirror, indicating the addition of a 360-degree camera system. We can also see the addition of the keyless entry button, common on other GMC models, on the driver’s door. Both of these would indicate that a major improvement in available technology is on the way.

When can we see 2023 GMC Canyon for real?

GMC will debut the next-generation 2023 GMC Canyon on August 11, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. ET. At that time, we’ll see the AT4X Edition 1, a package that GMC has confirmed. AT4X Edition 1 can be reserved at launch. We expect the refreshed Canyon to go on sale to the public in late 2022, with the AT4X heading to dealerships in the spring of 2023. Stay tuned.

GMC Canyon AT4 OverlandX Concept

This post was originally published on April 14, 2022 and has since been updated to reflect more detailed information about the truck’s reveal, along with additional teaser images.

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