GMC introduced a more capable Canyon AT4 named Off-Road Performance Edition that gains modifications like skid plates and a beefier suspension. It can venture further off the beaten path, but it won’t get there faster.
Based on the AT4, which is already better suited to venturing into the woods than the standard Canyon, the Off-Road Performance Edition gains a taller suspension and loses its sizeable front air dam to offer a 30-degree approach angle. GMC knows adventurers will be tempted to put that figure to the test, so it also added skid plates made with 5/32-inch aluminum to protect the radiator, the front differential, the steering gear, and the oil pan.
Full-length rock rails on both sides shield the rocker panels from expensive encounters with boulders and other obstacles. Finally, the Off-Road Performance Edition stands out from the AT4 with specific 17-inch wheels painted in gloss black, black AT4 logos, and black exhaust tips. 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires come standard.
Changes in the cabin are limited to floor liners. Out back, the cargo box receives a spray-in liner.
Don’t look for Ram 1500 TRX-like performance, because it doesn’t sound like GMC made any major mechanical modifications to the Off-Road Performance Edition. Power comes from a 3.6-liter V6 that sends 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque to the four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and an automatic locking rear differential provided by Eaton. AT4 buyers can order a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and a stout 369 pound-feet of torque on tap for an additional $4,375, but there’s no word yet on whether this fuel-saving engine will be available on the Off-Road Performance Edition, too.
GMC’s 2021 Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition will go on sale later in 2020, though pricing information hasn’t been announced yet. For context, the standard AT4 costs $39,395 in its most affordable configuration.