2021 GMC Canyon AT4 is the Colorado ZR2 lite

More off-road gear makes the AT4 a more confident pickup off the beaten path.

It's 2020, and that means 2021 model year vehicles are on their way. On Monday, the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 bowed as the premium truck and SUV division refreshes its midsize rig.

Consider the Canyon AT4 somewhat of a Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 lite. It's nowhere near as aggressive, but the AT4 isn't meant to be. Rather, it pairs tougher off-road upgrades with premium touches. Highlighting the truck is an off-road tuned suspension with an advanced hill descent control. Also more rugged is the four-wheel drive system married with an Eaton G80 rear-locking differential. A skid plate for the transfer case is present for added protection, too.

At each corner, there's a 17-inch aluminum wheel wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires to make sure the added off-road goodies are actually useful when the going gets rough.

Separating the Canyon AT4 from other Canyons are some new exterior and interior bits. The grille is larger and dark chrome covers trim pieces. Some red recovery hooks provide a nice little splash of contrast. Inside, there's "Kalahari" colored stitching and the AT4 badge sits prominently on the headrests.

GMC will offer the AT4 with either the 3.6-liter V6 or 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-four diesel engine, which mirrors the Colorado ZR2. The V6 will be for those looking for more horsepower (308 hp), though the diesel engine cranks out 369 pound-feet of torque. There's only 181 hp with the diesel mill.

We'll see the Canyon AT4 arrive later this year with prices yet to come.

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