GMC’s AT4 brand has rapidly become a potent sales force for the brand over the past few years. GMC reps claim that AT4 badged models have allowed them to win over new customers, and their blend of capability and comfort has allowed them to fight toe to toe with rivals. GMC is focused on the future of AT4 as well and has unveiled a glimpse of this upcoming reality with the all-new GMC Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX Concept.
An Overlander Capable Of The Toughest Trail Busting
The concept uses the existing Canyon AT4 as its source material, but it takes things in a decidedly wilder direction with radical changes to maximize its off-roading potential. A heavy-duty front bumper sourced from AEV features an incorporated winch and even splashes of LED off-road lighting. American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) also provided the 17-inch Crestone wheels, shod with 33-inch BFGoodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires. The rear fascia has a more modest set of changes, but a heavy-duty rear bumper is added in while the spare tire is mounted on a swivel-style carrier that can easily be moved out of the way when occupants need access to the bed.
The chassis has been widened and fortified for off-roading with enhanced underbody protection, helping protect the OVRLANDX concept’s underbelly from contact with boulders and rogue obstacles. The bed comes loaded with storage and includes a novel drawer system to help organize items. When the bed isn’t being used, it’s covered by a durable stainless steel cap that comes with side storage, a built-in kitchen, and a tool system and is even strong enough to handle a large roof-mounted tent. GM engineers even added guy lines on the front to help protect the windshield from large branches.
“We wanted to showcase GMC Canyon with this concept and punctuate GMC’s commitment to premium, off-road capable vehicles said Duncan Aldred Buick & GMC Global Vice President. “Consumer reaction to this concept’s design will help us further serve the growing market of buyers leading authentic outdoor lifestyles.”
This truck certainly has the goods, and some of the upgrades could perhaps signal what we could see in an extreme version of the Canyon. AEV was once known for being a supplier that tended to do the bulk of its business with Jeep but has branched out to other makes, including GM, in recent years. Some of their expertise could come in handy, especially in upgrading the exterior of such a model to allow it to handle the rough stuff better.
OVRLANDX Interior Still Has Premium In Its DNA
With all the rugged appointments that the exterior has received, the interior prefers to let some of its finer attributes do the talking. The bulk of the cabin is carried over from the stock AT4, but the typically jet black affair seen in standard AT4 models is swapped out for a tan-colored leather-wrapped interior. It also appears to be a concept exclusive hue since this shade is not found in the AT4 or the range-topping Denali model.
“The Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX concept truck was designed to balance functionality with aesthetics. When you’re overlanding, capability is an important factor, but doing it with premium style and comfort elevates the experience even further for customers who truly want zero compromises,” stated John Owens, lead designer for the concept. We only get one angle of the interior, but a splash of carbon fiber-looking trim adorns the shifter, and GM’s latest version of its infotainment system is also along for the ride.
V6 Power Defines Overlanding Experience
While we initially suspected that the concept would be powered by the Canyon’s optional 2.8-liter turbocharged diesel engine, the familiar 3.6-liter gasoline V6 receives the honor instead. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and while GMC did not discuss formal performance details in-depth, look for the engine to not stray too far away from the stock 308 hp seen in standard Canyons.
The OVRLANDX concept will be making its formal debut at the Overland Expo Mountain West 2021. While it’s unknown if the concept will ultimately spawn a production version, GMC’s statements could suggest that the brand is paying attention to public feedback. Perhaps some of its core themes will be passed down to a production model.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.