DETROIT — General Motors on Thursday unveiled its redesigned GMC Canyon as a more premium offering than the current midsize pickup, including a new AT4X off-road model that will expand the vehicle’s price range.
The new AT4X model features off-road performance parts as well as unique interior and exterior styling. It will be launched alongside the standard AT4 off-road pickup, the premium Denali model and the entry-level Elevation trim, which will start around $40,000. The company will also offer a limited edition “AT4X Edition 1” vehicle for the first year of production , starting at $63,350. The starting price for the current model is around $50,000.
Amid pent-up demand and record high prices, automakers are adding more off-road and dynamic options to their models to boost profit margins before shifting more to electric vehicles, which can offer high performance but have more low margins than those with gas vehicles.
GM began offering AT4 vehicles with its full-size Sierra pickup in late 2018. It has since expanded to the entire GMC lineup. The AT4 currently accounts for about a third of Canyon sales, according to officials.
The Canyon is a sister car to the recently introduced Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck, but the company has significantly differentiated the design of the new cars. However, both pickups share the same platform and “bones” and are powered exclusively by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produces up to 310 horsepower and 430 foot-pounds of torque.
GM expects to begin production of the 2023 Canyon early next year, with AT4X models starting in the spring of 2023. GM opened reservations for the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Edition 1 on Thursday.
Every 2023 Canyon is taller and wider than the current generation. It’s also longer but offers roughly the same interior space as the current vehicle. The new design is more aggressive than the outgoing model, including a large rectangular grille and a new iteration of the brand’s signature C-shaped headlights.
Midsize pickups are important to the automaker, but their sales are much lower than GM’s larger full-size pickups. For example, GMC sold only about 13,700 Canyons in the first half of this year, compared to more than 70,000 Sierra pickup trucks during that time.
GM’s U.S. sales fell about 18 percent in the second quarter as the global auto industry continues to grapple with supply chain problems, including semiconductor chip shortages.