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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Forbidden-for-South Africa off-road ready GMC Canyon AT4 updated

Buyers still have a choice of either a 2.8 Duramax turbodiesel or a normally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 petrol.

Facelifted in January this year, Chevrolet’s upscale bakkie division in the United States, GMC, fresh from unveiling the revived all-electric Hummer last month, has introduced a Performance Package for the off-road focused AT4 version of the Canyon.

Essentially a restyled version of the Chevrolet Colorado that slots-in below the Sierra, itself a rebadged Chevrolet Silverado, as GMC’s entry-level bakkie, the AT4 pack adds 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tyres, a skdplate below the transfer case, an Eaton electronically locking rear differential, off-road tuned suspension and Hill Descent Control, as well as a bespoke chrome grille, red tow hooks and so-called Kalahari stitching on the seats embroidered with AT4 headrests.

On the Performance though, the mentioned alloy wheels are now finished gloss black and the front air dam removed which, together with a new suspension levelling kit, has resulted, according to GMC, in the approach angle improving by 35% to 30 degrees. A 32-inch aluminium bash plate has however been added to protect the radiator, steering mechanism and oil pan with carbon black AT4 decals and gloss chrome exhaust tips rounding the changes off.

Despite not being mention, the AT4 Performance is likely to keep the same engines as the regular version, which consists out of the VM Motori-build 2.8 Duramax turbodiesel famously used in the Chevrolet TrailBlazer with outputs of 135kW/500Nm, and the 230kW/373Nm normally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 petrol. A six-speed automatic comes standard on the oil-burner with the petrol receiving an eight-speed self-shifter.

Despite no pricing being revealed, the AT4 Performance will command a premium over the sticker prices of the conventional AT4 that starts at $39 395 (R605 765) for the petrol and at $45 570 (R700 716) for the diesel.

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