The 2024 GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition’s formula isn’t new. It’s just a 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison with different badges, and a unique front fascia. But that formula is a compelling one. Not only are these two trucks the only mid-size pickups that come from the factory with 35-inch tires, but they’re also fitted with ultra high quality protection parts from American Expedition Vehicles. And that’s something we’d like to see more of.
AEV’s boron steel skid plates and stamped steel front and rear bumpers, as well as the tubular rock sliders do two unique things: 1) compared to factory protection parts from other brands, they actually provide genuine protection, and 2) compared to other aftermarket protection parts, they won’t rust or corrode after just one or two winters. That’s because they’re finished in automaker-quality coatings.
So those, plus the Multimatic DSSV shocks and hydraulic bump stops (optional on the GMC, standard on the Chevy), the 430 lb-ft motor, and the front and rear locking diffs, plus the 35s, give buyers every major upgrade they’d typically want to add themselves, but with full OE-integration provided by the collaboration between AEV and General Motors.
And don’t dismiss the value of that integration. Where something like a typical performance coilover available in a catalog might bolt right up to your truck, its spring and damping rates will likely come from a calculator, not tens of thousands of miles of validation testing performed by the vehicle’s own engineering team, as is the case here. Nor will that shock’s extra travel and performance be accounted for in the calibration of your vehicle’s traction and stability control systems. A steel bumper from one of those same catalogs may be capable of shedding a deer strike, or mounting a winch, but will it retain the full ability of your vehicle’s airbags in a life threatening crash on a highway? Because these AEV bumpers do. Fitting 35s on pretty much anything else is probably going to involve a grinding wheel and a heat gun, but even then, you’re still going to rub. None of that is necessary with the AEV versions of either the Colorado or Canyon.
And consider the advantages of those tires. Not only do the 35s push the approach, departures, and breakover angles past those of other mid-size trucks, but aired down to low pressures (the GMC comes with beadlock-capable wheels, making even lower pressures safe), the ride quality delivered by all that extra sidewall is going to combine with the fancy shocks to make driving over really significant obstacles feel like floating on a cloud. And the extra length that diameter adds to the tire’s footprint is also going to pair with the suspension’s excellent travel numbers (equivalent to the Ranger Raptor up front, more travel than that truck out back), plus the locking diffs, to facilitate a level of traction again unavailable elsewhere in this class. Again from something you’re walking straight out of a showroom with, complete with a factory warranty. This is just a very compelling formula.
And here’s one last extraordinary thing. The only question hanging over the Chevy version of this truck was how it achieved the necessary lift to clear 35s. Did GM pull a Ford, and reduce droop travel to clear the big tires? At the time of the Chevy’s release, there wasn’t an answer. But GMC’s engineer’s came prepared: On both vehicles’ they altered the suspension mounts to achieve the additional lift. Full compression and rebound travel remains identical to the regular ZR2 and AT4X. Impressive.
The only fly in GMC’s ointment is going to be payload. They don’t have an exact number yet, but expect it to be roughly identical to the Chevy’s 1,050 pound number. Which is low. That includes all the protection parts that come standard, but you’re still going to have to be really careful about how much stuff you load into, or bolt onto this vehicle.
And that makes the GFC Platform Camper the only viable option for this vehicle. Weighing just 275 pounds when custom sized for the GMC Canyon, it takes the smallest bite possible out of this vehicle’s carrying capacity, while matching the quality of the AEV components with clear anodized machined from billet aluminum components. And bolted to the GMC’s bed rails with billet aluminum clamps, the GFC will also be the only camper capable of keeping up with this truck’s performance in extreme off-road environments- Wes Siler
Let us know what you think about the all-new AT4X in the comments below!