The next-generation Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are almost here. The current midsize trucks date back to 2012 in global markets, though the Canyon didn't go on sale in the US until 2015. With the midsize truck segment growing in America, the latest GMC Canyon can't arrive soon enough for General Motors. And it's coming with some extra off-road mojo in the AT4X, seen here in prototype form.

We've had precious few sightings of the next-gen Canyon, never mind the upgraded AT4X. This marks the first time we've seen a test vehicle without heavy camouflage, giving us a clearer look at the off-road-focused pickup. The AT4X will be GMC's version of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2; there's certainly no missing the aggressive Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires. The front bumper holds driving lamps down low, and it's also angled in at the corners for better approach angles, similar to the ZR2's design.

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The truck appears to sit lower than the current Colorado ZR2, but that could be due to heavy cargo sitting in the bed. There's a clear squat on the rear suspension, suggesting this prototype could be deep into durability testing for the suspension and powertrain. The plain steel wheels further support that theory, as we don't expect them to appear on the production pickup. We do expect to see the same Multimatic DSSV shocks used on the ZR2, and it will feature numerous aesthetic upgrades from the standard Canyon as well.

Gallery: GMC Canyon AT4X Spy Photos

We can see some of those aesthetics here, such as the aforementioned front bumper. Flared fenders are obvious under the camo wrap, and built-in mudguards at all four wheels could be an optional add-on. A close look at the grille reveals more changes at the front for the Canyon than we were expecting; smaller lights at the top will be supplemented by light clusters underneath, flanking a large GMC grille.

The engine behind the grille is still something of a mystery. We've heard nothing from the rumor mill, but GM's 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is a strong candidate for the job. Making 310 horsepower (231 kilowatts), it would give the AT4X competitive power in the midsize pickup category.

GMC has already confirmed the next-gen Canyon's debut happening sometime in the summer of 2022, debuting for the 2023 model year.

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