DETROIT – At a glance, the new, 2015 GMC Canyon is pure GMC, with bold front-end styling incorporating the segment’s only standard projector beam headlamps and the brand’s LED signature lighting.
“The Canyon is all about rugged refinement,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design and User Experience. “There is a toughness in its appearance that is reminiscent of its full-size sibling, the Sierra, while the exclusive projector-beam lamps, LED signature lighting and other cues convey a premium aesthetic consistent with the GMC brand.”
Complementing those design elements are features designed to deliver a smoother and quieter driving experience, including triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides – like the 2014 Sierra – for improved aerodynamic performance and a quieter interior. It also offers active aero grille shutters, which close at certain highway speeds to enhance efficiency through improved aerodynamics.
And to help keep overall mass down and improve the front-to-rear weight balance, the Canyon features an all-new aluminum hood.
Three body configurations are offered: An extended cab model with a six-foot two-inch bed, a crew cab with a five-foot two-inch bed and a crew cab with a six-foot two-inch bed. With the tailgate down, the longer bed allows eight-foot-long items to be hauled within the vehicle.
To enhance strength, improve crashworthiness and reduce weight, high-strength steel is used throughout the cab structures, including the A-pillars, roof rails, B-pillars and rocker panels. New, shear-style body mounts significantly improve stiffness and contribute to a smoother ride.
The shear-style mounts provide dampening in both compression and rebound, meaning the tension generated during compression is released in a controlled manner, similar to a shock absorber. Additionally, body mount brackets with steel spacers help stiffen the body and tune out vibrations.
The Canyon is based on a proven global midsize truck platform and styled for the unique tastes of North American truck customers. A faster windshield angle and wheels pushed to the corners of the body, for example, create a sleeker, more aggressive stance, while upswept body lines and tapered rear door windows convey a sense of motion.
More than good looks, engineers refined the Canyon’s shape in the wind tunnel to ensure its sleek attributes paid dividends in aerodynamic performance, which can enhance efficiency on the highway and contribute to a quieter interior.
The inlaid doors, for example, are integral components of the Canyon’s refined appearance, offering reduced aerodynamic drag and minimizing wind noise. Additional aero enhancements come from the trailing edge of the tailgate, which works with the roof and Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp (CHMSL) to channel air. Even subtle design elements such as taillamps that are tapered in the middle – like an hourglass – optimize airflow to help the Canyon slip through the air with less drag and reduced wind noise.
“Every little bit counts,” said Emsley. “Everything from the shape of outside mirrors to managing air as it hits the front of the vehicle affects efficiency and wind noise, so we spent countless hours in the wind tunnel to find the right balance of performance and styling.”
A sealing package hidden behind the grille improves both powertrain cooling and aerodynamics. It also enabled the design team to create a unique, three-dimensional appearance to the Canyon’s grille bars, while also providing more off-road ground clearance for the front bumper.
Additionally, the active grille shutters close at certain times on the highway to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance efficiency.
A box designed for work
Canyon’s tough pickup box is designed to carry the load with integrated features that make it one of the most flexible in the segment. It comes standard with a two-tier loading design and taller box walls that make it easier to carry wider items on top of the rear wheel housings.
The two-tier design allows customers to insert a platform to separate items during hauling or conceal valuables below, such as power tools. It incorporates resting points at the same level as the tops of the wheel houses – enabling the platform to effectively divide the box into upper and lower sections. There are also built-in provisions for cargo bulkheads to subdivide the box even further.
In fact, there is more than 4 feet of space between the box walls, allowing 4 x 8-foot sheets of plywood to be carried in the Canyon’s six-foot two-inch bed with the tailgate down. There’s also an available, factory-installed spray-in bed liner provides protection for the box floor and walls.
A wide range of utility-enhancing accessories offered through GMC dealers makes the Canyon more functional, including tool boxes, bed liners, bed mats, box nets, racks and more. And for recreational uses, hitch-mounted bike and ski racks are available.
Additional standard and available features that make Canyon’s pickup box more functional include:
The box floor is made of roll-formed steel that’s stronger and lighter than the conventional stamped boxes. Lower weight enhances the Canyon’s overall mass, which enhances efficiency, while the stronger steel bolsters the box’s durability.
Exterior features and colors
Canyon’s standard and available exterior features are among the most comprehensive in the segment, including:
Eight exterior colors are offered: Cardinal Red, Emerald Green Metallic, Copper Red Metallic, Quicksilver Metallic, Summit White, Onyx Black, Cyber Gray Metallic and Bronze Alloy Metallic.
All Terrain details
The off road-inspired All Terrain package is available on SLE models – 2WD and 4WD – and includes the Z71 suspension package, G80 automatic locking rear differential, hill descent control, uniquely finished Dark Argent 17-inch aluminum wheels, P255/65R17 all terrain tires, body-color rear bumper, front recovery hooks, transfer case shield (4WD models), heated front seats, four-way power front driver seat adjuster and power driver and passenger lumbar control.
GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.