The Colorado ZR2 Bison is Chevy’s first collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), said to be a premium off-road aftermarket manufacturer. Bison joins Chevrolet’s mid-size truck lineup as an all-new performance variant, a sub-species almost unheard of 20 years ago. N the U.S. most popular and profitable segments for the Detroit Three, Chevy has gained more than a quarter of all mid-size truck sales in less than four years in the marketplace.
In consecutive years, Colorado introduced the segment’s first diesel engine (conveniently ignores other GM vehicles), an all-new V6 gas engine/eight-speed transmission combo, the ZR2 “segment of one” off-roader and now the Bison. The 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison goes on sale in January 2019, modified for extreme off-road use and backed by a full factory limited warranty. Pricing? Not yet – just assume it will be more than the $42,000 ZR2 or similarly priced Tacoma TRD Pro. (New 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Mid-Size Pickup Debuts in LA, and New Colorado ZR2 – an Off-Road Performance Pickup)
For maximum protection of key undercarriage elements while driving over rocky, jagged terrain, Bison has five skid plates (fashion accessories?) covering the engine oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case and front- and rear -locking differentials. Designed by AEV, these skid plates are constructed of hot-stamped Boron steel. AEV also designed stamped steel front and rear bumpers further shield the truck from obstacles. The front bumper contains winch provisions and standard fog lights, with recovery points integrated into the rear bumper.
“More and more enthusiasts are discovering that Colorado is ideal for off-roading, especially overland travel, “claimed Sandor Piszar, director of Marketing, Chevrolet Truck. “The Colorado Z71 offers a full suite of off-road equipment, the maneuverability of a mid-size truck and the driving range of a class-exclusive diesel engine. The Colorado ZR2 offers even greater off-road capability with class-exclusive front and rear locking differentials and *Multimatic DSSV dampers. And now, Bison offers customers an even more extreme turnkey off-road truck ready to tackle your next adventure.”
An exclusive, flow-through “CHEVROLET” lettered grille replaces the traditional bowtie on Bison’s front end. The 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires sit beneath larger fender flares and wrap all-new, ZR2 Bison-specific 17 x 8-inch aluminum wheels. The new Colorado profit-maker also has “Bison” decals on the bed sides, an “AEV Bison” logo on the tailgate and embroidered AEV logo floor liners and front head restraints.
“We’ve been following Colorado since its introduction, and the ZR2 really captured our attention,” said Dave Harriton, founder and president of AEV, not without self-interest. “As this is the first Chevrolet vehicle we’ve given the AEV treatment to, we wanted to do something special with the industry’s first use of hot-stamped Boron steel. We also expect that Colorado drivers will love the added ruggedness of our front and rear bumpers on ZR2 Bison.”
The ZR2 Bison also has the full equipment list of the Colorado ZR2:
- Class-exclusive front and rear locking electronic differentials.
- Revolutionary, segment-exclusive Multimatic DSSV
- Off-road rocker protection.
- Cast-iron control arms.
- Autotrac transfer case.
Like ZR2, Bison also has a modified rear axle with a 3.42 ratio, front and rear tracks widened by 3.5 inches and a factory suspension lifted 2 inches over a Colorado Z71.
Available Bison options:
- 8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, capable of 186 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque.
- Choice of crew- or extended cab configurations (including short and long beds, respectively).
Customers will also be able to purchase an available third-party accessory snorkel for ZR2 Bison from AEV, for air filtration while driving on dusty trails. This is compatible with all Colorado pickup variants.
*Multimatic DSSV uses proprietary predictive and analytical tools from racing and high performance cars. These include comprehensive vehicle modelling, Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) full-motion simulation, 4-post rig testing, fully instrumented on-track testing and extensive use of Multimatic’s own Dynamic Suspensions SpecFindersoftware.