First Look – Chevrolet and AEV Collaborate on 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison
Rugged Exterior Additions Help ZR2 Get Through Rough Terrain
The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is already one of the most off-road–capable pickups on the market today, but that’s not to say it can’t be improved. Keen to take it to the next level, Chevy partnered with American Expedition Vehicles to create a rougher, tougher ZR2 called the Bison. Inspired by last year’s Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept that debuted at the 2017 SEMA Show, the Bison will go on sale this January.
The 2019 ZR2 Bison keeps most of what makes the regular off-roader so special: DSSV shock absorbers, locking front and rear differentials, a wider track, and lifted suspension compared to other Colorado 4x4s. But to these features, the Bison adds key body protection modifications, designed by off-road legend AEV.
The most obvious of these are stamped-steel bumpers front and rear, with winch provisions and standard foglights up front and recovery points integrated into the rear. But the Bison also includes a less conspicuous, but probably more useful, change: five hot-stamped Boron steel skidplates. These robust units, designed by AEV, protect the oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case, and front and rear differentials from inadvertent trail damage, and if you’re unlucky enough to find yourself under the truck for any reason, they look pretty cool as well.
The bumpers’ more aggressive styling goes well with the ZR2 Bison’s larger fender flares, which wrap around Bison-specific 17-inch aluminum wheels mounted on 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. Further adding some verve is a grille that abandons the traditional Bow Tie emblem for flow-through “CHEVROLET” script. Furthermore, the Bison is available with an AEV-accessory snorkel intake, which improves wading depth but will likely only be used to impress onlookers.
The AEV-optimized truck’s other doodads are less functional, but still worth mentioning. There’s a “Bison” decal set for the bedsides, an AEV logo on the tailgate, and AEV embroidery on both the floor liners and front head restraints.
Available with the high-revving 3.6L V-6 or the optional 2.8L Duramax turbodiesel I-4, the ZR2 Bison can be had in either extended cab/longbed or crew cab/shortbed form. Pricing for the Bison is as yet unavailable, but that won’t stop us from dreaming of a water crossing–conquering, rock-bashing, rough-and-tumble ZR2 of our very own.