Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. The name doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue, but the truck does roll over just about anything that gets in its way. At least, it sure looks like it can, thanks in no small part to the various aesthetic and mechanical upgrades that come from Chevrolet and aftermarket tuner American Expedition Vehicles, which collaborated with the automaker on this new tough truck.
The crux of the changes on this burly Colorado are for off-road protection. Five skid plates made from Boron-steel are bolted to the truck's undercarriage, with more Boron steel found in new bumpers front and rear. The front bumper also has a built-in spot for a winch should you so desire a bit of off-road security, and if things really go wrong, the rear bumper has integrated recovery hook-ups. The grille is obviously new as well, swapping the traditional Chevy Bow Tie for rugged lettering that’s not at all reminiscent of the Raptor treatment Ford gives the F-150 and Ranger. AEV branding in various spots around the truck wraps up the visual upgrades.
From a standpoint of functionality, the Bison gets everything you’d find on the regular Colorado ZR2, including front and rear locking differentials and the Multimatic DDSV dampers. The 17-inch wheels are Bison-specific though, as are the 31-inch tires. They also sit beneath larger fender flares for a bit more clearance, and the two-inch factory suspension lift – identical to the standard ZR2 – helps with clearance as well. The snorkel in the photos isn’t part of the Bison package, but for those planning to invade deep water, Chevrolet says it can be purchased through AEV.
Otherwise, the powertrain is exactly what you’d find on a Colorado ZR2. That includes the standard-issue 3.6-liter V6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission, or the optional 2.8-liter turbo diesel connected to a six-speed auto. The Bison can be ordered up as either an extended cab or crew cab body style, and Chevrolet says it will be available with a full factory warranty.
Sales for the Colorado ZR2 Bison begin January 2019
Gallery: 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
CHEVROLET UNVEILS THE COLORADO ZR2 BISON
Factory steel bumpers, Boron-steel skid plates make Bison ready for off-the-grid adventures
DETROIT — The Colorado ZR2 Bison joins Chevrolet’s midsize truck lineup as an all-new performance variant. Bison is Chevy’s first collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), a premium off-road aftermarket manufacturer.
Through constant innovation, Chevy has gained more than a quarter of all midsize truck sales in less than four years in the marketplace. In consecutive years, Colorado introduced the segment’s first diesel engine (excludes other GM vehicles), an all-new V-6 gas engine/eight-speed transmission combo, the ZR2 “segment of one” off-roader and now the Bison.
For maximum protection of key undercarriage elements while driving over rocky, jagged terrain, Bison features five skid plates covering the engine oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case and front and rear locking differentials. Designed by AEV, these skid plates are constructed of hard, durable hot-stamped Boron steel.
AEV-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,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Marketing, Chevrolet Truck.
“The Colorado Z71 offers a full suite of off-road equipment, the maneuverability of a midsize 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 DSSVTM 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.
This new Colorado variant also features “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. “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 duplicates the full equipment list of the Colorado ZR2, including, but not limited to:
- Class-exclusive front and rear locking electronic differentials.
- Revolutionary, segment-exclusive Multimatic DSSVTM dampers.
- Off-road rocker protection.
- Cast-iron control arms.
- Autotrac transfer case.
Like ZR2, Bison also features 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 options on Bison include:
- 2.8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine paired 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, ideal for air filtration while driving on dusty trails. This feature is compatible with all Colorado pickup variants.
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.