If you’re familiar with the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, you know some of the things the performance truck brings for off-road performance. The list includes a 2-inch factory lift, Multimatic dampers, front- and rear-locking electronic differentials, and tracks that are 3.5 inches wider.
But Chevy wasn’t done with the grittier variant of its midsize pickup. For 2019, the automaker released the first-ever ZR2 Bison on September 6. This model, which is a collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), takes the concept to the next level.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Colorado ZR2 Bison.
1. Functional modifications
Chevy and AEV added plenty on the Bison to give it a badass look, but we’ll start with what will actually help protect the truck when you head onto the trail. That list begins with five AEV skid plates made of hot-stamped Boron steel. They cover the fuel tank, transfer case, engine oil pan, and front- and rear-locking differentials.
Out back, an AEV-designed steel bumper adds protection, and the front bumper also gets steel along with winch provisions. Fog lights comes standard up front as well, while an AEV accessory snorkel will be available as an option through the aftermarket supplier.
2. ZR2 Bison styling
Few will confuse the Bison with the standard Colorado ZR2. For starters, you’ll find the AEV logo on various parts of the truck, including one with a bison emblem on the tailgate. Large fender flares cover 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, which wrap all-new 17-inch-by-8-inch aluminum wheels exclusive to this model.
However, the new flow-through lettered grille with Chevrolet in all-caps might stand out the most. We saw Chevy strip the chrome from lower trims of the new Silverado, and this design with AEV takes the concept to a bolder level. It’s hard not to see the influence of the Ford Raptor in this detail, but it works.
3. Standard equipment from ZR2 line
In addition to the special dampers and differentials, every ZR2 gets off-road rocker protection, an Autotrac transfer case, and cast-iron control arms. Those features, as well as a modified rear axle, come with the Bison, too.
Otherwise, buyers will get a choice of crew cab (short bed) or extended cab (long bed) sizes. As for engine options, the 3.6-liter V6 engine (308 horsepower, 275 pound-feet of torque) comes standard while the 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine (186 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque) will be available.
An eight-speed (V6) or six-speed (Duramax) automatic transmission pair with those engines.
4. Release and pricing info
Chevy is releasing the ZR2 Bison as a 2019 model, and sales will start in January, the automaker said in a statement. A full factory limited warranty will be part of the package.
Pricing will be released closer to its appearance in dealerships, but it’s a safe bet to use the existing ZR2 as a jumping-off point. That model starts at $42,500 before destination charges. A ZR2 Bison will be pricey.