Jumping right into the mid-size off-road pickup market last year, Chevy introduced the Colorado-based ZR2. This year, they stepped it up by teaming up with American Expedition Vehicles, or AEV, to produce the ZR2 Bison with the aim directly at the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
The ZR2 is already quite off road capable on its own, so AEV filled in the gaps that Chevy left open. Without going full Brute, AEV added plenty of upgrades to the ZR2 that makes the Bison a true beast when the pavement ends.
Starting with armor, the Bison features five skid plates with protection for the oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case and front and rear locking differentials. Another massive improvement is the addition of new bumpers both front and rear. Not only increasing approach and departure angles from the stock ZR2, but the rear bumper has recovery points and frame integrated tubular protection at the corners.
When it comes to clean air intake, the Bison also features a dealership option to add a snorkel similar to the option on the TRD Pro.
So, the question is, will the ZR2 Bison make the Toyota look more like a TRD Bro? Only time will tell!
Check out Chevy’s full press release below:
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.