We love what Chevy is doing by partnering by truck customizer and parts builder American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) in creating the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison. It's a totally unique pickup truck offering that's not mean to go up against the high-power Baja-ready Ford F-150 Raptor or even the upcoming smaller Ranger Raptor pickup.
What makes the Bison special? Well, for starters, there are robust Multimatic DSSV shocks and even an available diesel engine. And if you question its off-road intentions, take note of the fact that the ballistic Bison has five real-deal skid plates that cover the engine oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case and both front and rear locking differentials. What's more, they're made of super-tough forged Boron steel. This thing is meant to take some serious punishment.
The ZR2 AEV Concept's tough black grille shows up on the production version here, and there's a ton of AEV equipment on the Bison that include a stamped steel front and rear bumpers, injection molded fender flares for additional tire coverage, Bison-specific cast-aluminum wheels. interior and exterior AEV badges. There's an optional snorkel for fording deep water, just like the regular ZR2.
Of course, the purpose-built looks don't hurt, either. Case in point, the rear bumper gets added tubular corner protection with aluminum recovery points to get it out of trouble or help someone out of trouble. The optional snorkel doesn't even void the factory warranty, which essentially tells us that Chevy wants owners to use it for its intended rough-and-tumble purposes. In fact, the snorkel even comes with its own warranty. Talk about tough.
Sadly, the Bison doesn't get the concept vehicle's Beadlock wheels, but the versions here are exclusive to the Bison, and they're shod with 31-inch diameter Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires. They don't get the big rubber beasts from the concept, and they're identical to the ZR2's tires. You can, of course, upgrade for better off-road capability and puncture resistance.
No pricing information is out yet, but we're sure it will be released well before the January 2019 sale date of the Bison. AEV and Chevy have done a great job making the ZR2 a bit more off-road ready, but it's not a whopping change from the stock ZR2 model. We're happy to see a truck like this without trying to be a Raptor-beater, instead opting to go after more of a rock-crawling crowd.
Check out the video of the Bison in action below.