Chevrolet on Thursday unveiled another off-road-focused pickup and it wears the Colorado ZR2 Bison name.
Previewed by the Colorado ZR2 AEV concept unveiled at the 2017 SEMA show, the Colorado ZR2 Bison starts off as a run-of-the-mill Colorado ZR2, an already credible off-roader, and builds upon this with extra protective gear to make the mid-size pickup truck the ideal overlander, which by definition emphasizes self-reliant, long-term travel.
Helping with the development was American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), an expert in off-road gear.
Key upgrades include five new skid plates covering the engine oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case and front and rear locking differentials. Designed by AEV, the skid plates are constructed of hard, durable hot-stamped Boron steel, an industry first. There are also AEV-designed stamped steel front and rear bumpers which incorporate recovery points and a spot to install a winch.
Also unique to the ZR2 Bison is the flow-through grille with “CHEVROLET” lettering, 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped with 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires, and various “AEV Bison” logos inside and out.
This is all in addition to the ZR2's class-exclusive front and rear locking differentials and Multimatic DSSV dampers, widened front and rear tracks, 2.0-inch lift kit, off-road rocker protection, Autotrac transfer case, and modified rear axle with a 3.42 ratio.
Buyers will have the choce of crew- or extended cab configurations (including short and long beds, respectively), as well as a snorkel. And there's also the choice of a 2.8-liter turbocharged inline-4 diesel (181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque) instead of the standard 3.6-liter V-6 (308 hp and 275 lb-ft).
Sales of the 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison start next January. Pricing hasn't been announced but should start at a slight premium to the $40,995 sticker of the standard ZR2. A good alternative is Toyota's Tacoma TRD Pro.