Meet the Beast: The 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
May 31, 2023
The brand-new 2024 Colorado ZR2 Bison, expected to make a grand entrance in late 2023, borrows not just its key design elements and capability markers from desert racing dynamo Chad Hall’s Colorado ZR2, but also flaunts newly added front and rear jounce control dampers. These features were put through their paces on Hall’s vehicle in the grueling Best in the Desert series, ensuring top-tier performance.
A magnificent creation born from the partnership with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), the 2024 Colorado ZR2 Bison is more than a truck, it's a statement. It propels the already outstanding off-road aptitude of the ZR2 to a whole new echelon, securing its rank as the most off-road competent midsize truck in its league. Get ready for an off-road experience that's truly second to none!
- Heavy-duty AEV front and rear bumpers
- AEV 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels
- 35-inch OD MT tires, the largest tires in their class†
- Bed-mounted spare tire carrier
- Unique wheel arch flares
- Segment-first† front and rear jounce control dampers
- Best-in-class† underbody protection with 5 Boron steel skid plates
- AEV-branded floor liners and head restraints
- Bison badging
- 4.5-inch factory-installed lift and wider chassis
Nestled under the hood lies an available 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine, twinned with a fresh-off-the-line 8-Speed automatic transmission. With power that's ready to rumble and responsiveness that leaps into action, this is performance to match any adventure. Six selectable drive modes and a new off-road performance display round out the toolkit for tackling any terrain head-on.
As for what's under the hood? Think of it as an engineering mission statement. The 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine had a dual task: to unleash maximal responsiveness and deliver the grunting, low-end torque akin to a diesel powerhouse. The result? Performance that reaches new heights and a turbo boost that's near-instantaneous. It's exactly the capability you demand, delivered with a Bison's force at the very moment you need it.
Get a load of its factory-installed lift and a wider chassis, aggressive not only in approach but also in departure angles, primed for those off-road escapades. The Colorado ZR2 Bison sports a special shock absorber, first developed by Multimatic for racing cars and then modified for off-road trucks. This shock absorber uses spool valves for precise fluid control, optimizing damping based on the terrain. This delivers a comfortable ride while also handling major impacts, like large bumps or jumps. The Bison not only retains these shocks but also includes Multimatic jounce dampers, preventing suspension bottoming under extreme conditions. This makes the Bison the only truck with such a feature factory-installed, as it's typically an aftermarket addition.
The Bison also boasts an enhanced traction management system, complete with a launch control feature specifically designed for dirt surfaces. This innovative feature allows drivers to press down both the brake and gas pedal, then let go of the brake for optimal acceleration. What's more, it's a quick learner—after just one attempt, it figures out the surface's friction coefficient and tweaks itself for the best performance on the subsequent go-around.
Protection & Recovery
The Bison sports solid front and rear AEV stamped steel bumpers for that extra protection. The front bumper is fitted with dual recovery points and is primed to accommodate a winch for when the time comes.
Underneath, the Bison stands shielded with five boron steel skid plates. In line with previous AEV offerings and our understanding of the ZR2, it's likely these include skid plates for the engine, transmission, transfer case, fuel tank, and rear differential, offering comprehensive underbody protection.
Wheels & Tires
The Colorado ZR2 Bison fearlessly rolls on 17x8 AEV Crestone DualSport wheels, a tried-and-true offering by AEV exclusively for the Chevrolet Colorado and Colorado ZR2 mid-size pickups. The Crestone's sleek split 6-spoke design lends it a clean look, while also delivering the versatility and flexibility AEV's DualSport Wheels are renowned for. Although these wheels appear to come without the beadlock ring, upgrades are possible for those who prefer it.
To complete the package, the Crestone wheels come wrapped in 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory M/T tires. These tires are built to tackle challenging terrain, featuring an open tread design for mud and debris clearance, wrap-around shoulder tread for superior grip in deep mud and snow, and a sequenced pitch pattern for a quieter ride.
To top it off, the Bison comes with a bed-mounted carrier for a full-size spare tire.
Pricing and Availability
Chevrolet has not announced pricing for the Colorado ZR2 Bison, but the Colorado ZR2 starts at $48,295, and the Bison package for the Silverado ZR2 costs $7,895. It should be available later in 2023.