Off-road enthusiasts know American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), a company known for its rugged off-road and overland vehicle parts and accessories. Now AEV has finally partnered with Chevrolet for a unique new product, the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. The off-road truck is another shot across the bow of Ford and its , which is on sale in Asia and Europe remains unconfirmed for the U.S. market.
The Bison adds ruggedness to the ZR2's appearance and performance, which were beefy to begin with. This truck has five additional skid plates made from hot-stamped Boron steel, which protect the engine oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case, and front and rear locking differentials. Also new are the AEV-designed front and rear bumpers.
“We've been following Colorado since its introduction, and the ZR2 really captured our attention,” says 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.”
In the place of the traditional bowtie logo on the grille, you’ll find big, bold “CHEVROLET” lettering. The front bumper includes a place to add a winch, while the rear bumper features integrated recovery hooks in case the situation gets hairy. Thirty-one-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires wrap around Bison-exclusive 17-inch rims.
The Bison name probably comes from AEV's logo, which features the bovine creature. Bison decals on the bedsides and an “AEV Bison” badge on the tailgate warn fellow off-road enthusiasts this truck means business. Inside you’ll find embroidered AEV logos on the floor liners and front headrests.
While AEV adds a host of accessories to the ZR2, the truck's standard off-road features remain. The Bison comes with front and rear locking electronic differentials, Multimatic DSSV dampers, off-road rocker protection, cast-iron control arms, and an Autotrac transfer case. The Bison also features the standard ZR2's modified rear axle and 3.42 gear ratio. The suspension remains unchanged, featuring the same two-inch lift over the Colorado ZR1. The Bison also retains the 3.5-inch width increase at the front and rear tracks.
The Bison keeps the ZR2's 3.6-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2.8-liter turbo diesel and its six-speed auto gearbox are optional. The Bison is available in both crew- and extended-cab configurations and in both long and short beds. Chevy includes a full factory limited warranty.
The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 goes on sale in January. Chevy didn't release any pricing information; however, the ZR2 starts at $42,290 (including destination). Expect a price bump for the Bison, which is now the ultimate mid-sized off-road pickup for enthusiasts. Maybe this will finally cajole Ford to bring the Ranger Raptor to American roads.