Chevrolet introduces hot-stamped Colorado ZR2 Bison
The Bison is a collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles to create a truly overland-ready pickup truck based on the Colorado diesel model. Fitted with a snorkel and plenty of hot-stamped steel references, the Colorado ZR2 Bison will enter showrooms early next year.
The off-road arena has always had its niche market of buyers, some of whom actually go off the pavement with their rigs. Recently, it's begun to ramp up with Ford introducing the Raptor, Ram Truck breaking out the Rebel, Jeep joining in with a new-generation of the legendary Wrangler, and now Chevrolet introducing a new ZR2 variant for the Colorado.
The Colorado Bison was named, obviously, for the buffalo which roam the plains that make up the half of Colorado that isn't the Rocky Mountains. The terms "Big Horn" and "Cougar" were already taken by other manufacturers, so Chevrolet had to find a new symbol for ruggedness to use.
The ZR2 Bison is very similar to the American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) concept shown last year at the SEMA show, right down to the snorkel. It combines the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 with several AEV off-road parts added for more capability when roads are long gone.
Key to the improvements are five skid plates made of hot-stamped Boron steel added underneath the Colorado. These cover the oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case, and front and rear differentials. Those differentials are both locking, which is a class exclusive thing. Also added are Multimatic DSSV dampers and a more air-friendly flow-through grille design.
The truck also includes 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires, which are a staple in the off-roading industry. Larger fender flares accommodate the bigger tires and extended clearance and movement that the Colorado ZR2 Bison is expected to need. Exclusive for the Bison are 17x8-inch aluminum bead-locking wheels.
More "hot-stamped" descriptions are used for the Bison's front and rear bumpers. Other items already on the ZR2 before the Bison upgrade remain and include rocker protection, cast-iron control arms, and an Autotrac transfer case. The Bison model is available with the diesel engine option for the Colorado and a choice of crew or extended cab configurations with short and long bed (respectively).
Chevrolet says that the Colorado ZR2 Bison will go on sale in January of 2019.