Even more hardcore truck coming in January
Earlier this year, we reported that the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Development Truck put together by Chevy and American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) for the 2017 SEMA Show was headed for production. Now, Chevy has confirmed that report by announcing the 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison. The new performance variant of the midsize pickup truck builds on the already-capable ZR2’s equipment list with more off-road gear, including an optional snorkel intake.
“More and more enthusiasts are discovering that Colorado is ideal for off-roading, especially overland travel,” said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director, in a statement. “The Colorado Z71 offers a full suite of off-road equipment, the maneuverability of a midsize truck and the driving range of a class-exclusive diesel engine. The Colorado ZR2 offers even greater off-road capability with class-exclusive front and rear locking differentials and Multimatic DSSV dampers. And now, Bison offers customers an even more extreme turnkey off-road truck ready to tackle your next adventure.”
The ZR2 Bison receives the full equipment list of the Colorado ZR2, including off-road rocker protection, cast-iron control arms, and an Autotrac transfer case. The Bison also gets the same modified rear axle with 3.42 ratio, 3.5-inch wider front and rear tracks, and 2.0-inch suspension lift over the Colorado Z71.
What’s new for the Bison is an exclusive grille with flow-through “Chevrolet” lettering, which replaces the ZR2’s black grille and bow-tie emblem. You’ll also notice the unique AEV-designed stamped steel front and rear bumpers, which should provide better protection from rocks. The front bumper can accommodate a winch and standard foglights, and the rear features integrated recovery points. The special truck also gets larger fender flares to cover the Bison-exclusive 17×8-inch aluminum wheels that come wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires. Chevy’s latest truck features five Boron steel skid plates designed by AEV that cover the engine oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case, and front and rear locking differentials for extreme off-road hi-jinks.
Under the hood, the Bison offers the same engine options as the ZR2. A naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6 engine that makes 306 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque and come mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and GM’s 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel I-4 is available. That engine makes 186 hp and 369 lb-ft and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Bison does have the option of an AEV-developed snorkel intake, however.
“We’ve been following Colorado since its introduction, and the ZR2 really captured our attention,” said Dave Harriton, AEV founder and president, in a release. “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.”
Pricing hasn’t been announced, but we imagine the Bison will command a premium over the standard ZR2’s $43,495 USD starting price. The 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison goes on sale in January.