Gearheads with a thirst for the off-road are spoilt for choice – and there’s more on the way. Chevrolet has announced a truck at which they were strongly hinting earlier this year: The Silverado ZR2 Bison.
For those keeping up with the latest naming schemes coming out of Detroit, permit this 4×4-addled author to bring you up to speed. On the new Silverado, a ZR2 trim has usurped the Z71 for off-road supremacy, appending the pickup with Multimatic DSSV shocks of the kind found on the smaller Colorado ZR2 truck. In addition to the trick dampers, other off-road goodies help separate ZR2 from Z71 including the likes of front and rear lockers plus specific 33-inch tires and a unique skid plate package.
It’s that latter item in which we expect the ZR2 Bison will distance itself from a standard ZR2. When the crew at American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) were tasked with building the Colorado ZR2 Bison, they opted to focus their efforts on underside protection, fitting the truck with extra skid plates over expensive bits like the oil pan and transfer case. In a bid to save weight, these were stamped out of boron steel, a substance that is lighter than traditional materials but can apparently withstand the type of abuse typically hurled at trucks by off-roaders.
Absent any official word from GM, we’ll logically assume similar additions will find their way onto the Silverado ZR2 Bison as well. Aggressively turning up the brightness on screen grabs from the video suggests AEV may tweak the Silverado front bumper as well, perhaps in a bid to improve those all-important approach angles. Toss in some unique styling features – the grille has more body color than a ZR2 and the Multiflex tailgate has a contrasting panel if you look closely in the video – and Chevy likely has yet another off-road trim for which they can charge a few extra shekels. Predictably, pricing wasn’t announced but we’ll note here the Bison package is a $5,750 option box on the Colorado.
What do you think? With the myriad of bowtie off-road options (Z71, ZR2, Bison) in two different sizes (Colorado and Silverado) plus the associated GMC equivalents (AT4, AT4X, and the like) is The General cutting their pie into very small slivers? Sound off in the comments below.
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