• AEV To Take the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison To the Next Level at SEMA 2019

A win-win situation for both Chevrolet and AEV

LISTEN 04:47

It seems like there is an ever-growing demand for off-road-friendly performance pickup trucks in the market today. There’s only so much an automaker can do about it, and aftermarket tuners capitalize on this limitation. Not that an automaker can’t go berserk with its truck, but just that it is not financially viable for them to put their resources into something that won’t sell in huge numbers. Well, here’s American Expedition Vehicles, an aftermarket tuner that has collaborated with Chevy to roll out a special package for the Colorado ZR2. The company will be bringing this reinvigorated package to the 2019 SEMA Show later this year.

So, What’s New This Time Around?

AEV To Take the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison To the Next Level at SEMA 2019
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Although the ‘Bison’ series was sold through Chevy dealerships, this package will be available only from AEV. You cannot purchase it in Chevrolet showrooms. The package is more cosmetic than anything, and the biggest highlight will be the larger tires. Tentatively coined as the Bison Plus, the company’s Marketing Manager, Matt Feldermann, spoke to Muscle Cars and Trucks and said that "our plan is to offer a bigger tire kit with Bison. We’re looking at doing something like a Bison Plus or whatever you want to call it."

It’s Mainly About The Bigger Rubber

AEV To Take the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison To the Next Level at SEMA 2019
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He further added that "the ZR2 Bison Tray Bed we showed at Overland Expo West had a set of our new high-clearance fender flares which allow for a 35-inch tire with no lift. So you can take full advantage of everything that went into your ZR2 suspension geometry, and put on a bigger tire. So there’s a (comparatively) lower center of gravity."

Let me brief you about the ZR2 Bison that the company showcased at the 2019 Overland Expo West earlier this year.

AEV tweaked the ZR2 and converted it into a hardcore off-roader courtesy of a tray bed conversion, newly designed bumpers, fender flares with exposed bolts, and the 35-inch tires.

The company did not give it a lift job per se, but did add a GMPP leveling kit to alter the truck’s front end.

AEV To Take the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison To the Next Level at SEMA 2019
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The bigger tire upgrade is something that the company suggested to Chevrolet even during the development of the Colorado ZR2 Bison. Chevy would have to spend millions more on research and development, run it through a completely different set of tests, just to sell a couple of thousand examples.

The current ZR2 comes with 31-inch tires, whereas this package will be available with 35-inch rollers.

Apart from these tires, AEV will also offer high-clearance fenders, high-strength hot-stamped boron steel skid plates, winch mounts, and steel rail protection on both bumpers and side skirts. The best part about this is that you can purchase individual components off the shelf instead of going for the whole package.

The ZR2 Bison Is A Capable Off-Road Truck

AEV To Take the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison To the Next Level at SEMA 2019
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Speaking of the current Colorado ZR2 Bison, it comes with five new skid plates around the body, each made of high-tensile Boron steel. These skid plates protect the undercarriage stuff like the transfer case, fuel tank, and the front and rear locking differentials. The ZR2 Bison comes with wider wheel arches to fit in the 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratec off-road tires. These are mounted on 17-inch aluminum wheels custom-made for the Bison ZR2. There’s a functional snorkel as well. The ZR2 Bison’s interior is shared with the standard Colorado, apart from the headrests and floor lining, which now have the the AEV logo on them.

The basic essentials include heated front seats, a center console with storage space, and a Bose sound system.

Under the hood is the same 3.6-liter V-6 engine from the standard Colorado that makes 308 horses and 275 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. There’s a 2.8-liter, turbodiesel engine on offer that generates 186 ponies and 369 pound-feet of twist. Power is sent to the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. The other parts, like the front and rear locking differentials, Autotrac transfer case, Multimatic DSSV dampers, and the rear axle with a 3.42 ratio, are carried over from the standard Colorado. The towing capacity is rated at a massive 7,700 pounds.

Final Thoughts

AEV To Take the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison To the Next Level at SEMA 2019
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There is no word on pricing yet. However, we can expect AEV to announce the pricing at the 2019 SEMA Show where the company plans to bring the ZR2 with the upgraded kit. Do you think this standalone approach by AEV will be a successful one? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Further Reading

2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison.

Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept
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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept.

Source: Muscle Cars & Trucks

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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