An overland truck ready for just about anything

While SEMA certainly has plenty to offer when it comes builds that are low and fast, the annual vehicle modification extravaganza also offers loads of rough-and-ready off-roaders, many of which are rocking big suspension and the right stuff to tackle whatever Mother Nature has in store. The Chevy Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept is one good example, which looks to add to the Bow Tie’s already impressive performance truck cred as one part in a duo of custom Colorado concepts. Unlike its desert-running counterpart, the AEV focuses more on overland capability, adding robust off-roading exterior protection, enormous 35-inch tires (plus the requisite suspension lift), and even a fridge in case you get hungry while stomping around the great outdoors.

And that’s about right, considering AEV stands for American Expedition Vehicles, a private Montana-based manufacturer that’s been making comprehensive off-roader packages for the past two decades. “Our collaboration taught us that Colorado makes a great platform for building an off-road truck that can take you as far out as you want to go, safely,” says AEV’s founder, Dave Harriton. Read on for the specifics on what that claim entails.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept.

What Makes The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept Special

  • 35-inch BF Goodrich tires
  • AEV off-roading exterior protection
  • Plenty of overland gear
  • ARB refrigerator and freezer
  • 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel
  • Big suspension upgrades
  • Custom Multimatic DSSVTM shocks

Looks Pretty Serious…

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept Exterior
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Plenty of overland gear

It most definitely is. Like any proper off-roading truck, the AEV Concept mounts some seriously impressive tires and wheels, with 35-inch BF Goodrich KM2 mud and terrain rubber wrapped around AEV’s custom DualSport beadlock wheels. Complementing the wheel and tire package are new bumpers front and rear, once again customized by AEV for superlative off-roading performance, plus the necessary high-clearance fender flares. Thick underbody protection, including a rear differential cover, keeps all the vital components safe from wayward bits of terrain.

Out in back is an Expedition bed rack, an indispensable component considering how much gear this thing is packing (more on that in a bit). Finishing off the exterior upgrades is LED lighting, both front and back.

You Said Something About Gear?

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept Exterior
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Custom Multimatic DSSVTM shocks

Yeah, and there’s a lot of it. Check out the above-pictured panel mounted just behind the driver’s side taillight – it looks like it offers all kinds of amenities, such as an external source of electricity, a source for water, and an air compressor.

Chevy also says the AEV concept comes with aluminum storage cases from Equipt and a James Baroud USA awning for the bed, plus NATO-style fuel cans for extra go-juice in reserve. Recovery shackles, a Hi-Lift jack, a Warn 9.5XP-S winch, and MAXTRAX recovery devices were also added. Finally, an ARB refrigerator and freezer keeps the rations fresh and tasty.

What About The Hard Bits And Oily Stuff?

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept
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high-rise snorkel

You probably noticed that high-rise snorkel snaking its way up the passenger-side A-pillar. In addition to blessing the AEV Concept with additional water wading capability, the tube directs fresh air to a 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel powerplant under the hood. No word on whether or not the engine gets a tune or additional performance mods, but in stock form it creates 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept Drivetrain
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Big suspension upgrades

Much more impressive than the engine is the suspension set-up, which utilizes a comprehensive Chevrolet Performance system incorporating plunging front half-shafts, stiffer high-angle tie rods, front and rear jounce shocks, and a high-angle upper ball joint. There’s also an anti-wrap link and long-travel rear leaf spring. Custom Multimatic DSSVTM shocks finish it off.

All told, this thing is an overlanding beast. Impressive stuff all around.


Chevrolet Colorado

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

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.

2017 SEMA Show – Preview
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Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

Press release

Chevrolet is expanding the performance envelope of the segment-redefining Colorado with the Colorado ZR2 AEV concept and ZR2 Race Development Truck.

Revealed at the SEMA Show today, the trucks demonstrate the capability of Colorado and its off-road performance variant, the Colorado ZR2.

“Colorado has reignited the midsize segment with class-exclusive features and performance,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Truck Strategy, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Some customers want even greater capability, and the ZR2 AEV concept and ZR2 Race Development Truck showcase the efforts we’ve made to explore how owners can get even more from their trucks.”

The Colorado ZR2 AEV concept, created in collaboration with legendary off-road manufacturer American Expedition Vehicles and featuring the available 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine, elevates the already capable ZR2 for even greater adventures.

“ZR2 puts an exclamation point on Chevy’s off-road engineering ability,” said AEV founder Dave Harriton. “Our collaboration taught us that Colorado makes a great platform for building an off-road truck that can take you as far out as you want to go, safely.”

The ZR2 AEV concept and the ZR2 Race Development Truck feature a Chevrolet Performance development suspension that includes:

Front and rear jounce shocks, plunging front half-shafts, high-angle upper ball joint and increased stiffness high-angle tie rods
Long-travel rear leaf spring suspension, anti-wrap link and rear differential cover
Specially tuned Multimatic DSSVTM Shocks

The concept’s unique content includes:

AEV front and rear off-road bumpers, complete underbody skid protection, expedition bed rack, high clearance fender flares and high-rise snorkel
AEV DualSport beadlock wheels
35-inch BF Goodrich® KM2 Mud-Terrain tires
Front and rear high output LED auxiliary lighting
ARB refrigerator/freezer, Equipt aluminum storage cases, NATO-style fuel cans and James Baroud USA awning in the bed
Recovery shackles, Hi-Lift jack, Warn 9.5xp-s winch and MAXTRAX

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