Bison Territory: Chevrolet Colorado Poised to Head Further Off-road

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
bison territory chevrolet colorado poised to head further off road

With its jacked suspension, cutaway front fenders, and upgraded rubber, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 appeals to midsize pickup buyers who aren’t in the habit of staying on dry, safe pavement over the course of a weekend. But, while the ZR2 is the General Motors vehicle most cut out for Oregon Trail work, there’s always room for improvement.

In a bid to satisfy these adventurous customers, GM appears ready to offer a better off-roader.

A trademark application filed by the automaker on April 2nd suggests the company plans to put a rugged concept truck into production, Off-Road reports. The name “ZR2 Bison,” which GM hopes to apply to a production vehicle, heralds a brawnier, off-road ZR2 based on the Colorado ZR2 AEV SEMA concept — a collaborative effort between GM and American Expedition Vehicles, the Montana-based vehicle outfitter.

GM showed off the concept, which appears ready to take John Rambo into the heart of some Asian ground war, at the 2017 SEMA show.

Apparently, GM isn’t casually pursuing the idea. A production-ready ZR2 Bison was shown to dealers at a recent meetup in Las Vegas. “The AEV truck they revealed looked nearly identical to the concept vehicle with some minor differences,” one dealer told Off-Road.

The Bison revealed by GM lacked some of the more extravagant add-ons seen on the concept, the dealer said. The snorkel, bed rack, and air compressor panel did not carry over into the production version, though it’s assumed buyers could still turn to AEV to complete the package. Lewis and Clark never had it so good.

What would carry over? Most likely, the concept’s fender flares, long-travel Chevy Performance suspension, other upgraded suspension components (including Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers), greater underbody protection, and beefier tires. GM and AEV shod the concept with 35-inch BF Goodrich KM2 Mud-Terrain rubber.

If GM pulls the trigger on the Bison, expect a price bump from the ZR2’s after-delivery MSRP of $42,995.

[Images: General Motors]

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2 of 19 comments
  • Cdotson Cdotson on Apr 11, 2018

    Bison is a strange appellation to apply to a truck from a corporation so enamored with sedan designs of a Buffalo-butt nature.

  • Hummer Hummer on Apr 11, 2018

    I wish they would hire someone to make these packages look cool, whoever designed this must have driven a riced out Honda in high school. It's a very unattractive 'minivanesque' design that screams street queen. The V6 seals the deal that it's not meant to do any actual off-roading. Sure that might be fine on a base extended cab but a 4 door with 35s that isn't named Jeep is embarrassing itself with that minivan engine. The snorkel is quite realistically the funniest part, I highly doubt they designed the same electronics going into the O'Reillys special as is going into this to be sealed to protect against water that high. It's not an Humvee, H1, or hell even an H2 was designed with the intake nearly 5 feet off the ground.

  • MichaelBug For me, two issues in particular:1. It can be difficult for me to maintain my lane on a rainy night. Here in southeastern PA, PennDOT's lane markings aren't very reflective. They can be almost impossible to make out when wet.2. Backing out of a parking space in a lot with heavy pedestrian traffic. Oftentimes people will walk right into my blind spot even if I am creeping back with my 4-way flashers blinking. (No backup camera in my '11 Toyota Camry.)Michael B 🙂
  • Tagbert When you publish series like this, could you include links to the previous articles in the series so that we can follow through? Thank you. Edit: now I see a link embedded in the first paragraph that goes to the previous story. It wasn’t clear at first where that link went but now I understand.
  • DungBeetle62 When you're in one of these, you life in a state of constant low-level nervous about 90% of the time. But that other 10% kinda makes up for it.
  • Garrett Instead of foisting this problem on the car companies and the people who buy cars, make those who possess liquor licenses and those who purchase alcohol take on the economic cost of this problem.
  • Inside Looking Out Thieves are gradually winning the war with law enforcement in America not only in California and that is the tragic fact. They would rather put in jail police officer than thief.