Where’s the Beef? Chevy Introduces Silverado ZR2 Bison

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
wheres the beef chevy introduces silverado zr2 bison

General Motors has no shortage of off-road trims in its truck lineup, ranging from Z71 to ZR2 on the Chevy side and all the way up to AT4X over at GMC. Now, the bowtie brigade is borrowing the Bison suffix from its Colorado midsizer and applying it to big-bro Silverado.

Oh – and this tidbit before the jump: Its silky inline-six diesel is set to make more power in 2023.

That development was clear to anyone paying attention when Chevrolet changed the RPO code on its 3.0L Duramax diesel for the upcoming model year. Thanks to a raft of new components – new pistons, retuned turbo compressor, and new injectors to name a few – power output climbs to 305 horsepower and 495 lb-ft of torque, up from 277hp/460tq in the old engine. It’ll pop up in dealers by the end of this year. If you’re reading this post in 2030, look for the LZ0 code instead of the old LM2 to make sure that the used Chevy pickup has the engine you expect.

Back on the off-road trails, this new Silverado 1500 ZR2 Bison builds on the brand’s collab with American Expedition Vehicles, a company that builds accessories for owners who like to keep on truckin’ when the pavement ends. This time around, AEV is once again lending its expertise in the areas of skid plating, rocker panel protection, and custom bumpers. The latter are stamped by AEV and feature heavy-duty recovery points with integrated step pads out back. The front bumper is a three-piece unit compatible with an available winch accessory which should be standard but isn’t, while a quintet of skid plates protects expensive bits like the transfer case and fuel tank. If you’re wondering, those are 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler muds on 18-inch wheels of an AEV design.

Under the hood is a hand-of-god 6.2L V8 engine, one which still makes 420 horses and 460 lb-ft just like it has since the dawn of time. A 10-speed automatic is its latest dance partner. Underneath are some of the same goodies which make the ZR2 and AT4X capable, such as the Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers and front/rear e-lockers. The suspension is said to have a “specific” off-road calibration, but details are scant beyond that marketing fluff. A smattering of design tweaks advertises your Bison Lifestyle, including some matte black trim and a hollowed-out ‘flow-tie’ logo on the grille.

The Silverado ZR2 Bison is scheduled to start production in early 2023 bearing an MRSP of $78,490 including freight.

[Images: Chevrolet]

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  • Redapple2 Redapple2 on Aug 17, 2022

    Guys. 80 K? Who buys these? I mean professionals- Doctors Lawyers, Engineers, Coder beta boy whatever, have the money but dont buy the cave man, bro dozer. The red necks that want them make peanuts. So>? Redneck contractors buy them? Those that can write it off thru the business (and burn company gas)

    • See 1 previous
    • Ou865688420 Ou865688420 on Aug 17, 2022

      @ MaintenanceCosts - this is the full sized ZR2 Bison not the Colorado. Chevy should have avoided using the ZR2 name with the full-sized truck. The full-sized truck would suffer a considerable amount of damage trying to go where a Colorado ZR2 can go.

  • Kosmo Kosmo on Aug 17, 2022

    The power figures for the 3.0 diesel are impressive, especially compared to the 3.0 diesel in our 2007 Sprinter.

    (Ralph Nader enters room) How do those STEEL bumpers affect crash safety?

    • Ou865688420 Ou865688420 on Aug 17, 2022

      I don't know how heavy the 3.0 is but it would have been an interesting addition to the ZR2 Colorado.

  • Conundrum Can't see that the Espada chassis had much to do with the Miura. The Miura had a rear-mounted transverse V12 with the transmission and final drive all part of the engine block. So it's a bit of a stretch saying the north-south V12 and regular transmission Espada chassis was related to the Miura. It looks to be no more than an update of the 400 GT. And short and long-arm independendent suspension was hardly unique -- a '53 Chev had that in front, it was standard for years on most cars that didn't have Mac struts. The Brits call SLA suspension double wishbone, so Honda thought that sounded more mysterious than SLA and used that terminology in ads, but it's the same thing. Only a few mid '30s cars had same length upper and lower A-arms like a '36 Chev, before the obvious advantage of a short upper arm for camber control was introduced. Of course Ford used a dead beam front axle until 1949, so it was last to climb out of the stone age.Do you have a link to a reference that says the Miura and Espada chassis were related?
  • FreedMike One of the things that we here in North America often forget about Europe is that it's a COMPLETELY different world to drive in. Imagine driving in the downtown area of the city you live in 24/7, and never leaving it, and you have a decent simulation of what it's like to drive in a place like Paris, or London, or Rome - or Manhattan, for that matter. As far as the "dystopia" is concerned, I don't really see it that way. This isn't made for people living in the 'burbs - it's for urban dwellers. And for that application, this car would be about perfect. The big question is how successful the effort to provide large-scale EV charging in urban areas will be.
  • Matzel I am hoping that Vee-Dub will improve the UX and offer additional color options for the 2024 Mk8.5 refresh for Canada. Until then, I'll be quite happy with my '21 GTI performance pack. It still puts a smile on my face going through the twisty bits.
  • Stanley Steamer There have been other concepts with BYOT, that I have always thought was a great idea. Replacing bespoke parts is expensive. If I can plug in a standard 17" monitor to serve as my instrument panel, as well as speakers, radio, generic motors, batteries, I'm for it. Cheaper repair, replacement, or upgrade costs. Heck I'd even like to put in my own comfy seats. My house didn't come with a built in LaZboy. The irony is that omitting these bespoke items at the point of sale allows me to create a more bespoke car as a whole. It's hard to imagine what an empty rolling monocoque chassis would look like capable of having powertrains and accessories easily bolted on in my garage, but something like the Bollinger suv comes to mind.
  • Iam65689044 Sometimes I'm glad the French don't sell in America. This is one of those times.