For most people, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 offers plenty of performance for high-speed desert runs or slow-speed rock crawling. But there are a select few that will require more. For those drivers, the bigger and badder 2024 ZR2 Bison should fit the bill.
Just like last year, Chevrolet has partnered with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to make the ZR2 even more capable. The amped-up Colorado ZR2 will once again utilize the Bison name and come with a host of upgrades that make it look more menacing and more capable off-road than the regular ZR2. A lot of the large components from the ZR2 go unchanged for the ZR2 Bison. Both trucks use the same high-output turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 310 horsepower, Multimatic DSSV dampers, and electronic locking front and rear differentials.
While the large components go unchanged, Chevrolet and AEV have made sure that no one will mistake the ZR2 Bison for a ZR2. The exterior of the pickup truck features heavy-duty steel bumpers, with the front bumper having the necessary equipment to be able to be equipped with a winch. The truck has even larger fender flares than the regular ZR2, which are a necessity as the Bison features 35-inch mud-terrain tires – the regular ZR2 has 32-inch tires. A set of 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels hold the tires together. Underneath the ZR2 Bison, you’ll find heavy-duty skid plates and rocker protectors that are made out of Boron steel.
Chevrolet and AEV have gone beyond just giving the ZR2 Bison a makeover, as the truck has some unique performance components over the ZR2. While both trucks share the same Multimatic DSSV dampers, the Bison has a unique set of bump stops, or jounce shocks, from Multimatic that Chevrolet is calling “Jounce Control Dampers.” These allow the ZR2 Bison to fly through the sky and land in a way that’s not as netting for passengers and the truck itself. Additionally, the Multimatic DSSV dampers have been retuned to account for the ZR2 Bison’s extra 300 pounds of heft.
Getting into specific figures, the ZR2 Bison will have the same 9.9 inches of front suspension travel and 11.6 inches of rear suspension travel as the ZR2. The ZR2 Bison has slightly more ground clearance with a total of 12.2 inches, which could come from the truck’s larger tires. Thanks to the AEV bumpers, the ZR2 Bison has an improved approach (38.2 degrees), breakover (26.9 degrees), and departure angles (26 degrees) than the ZR2. Chevy claims that these figures are best in class.
The 2024 Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 Bison are both gaining launch control. The feature can be accessed when the trucks are in Baja mode and functions in either rear- or four-wheel drive. Chevrolet claims that launch mode will automatically adjust based on surface conditions. The automaker didn’t provide a zero-to-60 mph time for the ZR2 Bison.
The one downside to the AEV treatment is the decrease in towing and payload capacities. The ZR2 Bison is rated to tow up to 5,500 pounds of cargo and has a payload capacity of up to 1,050 pounds. For comparison’s sake, the ZR2 can tow up to 6,000 pounds and has a payload capacity of 1,280 pounds.
Production of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison is set to begin in the third quarter of 2023. Orders for the pickup truck will open up later this fall. With the ZR2 starting at $48,295 with destination, we expect the ZR2 Bison to get close to the $60,000 mark.
Pictured: 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
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