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The Kit Would Make The Chevy Truck Even More Capable

Colorado ZR2 Bison
Photo copyright

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison is the most off-road capable mid-size truck GM has ever offered, far and away. Thanks to the expertise from American Expedition Vehicles, the two companies take the standard ZR2, and increase its fortifications with hot-stamped boron steel skid plates, as well as steel rail protection on both bumpers and side skirts. Yet AEV says they can take things further still.

“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,” said American Expedition Vehicles Marketing Manager Matt Feldermann to MC&T. The ‘Bison Plus’ name is tentative, and would only be offered through AEV as a standalone package rather than General Motors assembling Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison trucks with the package.

“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.”

The high-clearance fender and 35-inch tire on the Colorado ZR2 Bison Tray Bed Concept. Photo copyright

Feldermann also mentioned that AEV pushed for a bigger tire on the Colorado ZR2 Bison when the vehicle was still in development, but didn’t make financial sense for GM.

“We wanted a bigger tire than 31 inches (on the ZR2). But it was a battle with legal that the design team just wasn’t going to win. They would have to go through a completely different set of tests for this one-two-thousand unit build, so they weren’t going to spend the millions on the R&D,” he said.

Pricing for the high-clearance fenders and 35-inch tires has not yet been announced, but AEV will be showing off two Colorado ZR2 Bison pickups with the special package this November at the 2019 SEMA Show. Additionally, Feldermann notes that AEV offers other ZR2 Bison components off the shelf, such as its high-strength hot-stamped boron steel skid plates, bumpers and winch mounts.

“We don’t want to get into the business of building Bison clones… but we’re offering the Bison components separately. So if someone wants to buy the skid plates or the bumper they can do that.”

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.


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