Earlier this year, American Expedition Vehicles pulled the sheet off its Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison Tray Bed Concept – a fully functional one-off build that demonstrates the engineering and manufacturing capabilities of the high-end 4×4 upfitter. The truck hasn’t really surfaced since its debut at Overland Expo West, until the 2019 AEV Open House event that happened yesterday.
For now, it’s just a concept, but AEV Marketing Manager Matt Feldermann keyed us in on a few details on the ZR2 Bison Tray Bed. The bodywork behind the cab is AEV’s own design, and the tray bed itself is perfectly flat and far lighter than the factory bed on the Colorado. The benefits to this setup is less damping at low speeds and increased firmness as speeds rise, both of which improve vehicle control.
Aside from the tray bed, this particular Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison has 35-inch Interco Super Swamper IROK tires – significantly chunkier and more specialized than the factory 30.6 Goodyear Duratrac tries. Making it all fit up front are proprietary fender panels that are stamped – not cut – to avoid rubbing, while the rear features a slightly off-center wheel arch that positions the tire perfectly in the pocket when under full articulation. The result of it all maintains a stock ride height, and keeps the very well-done OEM suspension geometry intact. Other notable upgrades include a winch, brush guard, onboard air compressor, and pre-filter snorkel system.
Feldermann said that the AEV team validated the Colorado ZR2 Bison Tray Bed Concept in the middle of the Arizona wilderness for three nights before displaying it at Overland Expo West in May 2019. Along with for the ride came over a dozen canisters of diesel fuel for the 2.8L Duramax engine and roughly thirty gallons of water to keep the team hydrated. All of it was packed snugly onto the tray bed.