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EXCLUSIVE: CHEVROLET DEVELOPING SILVERADO ZR2 BISON

American Expedition Vehicles And Chevrolet Are Expanding Their Partnership

Chevrolet Silverado Colorado ZR2 Bison American Expedition Vehicles AEV
Image via Chevrolet

The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 is set to hit the market very soon, and features a lot of class-leading hardware that’s designed to trek its passengers and cargo deep into the great big nowhere, priced from $67,995 USD. However, that’s not where the Silverado’s off-road story will end, as MC&T understands that Chevrolet is currently hard at work in developing an even more capable off-road variant of the ZR2. And it’s expected to be called the Bison, as it will once again involve American Expedition Vehicles (AEV).

2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison: Exclusive Details

Spy photos shared by our friends at GM-Trucks depict a ZR2 with new parts and a covered face, and has some suspecting that it represented a roadworthy version of the Chevrolet Off-Road Concept that debuted during the 2021 SEMA Show as “The Beast.” Further speculation went into alleging that GM could be working on a Silverado with an LT4 V8 engine that’s headed into the Cadillac Escalade-V. While it’s possible that some “Beast” parts may trickle into the Chevrolet Performance Accessories catalog, there is absolutely no trace of a supercharged Silverado program in development. As we’ve reported multiple times before.

Since we originally reported on the Silverado ZR2 program before anybody else did, and since we have yet to be wrong about anything in regards to our exclusive future product reporting, we took this as an opportunity to clarify on what everybody thinks is coming. In short, the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison, due for the 2023 model year, will follow a familiar formula that we originally saw with the current Colorado ZR2 Bison. That means zero changes under the hood, and instead the focus will be on fortifying the underbelly of the truck with larger skid plates made of hot stamped boron steel, and rock sliders that will prevent the body and its paint from making direct contact with the treacherous obstacles on the dusty trail.

In the spy photos, the wheels of the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison were also covered. If they weren’t, we’d see a set of AEV exclusive wheels, helping to distinguish itself from the standard Silverado ZR2. A unique grille insert and bumper design is also expected for this go-anywhere half-ton truck.

Chevrolet folks previously hinted that such a Silverado ZR2 Bison could eventually happen back in 2019.

2022 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison AEV Rendering
Photo copyright Matheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Untapped Demand?

Where Ford and Ram seem to be fixated on the Baja off-road truck route with the respective F-150 Raptor and Ram TRX, Chevrolet seems keen on crafting the best rock-crawling family of pickup trucks it possibly can. For example, the Colorado ZR2 Bison continues to be a success story for both Chevrolet and AEV, as rabid demand for the rugged midsize truck had dealers gobbling up every allocation that they could over the years. Will that kind of success continue in the half-ton, full-size truck space? It could, although we’ve been informed once before that the rock-crawling/overlanding type of vehicle buyer tends to prefer either the smaller midsize truck, or the more imposing HD truck. The half-ton market tends to skew more high-octane and Baja-inspired when it comes to the off-road performance scene, so it would put the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison in a white space all on its own. If priced right, the Big Bison could do great.

Future AEV Packages?

If demand for the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison shows promise, American Expedition Vehicles could eventually roll out its own AEV Bison package on the truck a year or so after the rollout of the factory version. This was the case for the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, as well. Major upgrades included a 35-inch tire, a snorkel, a bumper with an integrated winch, HighMark fenders, upgraded axle ratio, and an off-road lightning kit. That would make for one serious Silverado, so we’ll be on the hunt for this package as we get closer to calendar year 2024.

Chevrolet Silverado Colorado AEV ZR2 Bison American Expedition Vehicles
Image via Chevrolet

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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