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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

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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