The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison is the first vehicle of its kind. The highly capable pickup combined the rigorous development validation of an OEM (General Motors) with the specialized expertise of an upfitter (American Expedition Vehicles) to deliver one of the most formidable pickup trucks the world has ever seen from the factory. To the point, it’s been such a hit, that GM and AEV have agreed to increase production on the off-road midsize truck, which stickers at nearly $50,000.
And it could be just the beginning.
“I think there’s a history there with Chevrolet and AEV, and you’re going to see that history continue. Especially as we look at more off-road opportunities,” said Hugh Milne, Chevrolet Silverado Marketing Director, in an interview with MC&T during the 2019 SEMA Show.
So we asked if there would be a Chevrolet Silverado Bison.
“Who knows, right? The possibilities are endless. You look at what we’ve done with Trail Boss, and I wouldn’t rule anything out,” he said.
Our contacts at AEV were mum on the matter, but have previously mentioned to us that half-ton pickup trucks pose “a tough business case.” This is due to the nature of the type of enthusiast in the market, which prefer the pre-runner style dune jumping trucks that excel on sand dunes and open spaces, and not the go-anywhere-but-slowly overlanding vehicles that AEV specializes in.
With just a shock upgrade, a suspension lift, and some Goodyear DuraTrac tires, the Silverado Trail Boss offers enthusiasts a bit of added capability, but isn’t exactly the last word in off-road superiority. In other words, there’s still a lot of potential there. We know that Chevrolet is currently busy developing the next level in off-road performance with the Silverado ZRX, which was teased with the Hall Racing Silverado racing truck at the SEMA Show. Another collaboration with AEV would imply something even beyond that.
If we look at the Colorado ZR2 Bison, AEV added hot-stamped boron steel skid plates, tubular steel bumper and side skirt protection, special wheels, and a winch-ready front bumper. The package costs $5,750 on top of any standard ZR2. AEV also announced its plans to offer its own package beyond the factory Colorado Bison, which incorporates high-clearance fenders and larger 35-inch tires first previewed on the Colorado ZR2 Bison Tray Bed Concept. This AEV Bison 350 package made its debut at the 2019 SEMA Show and is pictured below. Pricing for this package has not yet been announced.
A Silverado Bison could incorporate a very similar recipe as the Colorado ZR2 Bison, but what such a package would potentially cost at this point in time is not known.
Meanwhile, the Ford F-150 Raptor has remained largely unchallenged for two generations at this point, while Ram is preparing to enter the ring with the Hellcat-powered Rebel TRX.