With Chevy having officially announced the Colorado ZR2 Bison, we have been wondering who the new off-road truck is for. In other words, who will buy this turn-key off-road truck, and what is its target market?
The obvious answer are hard-core, off-road enthusiasts with a penchant for mid-size pickup trucks (as opposed to full-size trucks), who have a good deal of disposable income and who don’t want to deal with the aftermarket. Another obvious answer are owners of the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
A not-so-obvious answer, however, are owners of off-road full-size trucks such as the Ford F-150 Raptor, Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and Ram 1500 TRX.
What Is It?
We lately have been learning a lot about the ZR2 Bison, the purpose built off-road vehicle that seemingly have more chassis armor than a Humvee rolling into a war zone. AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) was selected to outfit the ZR2 with premium aftermarket parts so that the consumer doesn’t have to.
The Colorado ZR2 Bison features the following exclusive features:
- A snorkel for deep water forging
- Five AEV-designed, specially-made skid plates to protect vital undercarriage organs while driving over rocky, jagged terrain; constructed of hard, durable hot-stamped Boron steel, the skid plates cover the engine oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case and front and rear locking differentials
- Larger fender flares
- All-new, ZR2 Bison-specific 17 x 8-inch aluminum wheels
- AEV-designed stamped steel front and rear bumpers to protect the truck from obstacles
- Winch provisions in the front bumper
- Standard fog lights
- Recovery points integrated into the rear bumper
- A flow-through “CHEVROLET” lettered grille
All that is on top of the equipment in store for the Colorado ZR2, including:
- Class-exclusive front and rear locking electronic differentials
- Revolutionary, segment-exclusive Multimatic DSSV dampers
- Off-road rocker protection
- Cast-iron control arms
- Autotrac transfer case
It’s also worth noting that the Colorado ZR2 Bison is available with the 2.8L Duramax Turbo Diesel (LWN) engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. As of this writing, no purpose-built, off-road midsize trucks offer a diesel engine from the factory.
Who’s Going To Buy It?
Given its feature set, it’s clear that the ZR2 Bison is geared toward rugged, outdoor enthusiasts and overlanders who spend their weekends in the mountains or just generally traversing rough, rugged terrain that no factory truck or SUV would normally dare to challenge (perhaps with the exception of a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon).
“More and more enthusiasts are discovering that Colorado is ideal for off-roading, especially overland travel,” Sandor Piszar, director of Marketing, Chevrolet Truck, said in a statement.
The selling point here is that the ZR2 Bison is a turn-key solution for those who enjoy the aforementioned offroading and overlanding activities, have the cash to splurge and don’t want to spend the time building and kitting a truck out themselves.
In addition, AEV is a well-known brand for creating aftermarket off-road parts, and to have their parts on the Colorado ZR2 from the factory, with a factory warranty, is quite a compelling solution… as long as is price is not stratospheric.
However, we also feel like it’s also possible for the ZR2 Bison to attract current owners of the Raptor, Tundra TRD, and Rebel TRX when it comes time to trade or get something new. That’s because those trucks, despite having the “cool” factor, typically aren’t capable of traversing the same kinds of rugged terrain as the ZR2 Bison, which has the capability to back up its tough looks.
In fact, we seldom see any of those full-size models on the tough off-road trails here in the Colorado Rockies, as the full-sizers are oftentimes too big for many trails, which are dominated by Jeep Wranglers. Meanwhile, the ZR2 Bison would be feel right at home on those trails – so perhaps it will also be able to attract some customers from Jeep.
The GM Authority Take
Overall, offering an AEV-kitted truck with major off-road capability from the factory, along with an optional diesel motor and a size just right for overlanding makes the ZR2 Bison a very attractive offering that might just be enough to sway folks away from the competition and into Chevy dealerships.