For those readers who may be out of the loop, GM has partnered with aftermarket off-road and overlanding specialist American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to create some its top-of-the-line off-roader models, including pickups like the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison and GMC Sierra AT4X AEV Edition. These models offer unique content sourced directly from AEV, and they definitely stand out in their respective model lineups. Now, it looks like GM’s crosstown rival, Ford, will take a similar, aftermarket-sourced approach in creating rivals to models like the Colorado ZR2 Bison and Sierra AT4X AEV Edition.
Per a report from our sister publication, Ford Authority, sources familiar with the matter indicate that Ford intends to sell off-road-specialty model variants outfitted with third-party equipment, much like the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison and GMC Sierra AT4X AEV Edition offered by GM in partnership with AEV. The Ford Authority report states that these new off-roader derivatives will offer enhanced capability and performance, and will incorporate equipment accessories beyond simple upgrades like bumpers, wheels, running boards, and body protection. Greater approach and departure angles are two areas expected to see improvements, as compared to equivalent models with Ford-only components.
Ford is also expected to debut the first of these new off-road speciality vehicles with aftermarket upgrades for the 2024 model year. The Blue Oval brand recently launched a series of new trim levels and packages across its truck and SUV lineup to enhance its off-road offerings, such as the Ford Maverick Tremor added for 2023, as well as new Timberline trims for the Ford Explorer and Ford Expeditions SUVs.
Meanwhile, models like the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison and GMC Sierra AT4X AEV Edition offer upgrades like higher-approach-angle bumpers, a unique grille, fender flares, skid plates, and beadlock-capable wheels.