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One of the most popular trucks for sale, a white 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, is shown driving off-road in a desert.

Colorado ZR2 Bison Is Ready to Run Wild

For years now, the Chevy Colorado has been one of my favorite trucks for sale to take off-road; its solid engineering and midsize design have made it an equally perfect choice for wide expanses and tight quarters. And yet, in recent years, Chevy has gone above and beyond to make it even better with more options and features designed to absolutely dominate the trail. Just last year, we got an all-new generation for the Colorado that provides a host of upgrades, including a powerful new engine and a new Trail Boss trim to add more ways to head off-road. Apparently, they’re not done adding awesomeness.

As good as the Trail Boss is, the ZR2 trim is the undisputed king of the trail for the Chevy Colorado (as it is for the larger Silverado). For the 2024 model year, Chevy is bringing us another fantastic option: the ZR2 Bison. I’ll be the first to admit this feels more like a special edition for the ZR2 than a new trim level, but the improvements are enough to justify getting excited about it. We’re not just talking about a unique exterior color or badging but upgrades that can deliver the goods when you’re on the trail. Let’s take a look.

Chevy Partners With AEV

The driving force behind the Colorado ZR2 Bison is a partnership between Chevrolet and American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). For more than 25 years, AEV has been a leader in performance-driven aftermarket parts and accessories, specifically for going off-road and overlanding. AEV’s origins go back to a single person working on his Jeep Wrangler, setting up shop in a small garage, and building a reputation for quality and performance. Since that time, AEV has grown into one of the leading off-road aftermarket companies in the world, partnering with numerous brands to deliver the best rides for hitting the trail.

Now, AEV has partnered with Chevy to deliver the ZR2 Bison series of trucks—in addition to the Colorado, you can find a ZR2 Bison for the Silverado 1500 and even the Silverado 2500 HD (the first-ever Silverado HD ZR2). The goal of this partnership is pretty simple: to create incredible off-road machines that combine Chevy’s legacy of power and engineering with AEV’s knowledge of what drivers need while out on the trail. This has resulted in the ZR2 Bison, which has more than just AEV badging; it has heavy-duty parts and components designed to handle the worst abuse the trail can throw at you.

A close-up on a wheel on a white 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison is shown.

Bold Power and Engineering

At the heart of the Colorado ZR2 Bison is the most powerful engine available for the Chevy Colorado: a 2.7L Turbo High-Output DOHC I-4 engine that delivers 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. This is the same engine you’ll find in the standard ZR2 trim, providing fantastic power and performance out on the trail (it’s not too shabby for getting around town either). You’ll find it paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, giving you a smooth drive and excellent low-end performance on the trail. As you’d expect, you get four-wheel drive with the ZR2 Bison with a two-speed transfer case, plus power-locking front and rear differentials to ensure the right kind of ride quality and excellent articulation out on the trail.

As we know, however, when it comes to getting the most from your off-road experience, the engine is just one part of the equation. Chevy has overlooked nothing when it comes to the design and engineering of the Colorado ZR2 Bison, creating an incredibly capable monster that’s ready to eat up the trail. For starters, you’ll find segment-exclusive Multimatic front and rear Jounce Control Dampers, designed to keep you comfortable and protect your truck even while climbing through the roughest, most unforgiving terrain. Multimatic DSSV dampers are the hallmark of Chevy’s ZR2 trims, and they work hard to tackle anything you throw at them.

Thanks to the partnership with AEV, the ZR2 Bison features an AEV heavy-duty winch-capable front bumper that looks great and holds up to the worst abuse the trail can send your way. You also get an AEV rear bumper and AEV fender flares, all of which have been chosen and developed under the supervision of AEV’s off-road masters. In fact, the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison has been tested by Chad Hall, a champion off-road racer who used the ZR2 Bison for competition driving and testing on the Rubicon Trail.

The Right Angles and More

You have a lot of things to focus on and worry about when you’re navigating a challenging trail—the last thing you want to deal with is concerns about whether you can get over a rock or other obstacle. Thanks to the hard work of Chevy’s engineers and the experts at AEV, the Colorado ZR2 Bison is the most off-road capable midsize truck out there, due in large part to how well it can handle obstructions on the trail. For example, the ZR2 Bison has AEV 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels wrapped in segment-exclusive 35-inch OD Mud/Terrain tires that give it fantastic traction and grip even in the worst conditions. This has also contributed to the ZR2 Bison’s best-in-class 12.2 inches of ground clearance, making it easy to climb over anything in its way.

Chevy has spared no energy in developing an underside for the ZR2 Bison that is ready for adventure. You get a best-in-class approach angle of 38.2 degrees, with a departure angle of 26 degrees and a breakover angle of 26.9 degrees. When combined with its outstanding ground clearance, this makes it easy to climb over fallen logs, navigate uneven terrain, and maneuver through canyons with ease. And don’t worry: the boron steel skid plates and rocker protectors provide you with best-in-class underbody protection, so your truck is safe even if things get a little too rough and tumble. The confidence all of this gives you while out on the trail can’t be beat.

Gorgeous and Innovative Inside

Despite the impressive engineering and off-road capability of the Colorado ZR2 Bison, Chevy hasn’t overlooked this remarkable truck’s interior. Looking inside, you’ll find an 11.3-inch Infotainment display that looks stunning and features Google built-in. You also get support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and wireless phone charging, along with a wide range of apps and software for hitting the trail, making it easy to keep track of how your truck is doing, where it is, and everything else you need to know. The ZR2 Bison features AEV badging on the front headrests, along with all-weather floor liners that help keep your truck’s interior clean, even when the exterior gets caked in mud and dirt. Despite its midsize design, you still get two rows of comfortable seats inside, making this a solid choice for bringing friends or family along with you to the trail.

A brown 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison is shown driving off-road.

Are You Ready to Let This Bison Loose?

As you can see, Chevy has held nothing back with the Colorado ZR2 Bison, creating a midsize truck that is perfect for leaving your cares and civilization behind. Whether you like going to hard-to-reach campsites and need a truck to take you there or enjoy spending your weekend out on the trail, exploring wilderness few vehicles can handle, the ZR2 Bison has you covered. This is the ultimate expression of off-road power and capability for a midsize pickup. It will be interesting to see how other brands react—we’re likely to see stiff competition from the Ford Ranger (and perhaps the rumored midsize truck Ram is working on)—but anything that comes from this is good news for off-roading enthusiasts. When brands compete to build the best trucks on the road, it means we get to enjoy capability and features beyond anything we’ve seen before.

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