Chevrolet has just launched its most impressive midsize pickup truck yet. The 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison is loaded with upgraded parts from American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to help it crush terrain that the already capable ZR2 can't tackle.
The Bison package starts with the standard Colorado ZR2 and its near-magic Multimatic DSSV dampers. They're upgraded for the Bison to include Jounce Control Dampers, also from Multimatic. These extra parts are designed to absorb movement at the most extreme limits of wheel travel, gently stopping the suspension from compressing instead of slamming into a traditional rubber bump stop.
The Bison has 12.2 inches of ground clearance, more than any other midsize pickup and an inch and a half more than the standard ZR2. Thanks to AEV bumpers front and rear, the ZR2 Bison also leads with its 38.2-degree approach angle, 26-degree departure angle, and 26.9-degree departure angle. Those are key dimensions that showcase how steep of an obstacle a truck can drive up (or down), over, and through without hitting the ground.
Underneath, the Colorado ZR2 Bison has boron steel skid plates and rocker protectors. Adding small amounts of boron to the alloy offers higher strength and wear resistance, so they better protect the truck's vital bits from smashing and dragging along rocks, boulders, and other trail obstacles.
AEV fender flares cover the AEV beadlock wheels. Those new wheels wear 35-inch tall Mud Terrain tires, which add traction and durability to the Bison's off-road experience.
If you puncture one of those big Goodyear tires, you won't be scrambling underneath to find a replacement. Like the last Bison, the spare is mounted in the bed. Unlike the last Bison, the spare mount is at the front of the truck box. It's far more practical, if not as cool.
Chevrolet has given the Bison the same 2.7L turbocharged four-cylinder as the regular ZR2. It makes 310 hp and 430 lb-ft, and the transmission is an eight-speed automatic. There is a low-range transfer case and locking front and rear differentials are standard.
Tow capacity is down slightly to 2,595 kg (5,500 lb) and the payload is a piddling 476 kg (1,050 lb). That's 113 kg (250 lb) less payload than a standard ZR2 and makes this more of a day-trip truck than a week-long overlander or a Monday-to-Friday work truck that transforms into a weekend warrior.
Sit in the Bison, and it is all but identical to the standard ZR2. The differences are the branded floor mats and stitched logos on the headrests.
There's no fuel economy estimate yet and no pricing. Expect the first to be low, the second to be high, and for both to become available when orders for the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison open in the fall.