The new 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison represents the most off-road enhanced version of the truck in the Colorado model's 20 years of existence, as it is made in partnership with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) and is meant to conquer any terrain.
The vehicle is propelled by a standard 2.7-liter Turbo DOHC engine with a maximum output of 310 hp and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain must be well-optimized to ensure enough power to the wheels when encountering an obstacle on the off-road path.
To use the most out of the engine's capabilities, the truck has a 2-speed transfer case and all-wheel drive provided by power-locking front and rear differentials. With help from all these features, the truck has a payload of 1050 lbs and a maximum towing capacity of 5500 lbs.
The collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles imposes a few features that elevate the Chevrolet to new heights in off-roading. The AEV heavy-duty winch-capable front bumper allows the vehicle to unlock itself from situations where the wheels don't provide any movement at all through the winch capability of adding another traction point.
The AEV 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels offer the best possible support for the structure of the 35-inch mud/terrain tires when deflated to help with the crossing of a significant obstacle.
The best-in-class approach, departure, and breakover angles, alongside the 12.2-inch ground clearance, are enhanced by the boron steel skid plates and rocker underbody protection that offer the driver enough courage to adventure even in the most hostile wilderness, knowing that the truck cannot be damaged from underneath.
To quickly navigate through different terrains and help maintain the wheels in contact with the ground for as long as possible to offer a better grip, the Colorado ZR2 Bison is equipped with segment-exclusive Multimatic front and rear Jounce Control Dampers. Other than increased stability, the suspension has an extensive range of motion that helps with keeping the truck level even on the most deformed surfaces.
From a visual perspective, the truck has AEV rear bumper, fender flares, and badged headrests that underline the truck's unicity and distinctive features. Combining the good looks with practicability, the Chevy has a racing-inspired tire carrier and spray-on bedliner, as every pickup truck should. The specific Chevrolet "flowtie" crowns the front part of the car and highlights its Bison exterior identification.
In terms of technology, the truck comes standard with the Chevy Safety Assist, a suite of all the essential safety technologies implemented on modern vehicles, such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert and IntelliBeam auto high beam control. It also provides an interesting user experience through its 11.3-inch infotainment touchscreen system with built-in Google.
When the GM and Isuzu joined their forces to built reliable workhorses on four wheels, they also agreed who will sell where. And the GM had the U.S. This is how Chevrolet Colorado ended up having the same chassis as an Isuzu D-Max.
The Chevrolet Colorado was the kind of truck that could be used as a daily driver and a weekend companion. Its 5.3 m (210.5") length was about the same as a family sedan. The 2015 model received the "corner step" introduced for the first trim in the Chevrolet Silverado, which had sculpted steps inside the rear bumper to help climbing in and out of the bed. The front fascia was flat and tall. The Crew Cab was available with a 5 or 6 feet bed. (1.52-1.82 m) and it could tow up to 6,700 pounds (3,039 kg).
The Crew Cab was the four-door version and a true 5-seater. Inside, the dashboard was closer to an SUV than to a utility truck. And the vehicle was good to serve well for both purposes. In the center console, a new infotainment system was installed and was able to connect via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Under the hood, Colorado had three engine choices, depending on the market. The standard model featured a 2.5-liter gasoline engine, while the top version had a 3.6-liter V6 unit installed. Both were mated as standard with a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic was available as an option. In some countries, there was a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine.
Chevrolet introduced the first generation of the Colorado mid-size pickup in 2003, which received a refresh in 2009.
In 2007, the world economic crisis hit General Motors hard and barely dodged the bankruptcy bullet. With money going out of its pockets and losing the Saab and Opel brands in Europe, GM had to strengthen its position in its home market, and a refreshed pickup was considered a solution. And it worked.
Chevrolet built the mid-size pickup in three cabin sizes, with the Double-Cab as the longest cabin. The Colorado sported a new front fascia inspired by its bigger brother, the Silverado. Depending on the trim level, it offered a body-colored horizontal bar between the headlights that crossed over the grille and supported the bow-tie badge. Chevrolet installed a pair of regular doors in the back to make things easier for the rear-seat passengers.
Inside, the carmaker offered a base model with automatic transmission for the U.S. market but with cranked windows and a manual air-conditioning system. It provided the same comfort level as any other mid-size SUV from those times. The pickup could accommodate two occupants at the front and three in the back. However, the middle rear seat was more cramped due to the transmission tunnel than the outer ones. On the dashboard, Chevrolet installed a four-dials instrument panel, and on the center stack, it arranged the transmission buttons on top, followed by the audio system and the climate control dials on the bottom.
Under the hood, Chevrolet offered a choice of three engines ranged between 185 hp and 300 hp. Only the base model was available with a five-speed manual, while the carmaker paired the other two to a four-speed automatic.
As part of its deal with Isuzu, General Motors introduced the Colorado pickup in 2003, competing against Dodge Dakota and Ford Ranger.
General Motors built a new chassis, which it shared with Isuzu. But while the Japanese brand successfully sold the D-Max globally, Chevrolet struggled harder on its home market. Still, it offered the light utility vehicle with a choice of three cabins. The Dual Cab was designed mostly as a leisure pickup, suitable for families.
The car's front featured a distinct front fascia with a horizontal slat that crossed the vehicle from one side to another, splitting the headlights in two. Depending on the trim option, that slat was chromed or body-colored. As with any full-size cabins, the Dual Cab Colorado featured a pair of full-size doors for the rear passengers. Strangely, the Dual Cab (also named Crew Cab) was shorter than the Extended-cab version.
Since the Colorado Dual Cab featured two full-size doors in the back, it was easier to use by rear-seat passengers. Inside, the carmaker offered the pickup a choice of five or six seats. At the front, it installed either a bench or a pair of bucket seats, with a bench for three in the back.
Under the hood, the bow-tie brand installed a wide range of engines ranging between the fuel-efficient inline-four 2.8-liter unit and a beefy 3.7-liter inline-five. The latter was unusual for an American pickup. The GMC Canyon/Chevrolet Colorado managed to outsell the all-time class leader Ford Ranger in 2005 and 2006.