Chevrolet is keeping its mouth closed on exactly what this camoed truck is. It parked it in front of a group of top automotive journalists on the first drive of the 2023 Colorado ZR2. It is unmistakably the highly anticipated second-generation Colorado ZR2 Bison.
Yep, as we all expected, the next-generation Colorado ZR2 will get the full American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) treatment. The full factory-authorized package is known as the Bison edition, which was first introduced on the 2019 Colorado ZR2. (Check our full review of the first Bison.)
The AEV Bison package has since also landed on the Silverado 1500 ZR2, and the just-announced Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 trucks.
2023 Colorado ZR2 Bison
All we know so far is what we could see while crawling around the camoed truck for a few minutes. It helped a bit that it was parked next to both the 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 and Chad Hall’s new Colorado ZR2 race truck (which is covered in AEV parts).
Here’s what we know so far:
- 35″ Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac (LT315/70R17) tires
- 17″ AEV wheels
- Taller Multimatic DSSV dampers
- Small lift
- Chevrolet Performance Parts jounce shocks front & back
- AEV steel front & rear bumpers
- Upgraded & additional skid plates
- Different seat covers with red accents
- In-bed spare tire carrier
A Midsize Truck — On 35s!
First off, 35-inch tires on a midsize truck from the factory. That’s massive news, and an industry first. It’s what the aftermarket works toward on every midsize truck and what off-road enthusiasts have been begging for.
Of course, the big tire fitment is possible because of the new wheel placement and suspension setup on the 2023 Colorado. The front wheels have been moved forward and suspension travel all around has been improved. Add in bigger wheel arches and this truck was designed from the start to handle 35s.
I overheard a conversation between race truck driver Chad Hall and some Chevy engineers about him wanting to fit 37s on the race truck. The issue is that would require some cutting into the crash bar in front of the firewall that keeps the front axle and engine from intruding on the passenger compartment when in a frontal collision.
This, of course, wouldn’t be as big a deal on the race truck, where a full roll cage protects occupants. However, it probably means that we won’t see 37s on many Chevy Colorados, and never from the factory.
2023 Colorado Bison: Availability & Pricing
Because Chevy won’t even confirm that this is an AEV upfitted Bison edition truck, they, of course, are also tight-lipped about how much it will cost and when it might be available.
The 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2, on which the Bison edition is built, starts at $48,690. Assembly of the truck will start in the first half of this year, but delivery timing has not been announced just yet.
We’re going to take a wild stab and say the 2023 Colorado ZR2 Bison will likely hit the market very late this year, or super-early next year. It will no doubt come at a substantial upcharge, as it has a ton of big upgrades. The 2022 Colorado ZR2 Bison comes with a $5,750 upcharge over the standard ZR2, and we expect the next-generation Bison package — on 35s — to cost even more.
Check out Chevrolet’s website to find your local dealer and get your name on the list now, as the first round of the new Colorado Bison will likely sell very quickly.