Earlier this month, GM Authority said one of its insiders explained why Chevrolet wouldn’t develop a Silverado to directly rival the Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram TRX. Declining to build a haul-ass off-road Silvy doesn’t mean that Chevrolet won’t do more with the stock Silverado ZR2, though. We’ve seen a camouflaged version of the upgraded Silverado ZR2 Bison developed with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) in spy photos, and now the two companies have teased what they’re about to spring. A short teaser clip reveals a few highlights of what makes a ZR2 a Bison, starting with a new bumper. The stock ZR2 bumper is a special unit shaped to provide a 31.8-degree angle of approach, its corners cut to provide plenty of body and wheel clearance on the trail. The front bumper in the teaser restores fog lights at the edges, and makes a place for the front license plate, which the regular unit does not. The corner fogs are standard practice on AEV aftermarket bumpers, usually fitted to trucks with substantial lifts.
There are two more features in the bumper located on either side of the license plate that appear to be decorative, but we can’t make them out. There are likely recovery points just below. In April, a post on the GM Inside News forum claimed to show a screenshot from GM’s internal ordering system with the 2023 Silverado ZR2 Bison configuration listed. The list also shows the ZR2’s red recovery hooks being deleted, but something must go in their place.
The screenshotted equipment list for the Silverado ZR2 Bison also added two new bumpers, four Bison Edition skid plates from front to back, the Multi-Flex tailgate, 18-inch aluminum wheels — same size as the stock ZR2 but an AEV design, and all-weather Carhartt floor mats. The rest of the teaser gives glimpses of a black Bowtie and black and red ZR2 badge standing over a new mesh treatment in the grille, AEV wheels, a two-tone tailgate, and lots of skid plates.
The Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison only comes with a diesel. The Silverado could go that route, pickup up the updated 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six GM is said to be rolling out for the 2023 model year, or stick with the 6.2-liter V8 making 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.
As for why the automaker won’t target the Raptor and TRX directly, that insider told GMA it would cost too much to reconfigure production lines for a wider rig. GMA summarized it with, “a widened, taller Chevy Silverado model would necessitate manufacturing plant modifications and extra costs, both of which would be too pricey or result in margins too slim to offset the extra costs involved in development and plant modifications.”
The newest, biggest Bison is due for a reveal sometime this summer.