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AEV ZR2 Colorado Bison spied

By Matt Raudonikis, 10 May 2018 News

AEV ZR2 Colorado Bison spied news

Rare Colorado Bison spied in the States.

Spy photos out of the USA have surfaced of General Motors testing what appears to be a production version of the AEV ZR2 Colorado concept that wowed onlookers at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

The concept truck was built by American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), and those familiar with the expedition outfitter brand would know it is usually associated with Jeep and RAM vehicles from the FCA stable.

They would also be aware that AEV, which is now headquartered in Detroit but originated in Montana, uses a bison in its logo and graphics. Following the SEMA Show Chevrolet trademarked the ZR2 Bison name, hinting that a production version of the off-road-ready pick-up was in the works.

The AEV ZR2 Colorado concept was fully equipped for expedition overlanding in the top-shelf way that only AEV gets so right, and it represented a new venture for AEV as it branched out from exclusively outfitting FCA products. The concept was shod with 35-inch BFGoodrich muddies bead-locked to AEV Borah alloy wheels.

The suspension was lifted, with AEV tuning the springs and hardware to retain the optimum geometry for the best ride and handling both on and off the road. Interestingly, AEV retained the factory ZR2’s acclaimed DSSV spool-valve Multimatic shocks that have been adapted from sports car use and are said to give the Colorado truck amazing off-road credentials.

AEV bumpers were fitted front and rear, with a Warn winch slotted inside the front bar and an LED light bar mounted atop. Custom-made rock sliders ran down the flanks. A custom-made rack enshrouded the cargo bed and formed the platform to mount jerry cars, a Hi-Lift jack, a storage box, a spare wheel and tyre, and an awning.

Aussie gear was well represented, with a set of MaxTrax recovery boards and an ARB fridge included. A neat feature was the panel on the outside of the bed that puts outlets for the on-board compressed air, water pump and 12-volt power systems within handy reach.

Under the custom bonnet scoop the engine remained the standard 2.8-litre Duramax diesel, which we get in our Colorado in Australia yet it remains a bit of a novelty for petrol-guzzling US buyers. On the ZR2 concept the engine breathed through an AEV intake snorkel, while the body was cloaked in a desert tan hue and custom graphics.

Just how much of this super-cool overlanding kit makes it through to a production version ZR2 Bison is yet to be revealed, but the spy photos of the camouflaged vehicle show the snorkel, Chevrolet scripted grille and underbody protection all remain.

We doubt Holden would ever implement any of this gear to a local Colorado, but an Aussie-developed competitor to the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor is on our wish-list.