Where’s the Beef? Chevy Introduces Silverado ZR2 Bison


General Motors has no shortage of off-road trims in its truck lineup, ranging from Z71 to ZR2 on the Chevy side and all the way up to AT4X over at GMC. Now, the bowtie brigade is borrowing the Bison suffix from its Colorado midsizer and applying it to big-bro Silverado.

Oh – and this tidbit before the jump: Its silky inline-six diesel is set to make more power in 2023.

That development was clear to anyone paying attention when Chevrolet changed the RPO code on its 3.0L Duramax diesel for the upcoming model year. Thanks to a raft of new components – new pistons, retuned turbo compressor, and new injectors to name a few – power output climbs to 305 horsepower and 495 lb-ft of torque, up from 277hp/460tq in the old engine. It’ll pop up in dealers by the end of this year. If you’re reading this post in 2030, look for the LZ0 code instead of the old LM2 to make sure that the used Chevy pickup has the engine you expect.

Back on the off-road trails, this new Silverado 1500 ZR2 Bison builds on the brand’s collab with American Expedition Vehicles, a company that builds accessories for owners who like to keep on truckin’ when the pavement ends. This time around, AEV is once again lending its expertise in the areas of skid plating, rocker panel protection, and custom bumpers. The latter are stamped by AEV and feature heavy-duty recovery points with integrated step pads out back. The front bumper is a three-piece unit compatible with an available winch accessory which should be standard but isn’t, while a quintet of skid plates protects expensive bits like the transfer case and fuel tank. If you’re wondering, those are 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler muds on 18-inch wheels of an AEV design.

Under the hood is a hand-of-god 6.2L V8 engine, one which still makes 420 horses and 460 lb-ft just like it has since the dawn of time. A 10-speed automatic is its latest dance partner. Underneath are some of the same goodies which make the ZR2 and AT4X capable, such as the Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers and front/rear e-lockers. The suspension is said to have a “specific” off-road calibration, but details are scant beyond that marketing fluff. A smattering of design tweaks advertises your Bison Lifestyle, including some matte black trim and a hollowed-out ‘flow-tie’ logo on the grille.

The Silverado ZR2 Bison is scheduled to start production in early 2023 bearing an MRSP of $78,490 including freight.

[Images: Chevrolet]

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