In a pre-holiday piece about just how awesome they think that the Colorado ZR2 Bison is, Nelson Ireson of Automobile Magazine laments on how Tesla Motors has a famous “Ludicrous Mode” offered on its Model S sedans. Well-documented over the internet and YouTube, it is a performance-enhancing bit of software that allows the car to accelerate with mind-blowing power, and leave just about anything or anyone behind them in the dust. Nelson claims that the new Bison version of the Chevy Colorado ZR2 is “the off-road equivalent of Ludicrous Mode,” and heaps on the praise for the massively capable truck.
Part of the reason why it is ranked as the hardest-core of the Colorado clan is the upgrades beyond normal ZR2 specs: the rock sliders, skid plates, and crawling-ready damper turning prepare it for areas such as the most remote corners of Moab, or the Ozarks right here close to home. These upgrades make the truck durable even in the most treacherous off-road locations, and able to withstand the threat of obstacles that exist off-road. Already on the equipment list to withstand any dose of boulder or Baja-induced difficulty, are rocker slider bars, boron-steel skid plates, cast-iron control arms, an Autotrac transfer case, and electronically locking front and rear differentials.
On the outside, there's a new flow-through Chevrolet-lettered grille, fatter fender flares, AEV-designed steel front and rear bumpers, and 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires. The unique AEV branding inside and out included embroidered logos on the seat headrests, and you really sense the excitement immediately that comes from being able to go anywhere a full-size truck can, while brandishing a smaller size that means it can go many places others can't. It truly is the truck that will be “whining and scraping at the garage door, begging to be let out to play,” encouraging a brand of hard use that will no doubt provide an enormous dose of fun.
One of the real differences between this and the standard ZR2 is that you don't have to worry about ventilating the oil pan, or providing protection for the most sensitive parts on a truck: the ones located underneath. “The Great Wide Open” is a distinction of terrain that requires a truck prepared for battle, not just built to get by. The seasoned staff at Jalopnik claimed that the skid plates really make a world of difference for a truly challenging off-road situation, and that this is the truck that can “be bashed over boulders without getting mangled.” They provided some cool details via cad form here that really give you an idea of how the extra equipment is situated, constructed, and ultimately protects the vital locations of the Bison. Ask us here at Jim Butler Chevy about the optional transmission skid bars, another weapon in the arsenal that keeps the ZR2 Bison proudly plowing through canyons and streams!