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Why Off-Roaders and Overlanders Will Love the 2023 Chevy Silverado ZR2 Bison

Chevrolet has once again raised the bar for off-road performance. The new Silverado ZR2 Bison special edition was created with custom outfitter American Expedition Vehicles to further the truck’s off-road capability.


The off-roading craze really accelerated during the pandemic shutdowns and it shows no signs of abating. After the tremendous success of the Colorado ZR2 Bison, Chevrolet decided to upgrade the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado with a Bison version as well. The 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison features rocker protection, unique skid plates, stronger front and rear bumpers and other enhancements guaranteed to improve the off-road experience.

ZR2 Customized with the Help of American Expedition Vehicles

AEV specializes in premium off-road aftermarket customizing, with an eye toward overlanding. That is why the underbody reinforcements are so important. Whether the driver is heading out to the trails for a day or to the back country for weeks, the improvements will make for a smoother, more successful journey. GM engineers worked with AEV on the proposed changes to improve the truck’s performance in the off-road environment.

“Our most recent collaboration with AEV resulted in the much-acclaimed Colorado ZR2 Bison. We’re thrilled to team up again to bring customers Chevrolet’s next chapter of off-road dominance, this time on Silverado,” said Scott Bell, Chevrolet vice president. “The 2023 Silverado ZR2 Bison unlocks the pinnacle of the nameplate’s off-road capability.”

“The Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison is the ultimate half-ton truck for backcountry adventures,” said AEV CEO and Founder Dave Harriton. “The Silverado ZR2 Bison checks all the boxes — robust stamped steel bumpers, complete underbody protection, a factory-tuned off-road suspension, and locking differentials front and rear. We are confident off-road enthusiasts are going to love this truck.”

Building on the Colorado ZR2 Bison Success Story

The 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison quickly became the most popular special edition package offered with the Colorado ZR2. The Silverado ZR2 Bison is expected to have similar results.

According to Chevrolet, the Silverado ZR2 Bison special edition is expected to feature improved stats for overlanding compared to the 2022 Silverado ZR2. The front approach angle increases to an estimated 32.5 degrees (compared to 31.8 degrees). The departure angle improves to an estimated 23.4 degrees (compared to 23.3 degrees). The trucks are expected to share the same ground clearance at 11.2 inches.

The AEV-stamped steel front and rear bumpers are constructed of 3-millimeter-thick steel and are powder and e-coated. The press-hardened steel used for the underbody skid plates is three-and-a-half times stronger than an equivalent cold-stamped high-strength steel plate and provides incredible resistance to underbody damage.

Other Standard Bison Features Include:

  • AEV stamped steel front and rear bumpers with heavy duty recovery points and integrated step pads
  • The three-piece durable steel front bumper with integrated black, vertical front tow hooks
  • The front bumper is compatible with an available winch
  • Five unique hot-stamped boron steel skid plates providing protection for the front, rear differential, transfer case and fuel tank
  • Steel rocker panel protection
  • Exclusive gloss black 18-inch AEV wheels paired with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires

The 2023 Silverado ZR2 Bison comes standard with a 6.2L V-8 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The truck has 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque to handle tough back country or off-road terrains. Buyers can also opt for the popular 3.0L Duramax Diesel. GM estimates that the Duramax can deliver max horsepower of 305 and max torque of 495 lb.-ft.

The Bison has specific off-road chassis and suspension calibrations, including Terrain Mode, which allows one-pedal rock crawling. It comes with front and rear e-lockers and Multimatic 40-millimeter DSSV spool-valve dampers.

The Silverado ZR2 Bison is expected to start production in early 2023 with an MRSP of $78,490 which includes destination.

Chevrolet Photo

Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.

Follow Mary Conway at @maryconwaymedia and send her car news tips for future stories.