2023 Chevy Silverado ZR2 Bison Wears a Whole Lot of Trail Armor

ZR2 not tough enough? The Bison and its five skid plates are here for you.

byChris Tsui| PUBLISHED Aug 16, 2022 9:00 AM
2023 Chevy Silverado ZR2 Bison Wears a Whole Lot of Trail Armor
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Chevy is adding another off-road truck to its lineup with the 2023 Silverado ZR2 Bison. Following in the Colorado ZR2 Bison's footsteps, it's a collaboration with aftermarket off-road parts manufacturer American Expedition Vehicles that mainly adds extra protection to the ZR2's underside. And until Chevy comes out with a true Ford F-150 Raptor rival (or, y'know, an incrementally upgraded Bison Extra or something), it's the toughest Silverado in the company's arsenal.

New bumpers are made of stamped steel measuring three millimeters thick. They also feature heavy-duty recovery points as well as integrated step pads, which come in handy more than you might think. Five different skid plates are made of press-hardened boron steel said to be 3.5 times stronger than cold-stamped high-strength steel and provide cover for the front and rear diffs, transfer case, and fuel tank.

Steel rocker panel protection is also standard.

Approach and departure angles are increased over the regular ZR2, although not by a whole lot. The angle of approach measures 32.5 degrees versus 31.8 with the normal ZR2 while the angle of departure is now 23.4 degrees compared to the non-Bison truck's measly 23.3. Ground clearance remains the same at 11.2 inches as the suspension is unchanged, meaning it still features those sweet Multimatic DSSV dampers.

Making the Bison Silverado look and drive the part are black 18-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires. That body-colored grille trim is also exclusive to the Bison, as is the matte black Multi-Flex tailgate. AEV logos adorn the headrests and floor mats while a Bison decal graces the side of the bed.

Just like the regular ZR2, power comes from a 6.2-liter V8 making 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. That power then gets sent through a 10-speed automatic transmission. You could theoretically add a bunch of power to it knowing you've got all that extra skid plating, but really, you don't have to.

The 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison will begin production in early 2023 and start at $78,490, about $8,000 more than the regular Silverado ZR2.

Got a tip or question for the author about the Silverado ZR2 Bison? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com