By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com

Watch out for the Bison on the road! Not the largest mammal in North America but the all-new 5,350-pound Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 special edition. It too is an impressive beast like its namesake! Add in a tie-up with off-road aftermarket manufacturer, American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), and you can head off the beaten path with confidence and poise.   

Our Silverado 1500 Crew Cab version was equipped with the 6.2-liter V-8 engine putting out 420 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 460 pounds-feet of torque @ 4100 rpm. It is mated to a slick 10-speed auto gear box. GM’s Dynamic Fuel Management system deactivates half of the cylinders to conserve gas while cruising or at slower speeds. The front independent coil-over-shock front and solid axle rear suspension ensures a solid but compliant and calm ride with controlled handling and response. Guiding the large SUV into a tight parking spot with little effort is an accurate and well-weighted electric power steering. Need to haul cargo? Well, up to 13,200 pounds can be towed. A 6.6-foot standard bed is offered with 12 fixed tie-downs that have a capacity of 500 pounds.

High-quality steel AEV-stamped bumpers and underbody skid plates for front, rear differential, transfer case and fuel tank make a successful case to hardcore off-road enthusiasts. This enables the Silverado Bison to enhance its approach angle to 32.5 from 31.8 degrees and departure to 23.4 from 23.3 degrees, though ground clearance stays at 11.2 inches. The familiar Chevy bow-tie emblem sits centered amid the body-colored grille bar and flanked by C-shaped LED headlights and a ZR2 badge. The Bison decal is also prominent on the side outer box. Step into the airy interior and you will again notice AEV badges on the front headrests and floor liners. The driver faces a 12.3-inch digital cluster while the infotainment touch screen is a sweeping horizontal 13.4-inch instrument panel. And it includes built-in Google Assistant and maps, along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Well-placed storage bins and cubbies are scattered throughout. Best of all is the center console bin, which can consume a laptop. Other no-cost goodies include a power rake/telescopic steering wheel, dual auto a/c, 10-way power driver seat, 60/40 fold rear bench, etc.

Dual front and side airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, hill start assist, HD surround vision camera, blind zone, forward collision and rear pedestrian alerts, rear-cross traffic and auto emergency brakes, remote keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are a part of the package.

Much like the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, this rugged Silverado version can effectively and equally traverse rugged terrain plus tackle peak-hour traffic on city roads or cruise the highway. Simultaneously, you get plentiful passenger and bed capacity and laudable tow/haul capacities. What more can a pickup shopper ask for in a ride?


Tires: P275/60R20

Wheelbase: 147.4 inches

Length: 231.9 inches

Width: 81.2 inches

Height: 75.5 inches

Fuel capacity: 24 gallons

City: 14 mpg

Highway: 17 mpg

Base price: $71,500

Price as tested: $86,295

Web site: www.chevrolet.com