2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Desert Boss reportedly gets one model year

If GM Authority is correct, 2023 is all she wrote for the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Desert Boss Special Edition Package. When Chevy launched the new 2023 Colorado, this package added off-road capability to the already potent ZR2 trim. The ZR2 already gets gear like the most powerful version of the 2.7-liter four-cylinder making 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, five drive modes including Terrain and Baja, Multimatic spool valve dampers, and 33-inch tires. For another $9,295, the Desert Boss package adds 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, a winch-ready front bumper with a safari bar, a 40-inch light bar, an accessory power distribution box and a wiring kit for more lights, a ground-facing camera mounted in the undercarriage, a sport bar in the bed, black badging, and decals. The package requires adding a steel driveshaft for $695, for a total of $9,990. Not exactly a deal considering the number of components that would make a difference on the trail, but the new era of pickup buyers don’t worry much about value. 

GMA believes the quick exit for the Desert Boss Special Edition is that there’s a ZR2 Bison AEV on the way. We saw spy shots of just such a beast in December along with a GMC Canyon AT4X wearing an AEV snorkel. Both appeared to be riding on larger Goodyear Wrangler Terrain MT tires, perhaps 35 inches, which would be two inches larger than the biggest tires available on the ZR2 and AT4X. Those tires were wrapped about two different designs of beadlock-capable wheels. Besides the bigger tires, both trucks featured a new bed-mounted, full-sized spare tire that would increase departure angle by getting the spare out from under the truck. Unlike previous bed mounts, this bolted the spare to an upright at the back of the cab, leaving more space in the bed for cargo. Rear visibility probably takes a hit, though.

Beyond that, the AEV formula should make its way to the rest of the pickup, meaning unique grilles, steel bumpers, fender flares, a suspension lift and possibly even axle ratio changes. This appears to be a much heavier makeover than the $5,750 ZR2 Bison package available on the 2022 Colorado, looking closer to the AEV ZR2 Bison package that added another $12,999 to the MSRP after the ZR2 Bison upgrade. We won’t be surprised if the new kit falls in line around the $58,285 Desert Boss. Based on the state of the protos in December, we suspect a debut isn’t far off. 

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