See that vehicle in the photos? That's the US Army's next-generation truck. Looks cool, right?
Here's another fun fact: it's practically a Chevrolet Colorado.
General Motors' subsidiary, GM Defense, has just been awarded by the US Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal to supply their troops with a new truck called the ISV, or Infantry Squad Vehicle.
“Winning this Army award is well-deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication of our GM Defense team and their production of a fantastic vehicle. We are confident the GMD ISV will meet and exceed all of our customers’ requirements,” said David Albritton, president of GM Defense. “It’s indeed an honor to leverage our parent company’s experience as one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers to design, build and deliver the best technologies available to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and our allies.”
GM Defense was given specific parameters with the ISV in that it has to be able to carry a squad of 9 soldiers, be fast and agile, have the all-terrain capability, and is light enough to be easily carried by either a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter or the larger CH-47 Chinook. And the contract value is at USD 214.3 million to build, field, and sustain 2,065 vehicles for the Army.
To achieve this goal, GM turned to one of their most popular truck models worldwide: the Chevrolet Colorado. While Colorado (specifically the ZR2) in the US market looks different, the platform (chassis) is largely the same, if not identical, to Colorado marketed in international markets.
The ISV is basically a pick-up truck but instead of a body, there's a naked superstructure built on the frame that looks auspiciously like a massive military-style roll cage. Even the braces on the roll cage are hollowed out in places to presumably reduce weight whilst maintaining rigidity.
There are no doors, which should contribute to the lower weight and easier ingress/egress for soldiers with rifles and gear. The seating arrangement is 2 in front, 3 in the middle, with 2 rear-facing seats and 2 outward-facing seats where the pick-up bed would have been. All the seats appear to be somewhat racing-inspired, albeit without the thigh support normally found in racing seats. Perhaps more importantly, soldiers will practically be able to shoot in any direction given the seating configuration and the lack of doors and windows, apart from a windshield that looks clamped on.
GM will be using largely off-the-shelf components for the ISV such as the Colorado ZR2 chassis, parts, and equipment built for conquering desert races. The ISV will use Multimatic dual spool-valve dampers and suspension parts from Chevrolet Performance. The mud-terrain tires are from BF Goodrich, and even the wheels appear to be the same as the ones on the Colorado ZR2.
GM says about 90% of the ISV will be built on existing commercial parts in their bin for better efficiency and easier maintenance, regardless of where the vehicles are deployed.
Here's the interesting bit though: GM says all ISVs will be fitted with the 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine with a six-speed automatic. Basically, it's the same engine in the Colorado and Trailblazer, albeit with a different state of tuning: the ISV will have 186 horsepower.