Ricardo is currently debuting their new FED ALPHA Army-spec vehicle at the AUSA in Washington D.C.
The United States Army has teamed up with engineering firm Ricardo (the guys who built the engine for the McLaren MP4-12C supercar) to develop a more fuel-efficient armored vehicle to use in wartime situations. The possible Humvee replacement has been dubbed the FED ALPHA and is part of the FED (Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator) program backed by the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
The ALPHA is an ultra-safe personnel carrier that was designed for fuel-efficiency and safety in combat zones. The military-spec vehicle was built with an Alcoa Defense aluminum structure with an underbody blast shield covered with armor. It is powered by a Cummins I4 engine coupled with an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (compared to the Humvee's four gear tranny). It sits on a set of specially developed Goodyear Fuel Max tires geared for low resistance. "The FED ALPHA vehicle is the culmination of Ricardo's total vehicle system methodology," said Wes Scharmen, Ricardo's chief program engineer for FED.
He continued: "Each technology that made its way onto the vehicle was properly vetted to ensure that it aided in achieving the program goals of making a fuel efficient and creditable military vehicle." The FED ALPHA is currently undergoing testing in Maryland at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. It will debut at the 2011 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington D.C.