Look closely. That's a stripped-down Chevy Colorado.
The United States Armed Forces have for decades relied upon private and public companies to help develop various systems, hardware, weapons, and, of course, vehicles. General Motors, Ford, Willys… they all answered the call when the military asked. Today's Jeep Wrangler is perhaps the best example of when a military vehicle was later turned into a civilian SUV. In the case of this latest GM news, however, the vehicle the US Army is interested in is already on sale. It just requires some serious modifications.
GM Defense has just announced it's been awarded a $1 million contract by the army to develop a new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) prototype. Further testing and evaluation will get underway this fall following recent field tests at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. GM Defense couldn't help but notice just how badass the Chevy Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 Bison are for civilians who like to have fun.
Could it be stripped down and heavily modified so that it can be sling-loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter? Is it compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter? What about being able to fit up to nine soldiers and all of their gear at highway speeds both on and off-road, assumedly into battle? All of those answers are expected to be answered soon. GM Defense adds that the ISV is set to be powered by a 186-horsepower, 2.8-liter diesel paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.
What's cool is that 70 percent of the components set to be used in the ITV are commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), such as high-performance parts developed and already tested by Chevrolet Performance. Some include long-travel Multimatic DSSV dampers, long-travel rear leaf springs, jounce shocks, front upper control arms, steel driveshaft, underbody skit plates, and ball-spline half shafts. Civilians can already buy most of these parts for the Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 Bison.
"Our ISV entry is a fully-integrated platform that leverages decades of GM's engineering, manufacturing and quality expertise at scale to provide the most cost-efficient, reliable and effective answer possible to meet and exceed the Army's demanding requirements," said GM Defense President David Albritton. "We're very proud of the opportunity to move forward in this competition and continue our development of a vehicle that will enable Army units to move around the battlefield with greater ease and reliability."