U.S. Army Gets Fuel Efficient Transport in the Shape of FED Bravo


The U.S. Army is going green with a fuel-efficient armored-car concept.

The U.S. Army has long utilized gas-guzzling, inefficient ground vehicles (the Humvee, anyone?). In an effort to curb expenditure on fuel and go a bit greener, the American forces have this week rolled out a new armored car prototype at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress meeting in Detroit, Michigan. The FED Bravo, or Fuel Efficient ground vehicle Demonstrator, is a diesel hybrid armored machine packing a Ford-sourced 268hp twin-turbodiesel 4.4-liter V8 engine coupled with an electric motor to power the front wheels.

An electric motor also helps turn the rear wheels. The system allows for a return of 8.2mpg city and 14.2mpg highway, not too shabby for a vehicle carrying a weight of 16,760lbs. It can also travel 5.0 miles in pure EV mode. Stop-start technology and a 24-gallon tank further add to the benefits of the FED's design. The efficiency of the FED Bravo nearly doubles that of the Humvee, as it's meant to perform the same sorts of missions. In other words, this could be the harbinger of an eventual replacement in the near future.

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The FED Bravo, built through a collaboration between the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and 18 students at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, took four years to develop and was financed by the Department of Defense. It's only fitting, then, that the Bravo was unveiled at the SAE meeting in Michigan. It was developed at the Army's Ground Systems Power and Energy Lab and tested at temperatures between -60 to +160F. The FED Bravo will head to the Aberdeen Proving Ground to perform some more in-depth testing this coming fall.