General Motors has built a militarized version of the Chevy Colorado for the US Army.
GM is definitely in the people moving business, but usually, it’s moving civilians from home to their work, or moving cargo from one end of the country to the other. But there’s a division at General Motors that concerns itself with defense applications. Called GM Defense, they take regular GM products and make them suitable for military use.
The US Army is currently in the market for a new people mover. And by people, we mean transporting a squad of 9 heavily-armed soldiers from one end of the battlefield to the other. They’ve got some pretty specific requirements for just such a truck, such as being able to be hitched beneath a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter or can be wedged inside a CH-47 Chinook heavy transport chopper. That means the Army’s new infantry vehicle has to be both durable and light.
Enter GM Defense. They’ve taken the legendary toughness of the Chevy Colorado ZR2 and given it an army makeover.
The Colorado has already proven itself in the deserts of the Southwest, where Chevy puts the Colorado ZR2 through its paces in the Best in the Desert racing series. Heavy-duty suspension from Multimatic and armoring from American Expedition Vehicles keep the Chevy going where most vehicles would have quit.
Extensive modifications were made to the Colorado's body, although GM says that 70% of the pickup's chassis is made using off-the-shelf components. The bed has been replaced with a new module for transporting troops, while the doors and even the roof have been tossed for weight considerations.
Rather than equip the Colorado Infantry Squad Vehicle with Chevy's 2.5-L Duramax diesel, GM Defense tapped the export model's 2.8-L turbodiesel made by Italian manufacturer VM Motori. This engine puts out 186 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, with power routed through a 6-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels.
The army wants 650 ISVs by 2020, but their decision hasn’t been made yet. GM is up against similar entries from Oshkosh/Flyer Defense and SAIC/Polaris, with the winning entry to be chosen next March.
(Source: GM Defense)