This burly beast is the Ricardo FED ALPHA, a new military vehicle that’s designed to be more fuel efficient than current vehicles, including the venerable HMMWV. It was developed as part of the U.S. Army’s 2008 Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) program, which aims to build more efficient vehicles for warzones.
Key features designed to reduce fuel use include a new Cummins turbodiesel inline-four engine; an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission; bespoke Goodyear Fuel Max low rolling resistance tires; and a lightweight aluminum structure, armor, and blast shield made by Alcoa Defense.
The vehicle also gains special low-friction differentials and wheel hubs, a 28-volt generator to provide 20 kW of electrical power for communications and other equipment, and an indicator that allegedly offers advice for driving the vehicle economically. Somehow we doubt that last screen will get much attention when deployed in an active warzone.
Ricardo’s vehicle has already completed early stages of military testing and will now begin a new regime to test its durability in “convoy, urban assault, cross-country, and extended idle” situations.