US Army testing Colorado ZR2-based GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle

ByIsaac BoberOctober 15, 2019
US Army testing Colorado ZR2-based GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle

This might just be a stripped-down Chevy Colorado ZR2 but the GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle could end up joining the US Army.

Originally presented and put through its paces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the US Army tapped GM Defense to build two more prototype Infantry Squad Vehicles (ISV) for field testing later this year. This is the third light vehicle concept out in the last week, following the Ford Ranger Concept and the Jeep Gladiator XMT. While the latter two are only concepts in the early stage of evaluation, the GM Defense ISV is getting closer to approval.

According to GM, the GM Defense ISV is based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 Bison variants which run a 2.8L turbo-diesel engine with a six-speed automatic. While it looks like something from Alien, the ISV features 70 per cent off-the-shelf components.

Why is it missing body panels? To meet US Army requirements, “the ISV needs to be light enough to be sling-loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter and versatile enough to carry up to nine soldiers and all of their gear at highway speeds, both on pavement and off-road under extreme conditions. The Army plans to acquire approximately 650 ISVs beginning as soon as 2020”.

With the Colorado ZR2 platform, GM Defense has added long-travel Multimatic DSSV dampers, long-travel rear leaf springs, jounce shocks, front upper control arms, steel driveshaft, underbody skid plates and ball-spline half shafts. Underbody skid plates protect the front suspension, engine, transfer case, fuel tank, rear differential and rear shock mount. Advanced software and calibration ensure optimal performance for the engine, transmission, transfer case, locking front and rear differentials and electronically assisted power steering.

“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.”