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2018 GM Defense Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 Concept

2018 GM Defense Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 Concept

New-generation hydrogen technology in a military truck

The Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 is a military, heavy-duty version of the popular Silverado pickup truck. Developed by General Motors’ new military defense unit, it’s powered by a next-generation Hydrogen fuel cell and advanced battery systems.

Remember the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 from 2016? GM Defense just revived the project, but it’s now using the bigger Silverado truck and newer technology. Okay, so it’s just a concept for now, but it could become a full-time military vehicle in the future. More importantly, the tech under the shell could find its way into the fuel-cell production car that GM promised to deliver by 2022. Until that happens, let’s see what this truck is all about.

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Lockheed Martin's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Lockheed Martin’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Memorial Day is all about celebrating our Armed Forces and remembering the high cost of freedom. Countless American lives have been lost in the continuing fight for freedom and independence. Today, we honor them in the best way we know how – by taking a look at the U.S. Military’s current mobile hardware.

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is built by Lockheed Martin as a “lightweight” vehicle designed for widespread use throughout the military. It serves as an armored troop carrier that’s resistant to light arms fire and roadside IEDs commonly found on today’s front lines. Unlike up-armored Humvees and the heavy MRAPs, the JLTV doesn’t suffer from poor driving dynamics and off-road performance. This helps keep our boys protected while on the move, regardless of terrain or outside conditions.

Despite the JLTV’s 14,000 pound curb weight, the vehicle is light enough for both the CH-47 Chinook and CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters to airlift, giving the vehicle an added level of transportability. Also adding to the JLTV’s list off accolades is its relatively low cost and good fuel economy, along with its reliability and low logistical support costs.

Sure, the JLTV might not have as memorable a name as the Humvee, but this bad boy is one of the best solutions to keeping our troops safe while keeping them on the move.

Continue reading for the full run-down

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Husky MkIII Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector

Husky MkIII Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector

Designed to survive landmine and IED strikes

Celebrated every year on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868. Before the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions celebrated on different days had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while serving in the military. As usual, we here at Top Speed celebrate Memorial Day by having a closer look at the vehicles used by the U.S. Army, and especially those that were conceived to protect the lives of our brave soldiers. One such vehicle is the Husky MkIII Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector.

Developed in the 1970s for the South African Defense Force, the Husky Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector (VMMD) has been sent to clear military convoy routes in just about any major armed conflict around the world, including the Middle East, Africa, and Southern Europe. Dubbed "Chubby," the system received several upgrades throughout the year, now being sold as the Mk III. Although Critical Solutions International has developed a second-generation, Husky 2G model, the first-gen based MkIII continues to be popular among armed forces around the world.

That’s far from surprising given that the vehicle is blast survivable, field repairable, and has been subjected to more than 6,500 landmine and IED strikes with minimal operator casualties. These skills enable the Husky MkIII to not only protect the operator controlling it, but also provides safe passage for military convoys in the most dangerous environments around the world. While most military systems are built to destroy buildings and harm human beings, the Husky Mk III was created with the sole purpose of protecting those who risk their lives on a daily basis.

Continue reading to learn more about the Husky MkIII Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector.

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2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZH2

2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZH2

Chevy goes all-out for Military Fuel-Cell test vehicle

Nearly a month ago, we told you about General Motors’ partnership with the U.S. Military’s Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center to build and test a fuel cell vehicle for use in military operations. Well, GM has debuted its hydrogen-powered pickup and it’s called the Colorado ZH2.

As you can imagine, the truck is based on the Chevrolet Colorado. The ZH2 nomenclature is a play off the Colorado’s (or more historically, the S-10’s) off-road package, the ZR2. With its R swapped for an H, this hydrogen-powered truck is designed to test the capabilities and limits of a fuel-cell vehicle in off-road, wartime-style environments.

“Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further,” said Paul Rogers, director of TARDEC. “Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further.”

The speed Rogers is referring to is the time TARDEC gave GM to come up with this truck. From contract to concept, the project has happened in less than a year. That’s nearly light speed when it comes to government operations. From this point, the Colorado ZH2 will undergo a year’s worth of evaluation and demanding rigors to determine if hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have a future on the battlefield.

So what’s the big deal about fuel cell technology, you might ask? This propulsion system is nearly silent in operation, it offers a reduced thermal signature, has high torque thanks to its electric drive, offers low fuel consumption, and even creates water, which can be utilized in the field by soldiers.

There’s plenty to talk about here, so keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading for the full review.

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M1117 Guardian

M1117 Guardian

A wartime patrol vehicle for the U.S. Military Police

As we celebrate Memorial Day and its significance to the Country and those who died to protect it, we’re reminded of the mechanized portion of our military. Patrolling war-torn zones is never a safe for mundane task, so our Military’s police force requires a specialized vehicle for the job. That’s this – the M1117 Guardian armored security vehicle.

This light-armored, four-wheeled monster has been in service since 1998. The U.S. Military currently operates around 1,700 examples, with variations on the same theme. These variants offer specialized service rolls from armored personnel carrier with seating for eight, to an armored ambulance, command vehicle, recon vehicle, mortar carrier, and even a recovery vehicle.

In its basic form, the Guardian requires a three-man crew and has room for three troops. It comes armed with several small and medium arms, including an automatic grenade launcher. When the opposition fights back, the Guardian offers protection from light arms up to 12.7-mm armor-piercing rounds. It’s even got an air filtration system that protects its occupants from chemical and biological attacks. While it offers a high level of protection, the Guardian is susceptible to heavy artillery and nuclear weapons. We’ll give it a pass on that last one.

So in honor of our military’s mechanized members, check out the Guardian’s details below.

Continue reading to learn more about the M1117 Guardian.

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Oshkosh Logistics Vehicle System Replacement

Oshkosh Logistics Vehicle System Replacement

It’s built to handle just about any terrain or combat situation you can throw at it.

Let’s face it; the U.S. Military gets involved anywhere it is needed, and the unfortunate reality is that a lot of the time those enlisted are putting their lives on the line. The soldiers on deployment often deal with some of the harshest environments and circumstances imaginable, as does the equipment they use. One such piece of equipment is the Oshkosh Defense Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR,) that has somewhat recently replaced the original Logistics Vehicle System.

The LVSR has been in service in the Middle East since late 2009 when Oshkosh sent the first example to Afghanistan to assist the U.S. Marine Corps in early October. It is designed to haul cargo, trailers, and even act as a wrecker when properly equipped. What’s more, Oshkosh sends out Field Service Representatives, who work side-by-side with our troops to offer training and support for these vehicles when needed. With a payload capacity of 22.5 tons (45,000 pounds) on-road and 16.5 tons off-road, the LVSR is a pretty mean machine.

When the first LVSR was deployed to Afghanistan, Andy Hove – President and Executive Vice President of Oshkosh Defense – said, “The fielding of this vehicle in Afghanistan is a significant milestone for both the U.S. Marine Corps and Oshkosh Defense. The LVSR expands on the capabilities of the LVS, which has been an integral part of the Marine Corps fleet for nearly 25 years, to negotiate and overcome the most challenging environments, including those found in Afghanistan.”

So what exactly is an LVSR and how does it help the troops? Well, we’ll talk about that a little bit in our review below. So grab yourself a beverage and let’s learn a little about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Oshkosh Logistics Vehicle System Replacement.

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M9 Armored Combat Earthmover

M9 Armored Combat Earthmover

This armored tracked vehicle is at the front line of many U.S. Military operations

Perhaps the name “Earthmover” is a sign of what this highly mobile armored tracked vehicle can do. Officially called the U.S. M9 Armored Combat Earthmover, the M9 is a highly mobile, armored, amphibious tractor, dozer, and scraper that took the field for the first time in 1986, serving in a number of important battles for the U.S. Army, including the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

The M9 is neither an attack vehicle nor a defensive one. But it is capable of supporting forces in both operations by performing such jobs as digging hull defilade fighting positions for guns, tanks, and other battlefield systems to increase their effectiveness and ultimate survivability. It’s also capable of preparing anti-dank ditches, combat roads, access routes on bodies of water, and remove roadblocks in the event of such predicaments.

The M9’s track record in service has proven to be a boon for the U.S. Military. It’s still in service today, thanks in large part to a long history of effectiveness in the battlefield where it’s versatility in performing a wide variety of missions helped immensely in keeping pace with the operations.

Close to 500 units of the M9 are in U.S. service today and are prominently used by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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M1A2 Abrams

M1A2 Abrams

Hello, I am SPC Jacob Joseph, a 92F with the United States Army Reserve and a Top Speed contributor. I normally review cars, but for Veteran’s Day I will be telling you about the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank. The M1A2 is an evolution of the M1, having been updated over the years since it was first introduced back in 1980. Another set of improvements are known to be in the works for an M1A3, but at the moment, it is the A2 that forms the backbone of the US’s tank arsenal. The M1 remains one of the most advanced, albeit also heavy and expensive, tanks in the world.

Development of the M1 began in 1972 as a replacement for the M60 Patton. The USSR had just begun deploying the T-72 tank, and the US was looking to one-up this new top-end weapon in the Soviet arsenal. The contract to produce the M1 initially went to Chrysler Defense, but this was acquired by General Dynamics shortly after production began, and the bulk of the 10,000 units produced have been made under General Dynamics ownership. The Abrams is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff, as part of the American tradition of naming tanks after famous generals in history.

Continue reading to learn more about the M1A2 Abrams.

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Lockheed Martin's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Lockheed Martin’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Memorial Day is all about celebrating our Armed Forces and remembering the high cost of freedom. Countless American lives have been lost in the continuing fight for freedom and independence. Today, we honor them in the best way we know how – by taking a look at the U.S. Military’s current mobile hardware.

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2015 Jeep Staff Car

2015 Jeep Staff Car

One of the most eye-catching members of the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles is the Staff Car. It’s basically a current Jeep Wrangler JK modified to look like the original Willys MB, complete with flat fenders, no doors, classic Firestone NDT tires, and a matte, sand-colored paint job.

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2015 ZiL Punisher Is Russia's newest Troop Carrier

2015 ZiL Punisher Is Russia’s newest Troop Carrier

This strange-looking beast is called the Punisher and it is reportedly Russia’s next lightweight troop carrier. Capable of hauling 10 personnel, including the driver, and being mine- and bullet-resistant, the new truck offers the Russian army the ability to move quickly across the battlefield. While there is conflicting information on its specifics, The Moscow Times reports the Punisher is based on the Russian automaker ZiL’s Kamaz-4911 truck and is powered by an eight-cylinder turbo-diesel that makes 730 horsepower.

The Punisher is capable of withstanding small arms fire up to 7.62 mm, roughly 30 caliber, and what you’d find coming from the business end of an AK-47. Despite this, the large greenhouse allows for an expansive view of the outside terrain.

The truck is equipped with gullwing-style doors, giving troops a a clear step into the tall cab. Side swinging rear doors allow troops to return fire from inside the Punisher. All that armor adds literal tons to the truck, resulting in a 26,000-pound curb weight. Despite this, the Punisher is able to hit a top speed of 93 mph, making it the fastest armored troop carrier in the world.

The truck utilizes a body-on-frame design with traditional leaf springs holding the massive solid axles in place. The rear axle appears to be a Rockwell-type design while the front uses the more conventional approach. This results in a high break-over angle on the vehicle’s center.

No clear word identifies if or when the Punisher will go into production and see service.

Click past the jump to read more about the ZiL Punisher.

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2014 INKAS Unique Armored Personnel Carrier

2014 INKAS Unique Armored Personnel Carrier

Think the armored cars you see on TV and in movies are bad-ass? Well then, you probably haven’t laid eyes upon INKAS Armored Vehicle Manufacturing’s Unique Armored Personnel Carrier. The tactical attack and defense vehicle is, in a word, mental. Other than being completely awesome and looking like something prepared for a zombie apocalypse, the Unique Armored Personnel Carrier was specifically developed and created with the objective of protecting passengers in high-threat environments in any condition. Whether it’s in the pulsating heat of summer or the sub-zero conditions of winter, this bad-boy is ready to fulfill its duties.

But that’s only one part about this armored monstrosity that makes it such a unique armored carrier.

Wherever it finds itself in, the Unique Armored Personnel Carrier has the capability to provide the kind of reliability, mobility, and protection that transport vehicles like this are known for. It’s no wonder why police forces and security agencies are already voicing their interest in securing a fleet of these vehicles for their personal use.

The first four vehicles have already been accounted for by the National Police of Colombia and judging by its imposing presence, it won’t take long before other agencies from other countries line up and place their own orders.

Click past the jump to read more about the Unique Armored Personnel Carrier By INKAS.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U5023

2014 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U5023

The legendary Mercedes-Benz Unimog all-terrain trucks are refreshed for 2013 with a comprehensive makeover inside the cabin, underneath that boxed ladder chassis and outside with a menacing new grille and LED lighting.

The top of the new Unimog lineup in terms of off-road ability is the new U5023 model, which replaces the previous U5000 nameplates. Sharing the nose layout with its shorter sibling, the U4023, these models are the freshest outside with a dramatic new single-wing grille to house the dinner-plate-sized Mercedes star emblem.

This is a unique touch for the U5023, as this design is usually reserved for the sportiest models in the lineup, like the SLS AMG. Regardless, the new design is functional more than stylish, with a new cab and engine mounting position that is farther back in the chassis and other significant changes to go along with this new grille design.

The chassis itself of these off-road models is quite something. With a flexible central spine, the Unimog U5023 is able to articulate its wheels farther than any other production vehicle, and now can even flex the chassis to ensure at least one wheel has traction on the ground.

The other big news for the Unimog line is a vastly improved cabin with better visibility, easier off-road traction settings, a vastly improved driving position with a tilt/telescoping wheel, and a new Euro6-complaint BlueEfficiency turbo diesel engine.

Despite a (limited) top speed of 56 mph in Europe, the Unimog U5023 has some of the most clever and innovative off-road tech designed right into its chassis.

How far ahead of a Jeep is the Unimog? Well it has 664 pound-feet of torque and an eight-speed automatic for forward movement. A six-speed automatic handles reverse, where the Unimog can also hit its 56 mph top speed going backwards. Not something many would attempt in a Jeep.

While the Mercedes G63 AMG 6x6 is a big draw for flashy people, the Unimog will always be the real king of mud, sand, rocks and water.

Click past the jump for the full review of the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U5023.

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2013 Conquest Evade

2013 Conquest Evade

Back in 2010, Conquest Vehicles unveiled the Knight XV - a badass SUV designed for professional athletes, government officials, and heads of corporations around the globe. Now, the Canadian maker has unveiled the Evade, the new standard in luxury handcrafted SUVs, or so they say. The Evade is based on a Ford F550 Super Duty Chassis and was built using an aluminum-mild steel blend to make it significantly lighter then its armored cousin, the Knight XV. It shares some of the features found in the new Knight XV such as the new wraparound headlights and taillights, narrower fender flares, a redesigned grille, hood scoop, the addition of a third tandem sunroof, and a wider backdoor and integrated step to accommodate the EVADE’s wider body frame. Additional standard features solely for the Evade include front and rear commercial grade air ride suspensions, power windows, 360-degree roof mounted, joystick-controlled searchlights, and FLIR night vision camera systems in the front and rear of the vehicle.

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2012 Curiosity Rover

2012 Curiosity Rover

We love vehicles that have two and four wheels, so why shouldn’t we love those that have six wheels? No, we’re not talking about the latest Ford F-350 Dually. We are talking about the technological marvel that has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue lately: the Mars Science Laboratory, which is better known simply as the Curiosity Rover.

Recently, we showed you an infographic that pitted the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor against the Curiosity Rover, and that was obviously done in jest. See, the Curiosity Rover is set to go where no F-150 could ever go... the red planet – Mars to those that are not also Sci-Fi nerds.

With the Curiosity’s touchdown coming in just a few days, we thought it was time to give it the TopSpeed once over to see if it is really ready to embark on this 253-day journey, which is quite a commute...

UPDATE 08/07/2012: The Curiosity Rover has touched down on Mars and has officially taken its first color picture of the surface of the Red Planet. The picture was taken with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Check out the image, as well as many others, in the gallery provided!

Click past the jump to read our full review on the Curiosity Rover.

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2011 Paramount Group Marauder

2011 Paramount Group Marauder

One of the beautiful things about being a host of Top Gear – among other things, of course – is the chance to get behind the wheel of some of the most insane machines on the planet.

But of all the cars that they’ve driven in their time as Top Gear hosts, there’s a good chance that they’ve never seen anything quite like the Marauder. Built in South Africa by the Paramount Group, the Marauder is quite arguably the baddest, meanest and gnarliest set of wheels we’ve ever seen.

The gargantuan machine was featured in the pilot episode of Top Gear’s 17th season, where folks from the Paramount Group asked Richard Hammond to drive the vehicle in some ridiculous stunts.

Continued after the jump.

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2010 - 2012 Conquest Knight XV

2010 - 2012 Conquest Knight XV

The Conquest Knight XV doesn’t qualify as an everyday kind of ride, but for professional athletes, government officials, and heads of corporations around the globe, it should fit perfectly among their stable of high-priced vehicles. This extravagantly large and armored vehicle was first unveiled at the 2008 SEMA Show and since then, has had an abundant amount of comfort and security features added to it.

The vehicle is the picture of insanity and utter viciousness. We would just like to say that it would be an awesome choice for the next Decepticon in any upcoming Transformers if the production could afford it. It looks ready for the job already.

Find out more about the Conquest Knight XV after the jump

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MDT Tiger Protected Vehicle by Arotech

MDT Tiger Protected Vehicle by Arotech

Based on the Dodge RAM 5500, the MDT Tiger is a cost effective, highly armored Light Protected All Terrain Vehicle for a crew of 6-9. The Tiger is mine and blast protected, with various add-on armor options, including reactive armor. Its 5 doors and a roof hatch offer easy loading and unloading of soldiers and equipment. The wide and spacious cabin, with its large payload capacity can be tailored to many missions.

The Tiger MDT features: a 350 hp Cummins diesel engine, a 127" wheelbase, and an 8.8 ton GVWR which allows for a 1.5 ton payload or 6 passengers and 1984 lbs of equipment.The add-on armor panels can be removed, repaired, replaced or upgraded. An optional upgrade to a 10.4 ton GVW allows for an improved armor suite, including reactive armor defeating RPG rockets and EFP charges.

Press release after the jump.

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