Army to Exhibit Clandestine Extended Range Vehicles at Chicago Auto Show

The Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle is a diesel electric hybrid built by Quantum in conjunction with the US Army’s Detroit-based Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) National Automotive Center (NAC). Funded by USSOCOM, the stealthy AWD buggy tops out at 80 MPH and can traverse 60% grades. Additionally, it is designed to fit in the CV-22.

The CERV kind of reminds me of a project I worked on in industry a few years ago. We called ours the Green Friendly Vehicle. What makes this even funnier to me is an Army statement about the TARDEC CERV, “Undoubtedly, these are some of the Army’s ‘greenest’ vehicles and the kind of technology that can meet our Nation’s energy security demands.” Yes, there should be a few groans from my readers.


16 Responses to “Army to Exhibit Clandestine Extended Range Vehicles at Chicago Auto Show”

  1. Buckaroomedic says:

    I’m all for the military going “green”. Isn’t fuel the biggest expense the DoD has? budget cuts are going to be across the board. A reduced logistical footprint is the way to go, especially for SOCOM forces. US forces need to be “leaner and meaner”. Just wondering if there is any commonality with current vehicles? Even the tires/wheels look different.

  2. snmp says:

    Military have an intrest in Electric engine/propulsion cause of the noise.

  3. jellydonut says:

    Why groan? Energy security is defense too. The less energy these use, the more capable they are in operations because of extended range, lower noise, less strain on the supply chain, less dependence on oil supplies in general, and of course less expenditure by the military in the first place.

    Diesel-electric propulsion is ideal because it allows the engine to run at its peak in the torque/performance curve. Electric motors supply full torque from 0 rpm to peak rpm rather than having a torque curve, and with electric motors on all wheels the four-wheel drive can be regulated much more precisely, allowing for better all-terrain capabilities.

    I used to be one of those who groaned at any ‘green’ measure, but at some point I realized it was childish. Why should we not welcome efficiency?

    What should be groaned at, are measures done in the name of ‘green’ that do not constitute a technical improvement nor an efficiency gain. The idiotic Prius comes to mind. This vehicle, however, on paper looks like a technological step forward rather than backward. No reason to groan at it.

  4. Robert says:

    My only comment is that it looks like it has as much cross country moblity as the dam Gator we used to get stuck everywhere. GROUND CLEARANCE

    • straps says:

      Just because the suspension doesn’t show travel doesn’t mean it doesn’t have travel. Next-gen tac vehicles have pneumatic or hydraulic adjustable suspensions. A JLTV prepped for air looks like a low rider, and has just the clearance needed to peak the ramp. If that thing is rated for 80 MPH there’s a definite COG concern that an adjustable suspension could help.

      Then there’s the whole Osprey transportability thing, which presumes pretty forward insertion–I’ve broken down suspensions on plenty of (nominally) transportable vehicles and wouldn’t want to have to make the vehicle road worthy in any kind of tactical environment…

    • straps says:

      Drive it as far as the local opium grower’s compound, then “borrow” his HiLuxes.

  5. MarkM says:

    Some are not only missing the joke, they have no clue about vehicle design.

    A hybrid design has two major flaws: the horsepower to weight ratio is always less than optimum, and the battery packs are a major environmental mess. They aren’t green at those production plants, the surrounding countryside is dead for square miles. And just try to dispose of them.

    Saying ” the forces have a need for silent running” means taping your dog tags, you are on foot. Even electric vehicles make noise rolling over rough terrain, especially at speed. Nobody is going to drive in the front gate of a safe house in Islamabad undetected at 2AM.

    Sufficient electric power means over 1,100 pounds of battery pack. Why bother airlifting that when the logistics of most operations will still support a slightly larger diesel in a much lighter package, plus the fuel? And if the thing gets stuck, can the team actually lift it by hand to clear the obstacle? Four soldiers can do that with a dune buggy.

    Take a look at the pics, what you see is another 500 pounds of ammo cans with gear stored in racks all over the chassis. What we have is too much gear and too many contingencies.

    What’s the opposition using? Small 1/2 ton pickups from Japan with gas motors under 4 liters. We keep looking for a Moon Rover and ignoring what the real state of the art provides on a daily basis.

    As long as cubic yards of money are being bulldozed at the issue, the solutions are all going to be.

    • jellydonut says:

      the hiluxes in use are actually diesel-powered everywhere on the globe, but oh well, won’t let that stop you.

      if you think a gas engine with its spark plugs and distributor is more battle-capable than a diesel engine i’m not sure what to say.

    • straps says:

      Two words: Lithium Ion. And a word to throw around in near-term discussions about the well-documented flaws in lithium-ion technology” NANOBALL.

      Far as brownfields associated with handling ANY kind of battery, I spent the 2nd and third grade NEVER LEAVING MY SCHOOL BUILDING when a battery factory moved its effort south of the border and left a seriously contaminated facility across the street. That in context, modern battery facilities I’ve visited that are operated by the USG or its contractors who are in full environmental compliance are models of evnironmental and worker safety.

      What that vehicle needs is some photovoltaically-impregnated armor lol.

  6. Crow Hunter says:

    The tires are still black.


  7. FormerDirtDart says:

    Hasn’t the Army been testing this thing for about three years now?

  8. Eric S. says:

    That front approach angle looks terrible. I dont think you could do much rambling in that.

  9. I always liked the IFAV. I wonder what this costs in comparison.

  10. Alan says:

    With “green” being everyone and their brothers buzzword anymore, how long before we all end up back with horses again,and people then bitching about all the horseshit,and starting the whole vehicle progression over again?