How is GM’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle like a NASCAR race car?
GM’s new defense vehicle is based on the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize truck. However, the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) also has a lot in common with race cars. Why? Just like a race car on the speedway, a military vehicle needs to be durable, fast, and easy to move.
Designers are modeling the new military truck with race car architecture because the military needs the truck to be small enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for air transportability. Additionally, the truck has to be light enough to be sling loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.
How Is This Military Vehicle Similar To NASCAR Race Cars?
General Motors is transforming its 75,000-square-foot facility in Concord, North Carolina to build the new ISV super truck. The company chose their North Carolina location because it’s close to Hendricks Motorsports. The company is most known for developing race cars. However, Hendricks Motorsports is also a military supplier. The company will use its experience designing race cars to develop this new military vehicle.
As any NASCAR fan knows, race cars can endure intense heat, high speed and high mileage – all qualities that a military vehicle also requires. Hendrick Motorsports will build the chrome-moly steel exoskeleton of the Infantry Squad Vehicle frame. The frame has to be strong enough to carry nine soldiers but light and agile like a race car.
Hendrick Motorsports will also provide the Roll Over Protection System for the trucks. Military vehicles must be able to handle uneven, often dangerous terrain without tipping over. The Roll Over System the company is using for the truck is similar to what is used in race cars to keep them stable on the track.
As part of a $214.3 million contract, the team is slated to deliver the military vehicles for the U.S. Army in April of 2021. The plant will start by building 649 ISVs. However, they may build up to 2,065 over the next eight years.