• Jul 19th 2007 at 12:52PM
  • 19
click above image for more views of the AM General Humvee Prototype

Though normally hiding in bushes and waiting for the next-gen Mustang or Corvette Blue Devil to pass by, Brenda Priddy and pals sometimes spy things not meant for public consumption. They recently photographed a new AM General HUMVEE prototype that will be competing for the military's Future Tactical Truck System (FTTS) contract, which will produce the replacement for the current Humvee, of which some 140,000 are still in active service. Though prototypes from Lockheed Martin and other military contractors will also be submitted, this is AM General's bid to keep the Humvee in the game.

Follow the jump for more details and Priddy's own analysis of the vehicle that's aided by her consult with some military experts, and check out the high-res pics in our gallery below.

[Photos: Brenda Priddy & Co.]

According to Priddy, the prototype Humvee sports a completely revised front end that is clearly larger than the current model's. It's thought that the new hood will allow for the repackaging of the intake system and relocation of the cooling system from the top of the motor to the front. Speaking of the motor, the "GEP No. 7" printed under the door is likely a reference to General Engine Products, one of AM General's subsidiaries that supplies the engines for Humvees. This prototype probably has a new version of GEP's 6.5L diesel with a big bump in power over the old model. It's also rumoured the powertrain will include a hybrid electric to improve fuel economy, as well.

Also notice the prototype cab, specifically the bare metal that indicates AM General is designing this new truck with a "blast tub" that will protect occupants from explosives, specifically rocket propelled grenades and IEDs. It also appears that the prototype has a significantly higher ground clearance than the current model – 22.5 inches compared to 16 inches – and much larger wheels. Other items of note include larger air drop rings on the hood, which imply an increase in the vehicle's curb weight, and the ballast weight placed in the prototype's bed, another indication that this next-gen Humvee will be able carrier heavier loads.

FTTS (Future Tactical Truck System)

Although I am not an expert in military Humvees, I sought out the advice from people who were. And where this might look like any other Humvee found in and around military bases, we've been told that this is actually a prototype.

Read a composit of what my sources explained:

While AM General's Humvee is a legendary military vehicle, the company has found themselves shut out of the Army's Tank and Automotive Command prototype competition for the FTTS (Future Tactical Truck System) that will replace the aging Humvee. However this development vehicle clearly shows AM General will still be making bid to replace the roughly 140,000 Humvees already in service in the U.S. Military. AM General will face stiff competition for the FTTS contracts from companies such as Lockheed Martin, Force Protection Inc. and Navistar's military business division.

The first noticeable change is the revised hood, which may or may not be the final design. The new hood is designed to accommodate the repackaging of the intake system as well as the cooling system being moved from above the motor to in front of the motor. I believe that's the radiator showing through the grill openings.

The "GEP No. 7" painted under the door is a reference to General Engine Products (a subsidiary of AM General.) We believe the motor underneath the ungainly hood is a revised version of the 6.5L diesel motor made by GEP. It's rumored that this motor has seen a significant jump in power due to improvements in the injection system as well as an improved combustion chamber design. Additionally, we believe a hybrid electric powertrain has been added to the big diesel motor to help with fuel economy and electricity generation.

The cab has clearly been revised and armored with a heavier construction. AM General is likely utilizing a "blast tub" design where the vehicle as a whole might not survive a blast, but the occupants inside the armored "tub" would survive. The use of reactive armor panels are also possible with the new vehicle. When hit with a projectile, reactive panels explode outward, deflecting the projectile. These panels are significantly lighter than conventional steel and are particularly effective against rocket propelled grenades.

According to our tape measure, the ground clearance has increased to an astonishing number. While the current Humvee sports a 16 inch ground clearance, we measured this prototype's clearance at around 22.5 inches. Another impressive number on this vehicle shows up on the tires. A massive set of Goodyear 335/65R 22.5 tires adorns this test vehicle. The 22.5 inch wheels are held together with no less than 18 bolts and then attached to the vehicle with 8 more lugs. We weren't able to tell if a central tire inflation system was in place.

The last change we noticed were the larger, beefier air drop rings peeking through the hood. This seems to indicate the new vehicle will weigh more. The ballast weight we saw in the back of this test car also seem to indicate that this new military vehicle will be setup to traverse the battlefield with heavier loads.

Brenda Priddy

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks pretty interesting to me... green wheels look great... good if the cabin part was more 'angled'... reading everyone's comments was helpful... I think we're going to see a LOT more of these Humvees on our roads in the near future, probably with hybrid engines. :)

      Martin Hurley
      Humvee news
      • 8 Years Ago
      Considering the high percentage of American soliders maimed while travelling in AM General's previous HMMWV, I find it perplexing and a little insulting that AM wants to provide the military with a new deathtrap.

      From the photos of this car, I still see LOTs of 90-degree angles and slab sides, which means this vehicle has little or no more blast protection than the old hulk. I think the military should go with a company that's a bit less set in its ways and more innovative like the ULTRA AP.

      The simple fact that so many thousands have been killed or horribly injured in vehicles that were from the start ill-equipped and ill-designed for use in the middle of an insurgency should be reason enough for the DoD to pass on the General this time.

      The Humvee is hopelessly obsolete, and the truck pictured looks like a glorified facelift. No expense should be spared to build a vehicle that protects our troops abd limits rather than exacerbates the severity of casualties.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Let's get it right Humvee's were not originally built as armored vehicles, they are personnel carriers. The humvee is doing the best it can for what it was designed for. Am general and it's UAW employees are doing everything they can to make it safer for our troops.
      • 8 Years Ago
      barney, might wanna brush up on that whole square is always a rectangle, rectangle's not always a square thing.
        • 8 Years Ago
        True! If they want to continue making heavy vehicles, then why not go the whole way. The Humvee as a military vehicle is no longer. The "commercial vehicles" I'm referring to, are those normally used for commercial use and a bigger market.

        I have yet heard it as commercial use for the military. Although,the military may buy a commercial truck for military use.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Check out the headlights. They appear to be multi-element LED and not incandescent or HID. That would make a lot of sense, as money is (nearly) no object, and LED's are far, far sturdier than either of the other two.

      I think the two blue cylinders attached to the lower A-arms are linear travel sensors so they can measure wheel travel when they are testing this prototype.

      The seat belt hanging out of the door is priceless...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would guess a big part of the reason for moving the radiator and the high hood would be cooling for emissions sake. Not sure if the military has to meet EPA diesel emissions standards but if so that will entail a lot more cooling equipment to make it work (bigger Rad and an EGR cooler). That's what makes me wonder about the story of them updating the 6.5L Diesel (originally from GM). The cost to bring that into compliance would be impressive.
      • 8 Years Ago
      To Don Hindle:

      The 6.5 T as it exists today does not meet 2010 EPA HD emissions requirements. All military vehicles produced today must meet the program inception date emissions requirements, as a minimum (this has been a contract requirement for all tactical vehicles since the M939A2 by BMY, IIRC). I would expect the 6.5 to be converted to a DI combustion chamber design, to replace it's original indirect injection Ricardo prechamber design. Additionally, I would expect a cooled EGR system similar to the DCX/DDC and Cummins system on their engines (the ISC, ISM, and ISX from Cummins, the Series 60 and MBE 900/4000 from DCX/DDC) . General Engine Products has some really GOOD engine design engineers, that are experienced in "doing a lot with just a little money", sort of like the Marine Corps ("we have done so much with so little for so long, we can now do anything, forever, for nothing"...hehehe).

      To RHM:
      You are correct about mules in that they are generally cobbled together. In this case, it appears that the tub is an applique of armor plateing, fabricated to attach over the existing tub in the most expeditios manner possible. Coupled with reacive armor, it may (emphasis on the word "may") provide the most cost effective upgrade to the vehicle blast protection as it deflects the initial blast wave, as opposed to absorbing it, as on the O'Gara, Hess & Eisenhart system of ballistic plate, Spectrashield, and other soft armor addons.

      Best regards,

      Bob Sheaves
      catNET Incorporated
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't get this at all, as the article says I heard AM General was excluded from the competition, so this is puzzling.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nonfunctional as a pickup, looking like a backyard mechanic made it out of scrap metal. Leave it as one of those prototypes that never made it. I guess the General figures it might get rid of inventory if they get on the pickup bandwagon. They may be better off making commercial trucks.
        • 8 Years Ago
        RHM=612 (same poster)
        • 8 Years Ago
        Re Dean:a prototype for a next-generation military truck, meant to replace the current Humvee. In other words, it is a commercial truck.

        You think in the common usage of the english language, that a military vehicle vehicle is refered to as a commercial truck? That would have me for the last twenty years, driving military vehicles for a living. "A semi jeep & trailor".
        • 8 Years Ago
        If you had read the article, you'd realize that this is a prototype for a next-generation military truck, meant to replace the current Humvee. In other words, it is a commercial truck.
        • 8 Years Ago
        "Nonfunctional as a pickup" ...kinda like this one?

        Test mules are often very rough around the edges, "looking like a backyard mechanic made it out of scrap metal." So I wouldn't rush to judgment. Why would you call it a prototype that never made it?

        And I think you might be confused about who makes the Humvee. AM General designed the original and still sells it to the military. General Motors ("the General" as you and the automotive press often refer to the company) owns the Hummer brand and markets the H1, H2 and H3. AM General builds the H1 for GM, while GM designed and builds the H2 and H3 (the H2 is based on the Tahoe, the H3 is based on the Colorado). Though GM may soon introduce a pickup version of the H3, I wouldn't expect this new generation Humvee to be available to civilians.
        • 8 Years Ago
        1) I don't think the military buys vehicles based on looks.
        2) Like I said, test mules aren't nice tidy finished products. Their bodies are often chopped up and laden with test equipment. Here are some examples...


        3) If in your original post "the General" referred to AM General, then your comment doesn't make sense (building a pickup to move inventory) because AM General's military work is presumably done on contract, so they wouldn't have excess inventory.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Correction: the H2 is GM designed, but AM General assembles it.
        • 8 Years Ago
        "the General" as you and the automotive press often refer to the company"

        But I don't.

        This truck is a prototype? Then why would they represent it in that condition. It's a prototype that will die. It looks like a piece of junk and the military is not going to buy it. I was being sarcastic about it being a pickup truck because it look like the junkyard welders modified an old sedan to make it into one.

        • 8 Years Ago
        "AM General's military work is presumably done on contract, so they wouldn't have excess inventory."

        AM has to make money. Their days of a military contractor are going. My "sarcastic" post was to indicate their despiration in an attempt to regain a contract, by modifying a Humvee. I still think the AM General can make commercial specalty vehicles similar to Unimog.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thought this is funny, as this vehicle was shown 1+ year ago.

      Optimizer 6.5TD, Allison Trans, 18K lb winch, LED signal, marker lamps and blackout. ABS, 3 piece frame, 16K GVWR, larger wheels, forward mounted engine, vertical mounted radiator(but this has been declined, back to slant one).
      7" raised floor, 6 man crew, A/C etc etc.

      Wish AM General get back H1's rights or use name HUMVEE to sell civil ver.(as larger diesel truck can pass the emissions, they should be able to do).

      Just my 2 cents.

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