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The battle-tested AM General Hummer is on its way out and it's time to bid farewell to the aging military vet.

In the Humvee's place could step the L-ATV. The Wisconsin-built Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle is built by Oshkosh Defense. Powered by a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, the The L-ATV appears capable of traversing nearly any type of terrain.

The L-ATV is highly armored, can accept multiple armor configurations and has nearly unmatched off-road capabilities. Oshkosh's proprietary TAK-4i independent suspension system offers an impressive 20 inches of suspension travel at each wheel, which Oshkosh says is 25 percent more than any vehicle currently in use by the U.S. military.

While drivers of the L-ATV probably have more pressing issues to consider than the vehicle's carbon emissions, they no doubt don't want to be stranded by a vehicle that runs out of fuel deep in enemy territory. That's one reason why the L-ATV's diesel hybrid powertrain make sense (there are others). So, as the aging Humvee retires from active duty, do you think it will be the diesel hybrid L-ATV that takes over?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      H.E. Pennypacker
      • 3 Years Ago
      It was shameful how our boys were getting blown to bits in flimsy humvees in the early stages of the occupation.
      TokyoRemix
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm still holding out for a Warthog.
      Julius
      • 3 Years Ago
      @ OldSalt and Patrick: The Prius has shown how little the added electronics has added to the "failure rates" (unintentional acceleration aside), and there are many other benefits to having a hybrid powertrain besides low fuel use - which is important, as the logistical trains are nice "soft" targets for insurgents. Basically, a hybrid properly done adds to a stealth component, as the vehicle can be "on", and even move short distances without giving off the noise and infrared signature of a running engine.
        OldSalt
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Julius
        Any new vehicle for the Army and Marines must be easy to maintain in spartan living conditions. It will be interesting to see what young Marines think of maintaining an extra engine. I wish Oshkosh well, they do offer good products, but easy to maintain, easy to customize to meet changing conditions in the field are all more important than a couple extra miles per gallon. That stealth component you mention is interesting, but battlefields are noisy to the point that a revving Ford Cobra could be a stealth vehicle.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @OldSalt
          [blocked]
          Julius
          • 3 Years Ago
          @OldSalt
          "battlefields are noisy..." I guess you've never had to set up an observation post or ambush...
      Georg
      • 3 Years Ago
      stupid move... to a hybrid would make more sence (in cost terms) and safe much more fuel to replace the gas guzzler thermal nightmare gas turbine of the M1 with the more powerfull more compact and much more fuel efficent MTU Europowerpack diesel engine which is already offered for the M1. Buy for the safed fuel cost the KMW AMVP currently the best protect most mobile avaible L-ATV in the world.
        Wintrode
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Georg
        The Hybrid choice was two part on the L-ATV or JTLV if I am remembering this correctly: 1) The two power sources means that should an axle or the engine get disabled, the electric motor in the rear axle will still allow some sort of maneuverability. It was as design requirement that after engine, fuel, lubrication or other primary drive system was disabled that it would be able to traverse a single terrain feature (IE get over a hill). 2) Power generation capability - one of the secondary goals of this thing was to act as a mobile power generation platform for dismounted users during silent watch operation in addition to providing a ton of electrical power for all of the on-board comm and network gear.
        tnsubie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Georg
        Locomotives have been running diesel electric powertrains for decades. It is efficient and very durable. Using such a system for this vehicle sounds like a very good idea. You get the reliability and torque of an electric plus the range of a diesel powered generator.
          DrEvil
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tnsubie
          Ha! It's always been right under their noses. Diesel-Electric power-trains are far more efficient and far more reliable than straight diesel power-trains. GM star-child (the Volt) is based on the Diesel-Electric principle, except, they used a gasoline engine in place of the diesel. Want proof about efficiency & reliability? See, NYC MTA. The operate a fleet of over 1,300 diesel hybrids (not diesel-electrics), however with the electric motor doing the heavy lifting, maintenance cost and downtime for repairs have plummeted.
          DrEvil
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tnsubie
          correction: Want proof about efficiency & reliability? See, NYC MTA. They operate a fleet of over 1,300 diesel hybrid Buses
          Georg
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tnsubie
          Locomotives run on a smooth steel railway under constant load over long distance with no speed change... this car will see rough terrain that means high stress for the drivetrain powerpack by bumps shocks high rev at low speed dust and dirt or water this car will see battle ... this car will see situation of low level of maintenance or no maintance more stressed systems means more can go wrong you need a big tailpipe of support... keep it easy simple robust reliable easy to maintain with low level of knowlege that the average mechanic can do the job
      Awhattup
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm a combat veteran. Military vehicles only remind me of how tight inside despite all the gears we have to put on and how much maintainence and repair are required(also how often they break down.) I hope the contractors consider those aspects as well as its capability.
        Geekengineer
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Awhattup
        First, thank you for your service. Second, I worked for a defense contractor that was installing some prototype equipment on a modified M1114. I was appalled at the horrible build quality, and rather idiotic design, of the HMMWV. I learned a lot from that experience - I had a few Marines as advisors on the project, and I pushed to incorporate their suggestions into the system design. A couple of times I almost got fired for standing up to the project manager (a classic bean counter). My Marines got what they wanted, and now everything I design is focused on the end user. I, too, hope Oshkosh has openly accepted input from experienced soldiers like yourself.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      ramairjer
      • 3 Years Ago
      When does the civilian version arrive? Cause you know painted black with chrome wheels, it'd be the rage at every country club.
        Car Guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ramairjer
        More like to rage in every rap video..........
        Redline
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ramairjer
        Lotsa space for subs and neon lights and tacky chrome plastic.
      Dark Gnat
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Humvees were used in ways in which they were not designed. They were meant to be a replacement for the Jeeps. The Humvee was meant to be a simple general purpose transport, not a fighting vehicle. If you need to use an armored vehicle, then you should use an Armored Personnel Carrier.
        waetherman
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dark Gnat
        I agree, but I think there is an argument to be made that the traditional "jeep in the rear, APC in the front" model doesn't fit asymmetric/insurgent warfare situations. An APC is designed for advancing squads of troops to battle, generally just behind heavy armor. Patrolling populated areas or recon in in an APC isn't ideal for a lot of reasons.
      Shrawan Raja
      • 3 Years Ago
      the torque of an electric motor and a diesel engine - I'm sure it can plough through pretty much anything. It's going to be a lot more fuel economical.
      Wintrode
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good luck with this given the current budget environment...
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      OldSalt
      • 3 Years Ago
      Starting in April 1 and ending in October 31, take 20 L-ATV's and run them at Fort Irwin over every passable creek bed, goat trail and dirt road from sunup to sundown and you'll get the answer to your question. As Patrick said, KISS is what will probably win for what is basically a off road vehicle. How many of those are hybrids in the civilian world?
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