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Army Concept Vehicle FED Bravo Powers My Dream Tailgate

George Fox
CBS Detroit Blogger

You won't see this on The Lodge anytime soon, but it could be on the ground of a future military engagement. Thanks to the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, the agressive styling is sure to be a hit during a Friday night of club hopping. I can't think of a better way to hit the back woods trail or the tailgate. I'm sure it would accomodate a nice-sized entourage.

The Fuel Efficient ground vehicle Demonstrator (Bravo version), or FED Bravo, was displayed to the public at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2012 World Congress, April 24-26.

Will this be the Hummer of the next generation? With a fuel saving hybrid diesel/electric powertrain that also serves like a mobile power plant who wouldn't want one in their driveway.

According to the specs released by the Army, its latest concept vehicle not only significantly improves upon fuel economy, it also has the capability to generate and export electric power to Soldiers.

Can you imagine this thing at Eastern Market on a Lions football Sunday? I'm seeing a fully loaded setup with all the mod-cons: a home theater, a huge George Foreman grill and a laser light show ... just because you can.

FED Bravo was funded by the Defense Department and developed by engineers at the Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Mich., along with industry partner World Technical Services, Inc.

FED Bravo sports a Ford 4.4-liter twin turbocharged V8 diesel engine capable of producing 268 hp. Other features include:

  • Road-coupled parallel hybrid drive system. The front axle is powered by an electric motor, while the rear-wheel drive is linked to a hybrid fuel-powered and electric system.
  • Integrated starter-generator that shuts off the engine during idle time and restarts it when the driver presses the accelerator which improves fuel economy and reduces emissions.
  • Six-speed auto transmission coupled with an advanced lithium-ion battery with high energy and power density.
  • The full-power hydraulic brake system with antilock brakes is combined with the vehicle's steering system to supply the hydraulic pressure demands for the steering, eliminating a second pump and improving efficiency.
  • Carbon ceramic brake rotors with advanced coating for durability, plus low-drag aluminum brake calipers.
  • Tubular space from chassis for better rigidity-to-weight ratio combined with armored cab and V-shaped hull for protection from blasts.

What would you do with this beast? Leave a comment below.

George Fox is a Spartan, a Michigander, and Web Producer for CBS 62/CW50 in Detroit. When I'm not working on content for the CBS Local websites, I'm probably hanging out on the boat, at deer camp or spending quality time with the fam. Follow George on Twitter @GeorgeJFox.

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