The Good Oil: Goodbye Humvee and more odd news
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After a decade or so of faffing around, the US Government has chosen a vehicle to replace the positively ancient Humvee in its various military roles.
AM General, Lockheed Martin and Oshkosh Defence each submitted 22 vehicles to be rigorously tested (i.e. shot and blown up).
After a year of abuse, Oshkosh Defence was selected as the winner of the contract for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) programme.
Just look at the mighty beast that will replace the Humvee.
The as-yet unnamed JLTV packs “the ballistic protection of a light tank, the underbody protection of a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle and the off-road mobility of a Baja racer,” says Oshkosh Defence president John M. Urias.
The Oshkosh JLTV will have a version of General Motors’ 6.6-litre Duramax diesel V8 engine.
In the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks, the Duramax V8 is good for 296kW of power and a staggering 1037Nm of torque.
That’s good enough by anyone’s standards, except the military.
Though GM supplied engines for the original Humvee and produced the civilian version, there won’t be a civilian version of the Oshkosh JLTV — no matter how much Arnold Schwarzenegger wants one.
Things certainly have moved on since the original “General Purpose” vehicle.
Remember? It was something called a Jeep ...
We are the world
■A Philadelphia cop is being investigated over a Facebook video showing him pressuring a driver to buy police fundraiser raffle tickets. On the video the officer says, “You and your friend got any money to buy these tickets? Either you buy these or I take your car ’cause it’s unregistered. Ten bucks each, man.”
■Spare a thought for an English driver’s licence candidate. It is unclear when the Nottingham woman actually failed her test but it was probably somewhere between failing to negotiate a roundabout and landing the car on its side in a creek. After somehow spectacularly messing up the roundabout, the woman drove her instructor’s Toyota Yaris through a fence, through a park, down an embankment and into the creek. Neither the woman nor the instructor were seriously hurt, but we doubt either was particularly happy.
Treasure hunt by remote
Fancy hunting for treasure but can’t be bothered with all that walking?
Enjoy playing with radio-controlled cars? Then we have the toy — ah, tool, that is — for you.
US mail order specialist Hammacher Schlemmer is selling this off-road RC car with a built-in metal detector. Now you can lie in the sun on the beach, while your scale-model machine scours the sand for hidden treasure. What more could you want?
Old school far more cool
The Good Oil has to admit that large luxury coupes and convertibles don’t really do it for us. What’s the point? If you want two seats or no roof, then something small, sporty and nimble is the way to go.
If you want large and luxurious, four doors and a minion to drive you is best.
So all the teasing Mercedes-Benz is doing before the launch of the S-Class Cabriolet hasn’t really captured our imagination. Until now.
It has less to do with the tasteless red leather interior and more to do with the gorgeous Though Mercedes is reviving the large four-seat cabrio because “the old ones are in demand now, so we’ll build a new one”, the W112 really only serves to prove that though the S-Class may well be the best sedan in the world, the two-door versions will never be as cool as the old school ...
Honda sets us up. Again
Is Honda getting ready to massively disappoint again? It would seem so, with the release of a teaser pic and a few details about a “cabin-less”, minimalist sports car powered by a road-tweaked version of the 1-litre V4 engine from the RC213V MotoGP bike.
According to the press release, the “Honda Project 2&4” embodies “Honda’s concept of creative craftsmanship” and was designed by the company’s motorcycle design centre in Asaka and vehicle design centre in Wako, Japan. It will be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The release goes on to say the “Honda Project 2&4’s cabin-less structure produces an immersive driving environment combining the experience Honda has in providing the freedom of a motorcycle and the manoeuvrability of a car.”
It sounds awesome, looks cool (what we can see so far) and will almost certainly never see production. Ah well ...
Honda delivers this time. Maybe.
With off-road forks, suspension and brakes and knobbly 14-inch tyres, Honda is promising us an off-road adventure.
On the subject of being teased, then disappointed by Honda, here’s something that might be a little more likely to happen.
A concept drawing of what is being called an “Adventure Scooter” has been leaked on to the tubes of the interweb. Said to be based around the Honda Vision 110 scooter, with off-road forks, suspension and brakes and knobbly 14-inch tyres, the unnamed creature is targeted at “Asian markets”. Which could very well mean it will make it here.
Or, at least, some grey imports could ...
Either way, an off-road (ish) adventure scooter would be awesome fun. Trust your old mate, the Oilster: having holidayed in Rarotonga and tried off-roading on a rental scooter (shhh ... ) on road tyres, we know what fun it can be.
The number of years the HMMWV or Humvee has been in production.
281 THOUSAND VEHICLES
The (approximate) number of Humvees built in that time.
220 THOUSAND US$
The (approximate) cost of a basic armoured Humvee
The (approximate) number of civilian Hummer H1s built between 1992 and 2006.