Memorial Day weekend is, of course, about honoring America’s men and women in uniform – both past and present. For gearheads and racing fans, however, Memorial Day weekend is also about the Indianapolis 500 and the amazing feats of technology and bravery that come together for that spectacle.
Technology, bravery, and (let’s be realistic) a very real threat of death or injury – there are a great many parallels between Indy racing and America’s military, then, so it might be fitting that the US Army chose this year’s running of the Indianapolis 500 to showcase its latest high-speed forward-recon platform, the diesel-elctric Clandestine Extended-Range Vehicle (CERV).
Although not the first advanced research vehicle to be named “CERV“, this weapons-grade diesel is the most significant.
Why? Because, for the members of the US’ armed forces, fuel economy is often a matter of life and death … and they know it. In fact, the US military has been publicly vocal about America’s need to ween itself from oil and fossil fuels – and not, it should be said, solely away from foreign fossil fuels, but all fossil fuels (Canadian friendliness notwithstanding).
Simply put: fossil fuel transport into combat zones costs money and lives, and creates logistical problems related to storage and spill response. This is not a political issue, then (regardless of how much fun it would be to try and make it one); it is, rather, an issue of keeping those in uniform – who sacrifice so much of themselves, so that we can have so many of our freedoms and luxuries here at home – safer and healthier.
For its part, the CERV made its debut at the North American International Auto Show last year, after meeting the high performance goals set by the US military for forward recon and surveillance missions while increasing fuel efficiency (by 25% over conventional diesel units) and agility (the CERV can hit 80 mph and climb 60% grades) … all while making extensive use of recycled and recyclable materials.
Great stuff. Now, everyone put down your laptops, iPads, or whatever you’re reading this on and go hug a veteran.