GM Won a $214M Army Contract With This Souped Up Colorado ZR2

F-150 who?

The GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle based on the Chevy Colorado ZR2 truck
Meet the U.S. Army’s new ZR2-based Infantry Squad Vehicle.
GM Defense
By Alex Lauer / July 1, 2020 7:00 am

Ford seemed to have the attention of American drivers locked down for the summer, what with the one-two punch of the redesigned F-150 and the upcoming rerelease of the Bronco, which will now be unveiled on July 13 instead of O.J.’s birthday. Unbeknownst to truck lovers, General Motors had a trick up its sleeve.

This week, GM Defense announced it has been awarded a $214.3 million contract from the U.S. Army “to build, field and sustain the Army’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV),” as written in a press release. You’ll recognize the vehicle because, for all intents and purposes, it’s Chevrolet’s Colorado ZR2 off-road truck. 

While it sure looks different than the ones you’ve seen churning up mud on your local trails, GM Defense, a subsidiary of General Motors, notes that the Army’s model will feature “90 percent commercial off-the-shelf parts.” The company doesn’t provide an entire spec sheet, naturally, but it does offer a few insights into its military-specific chops, which were designed in partnership with engineering firm Ricardo Defense: “The ISV is light enough to be sling loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for air transportability.” 

The contract win is also a return to form of sorts for GM. “In 2003, General Motors sold its defense division to General Dynamics,” Autoblog noted. “In 2017, seeing renewed opportunity to put its commercial innovations to military use — and with the military newly keen on using commercial technology for military purposes — GM created the wholly owned subsidiary GM Defense (GMD).” And it seems that bet three years ago is paying dividends. 

In fact, while a $214 million contract is nothing to sneeze at, it seems to be just the beginning of a cash cow headed GM’s way. According to the press release, the U.S. Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal has an approved “Army Acquisition Objective” of 2,065 vehicles, but this initial contract is only for 649 upgraded ZR2s. 

Plus, Chevy dealers have a tantalizing selling point for their normal ZR2 stock.

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