The Humvee’s days are nearly behind it. After decades of service, the iconic military vehicle will be retired once and for all as the Oshkosh JLTV takes over military duties for each brand of the United States armed forces.
Though, like the Humvee-inspired Hummer brand from General Motors, the Oshkosh JLTV retains just a smidge of GM DNA. Each and every JLTV is equipped with a heavier duty variant of the latest 6.6-liter Duramax L5P turbodiesel V8 engine. But this JLTV isn’t a modern take on the Humvee, it’s a revolution for the U.S. military.
Motor Trend recently tested the JLTV, and like many involved in the program, was blown away by the difference modern engineering can make. The JLTV is smoother, more efficient, more comfortable and even more capable of withstanding roadside bombs and other thrown together explosives—something the Humvee has been vulnerable to in today’s modern warfare.
Back to the engine. The 6.6-liter Duramax was chosen due to its reliability. In fact, Oshkosh reportedly had the engine swallow water and it still moved for another 2,000 miles before needing to be rebuilt. Oshkosh also militarizes the engine to run on jet fuel, kerosene, alcohol or any other potential combustible fuel. Just don’t try filling a 2017 GMC Sierra or Chevrolet Silverado HD with similar fuel.
The military will begin to incorporate the JLTV into the front lines in early 2020, while deliveries of the vehicle will continue through 2040. In the meantime, the Humvee will actually stick around, but it will be kept to behind front line duty, which was its original intended purpose. And who knows, maybe the U.S. Army will take a liking to the purpose-built Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 as well.