BURBANK, Calif. -- Jay Leno's garage is known for some of the most impressive vehicles in the world, and parked inside was the Army Materiel Command's Fuel Efficient Demonstrator here, Feb. 4. Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of Army Materiel Command, and Grace Bochenek, AMC's chief technology officer, showcased the Fuel Efficient Demonstrator, or FED, on Leno's Internet car show called Jay Leno's Garage. The FED is an Office of the Secretary of Defense-sponsored project and is designed by Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Command, a subordinate command of AMC. The FED was developed to test technologies that may be integrated into the current combat vehicle fleet. "There were three objectives with the program: increase fuel efficiency by 30 percent, improve the capabilities of the warfighter, and to be able to provide protection and ergonomics for the vehicle in terms of safety and survivability for our Soldiers," Via explained during the on-camera interview. Via and Bochenek walked Leno through several of its technologies discussing everything from the engine, protection and fuel efficiency to safety.
Via explained that partnerships with industry were key in developing the vehicle by leveraging the technologies that the automobile industry had already mastered. Goodyear partnered with the FED's engineering team to develop an optimized multi-compound low rolling resistance tire, which uses less energy and has a longer wear life with a 22.5 inch diameter tire. For all the engine enthusiast viewers the Jay Leno Garage show garners, Bochenek explained that the FED offers a supercharged, turbocharged, inline, four cylinder diesel engine, designed by Cummins. It produces 200 horsepower and 568 foot pounds of torque. Like every vehicle that enters Leno's garage, Leno test drove the vehicle with Via and Bochenek in the streets of Los Angeles, noting the brakes and turn radius. The goal of a 30 percent improvement was not only met but exceeded with a 70 percent increase in fuel efficiency compared to the current tactical lightweight vehicle. Increased fuel efficiency reduces the amount of convoys for fuel and the warfighters' exposure to the enemy, thus saving lives. The U.S. Army Materiel Command is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistic power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations.