The drive for more fuel-efficient cars reaches beyond the garages of the U.S. populace and into military motor pools. Under a development contract with the U.S. Army, Ricardo, an international engineering firm, has finished building its first take on a new light tactical vehicle. One of the primary goals of the FED Alpha, which stands for Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator, is to be more fuel efficient than current Army vehicles.
To reach this goal, the FED Alpha relies on a four-cylinder Cummins diesel engine and Goodyear low rolling resistance tires. Gears in the drive line use a special finish to help reduce friction. By contrast, the Humvee, currently in wide use by the Army, uses a 6.2-liter V-8 diesel engine. No figures have been released for the FED Alpha's actual fuel economy. … Read more