The General Dynamics Reconnaissance Surveillance and Targeting Vehicle is one cool piece of kit. It's powered by four electric in-wheel motors and can export thirty kilowatts directly to the grid. It's also got neat-o gauges.

This piece of military could-be is part of a larger push from the US Army to reduce their fuel consumption and use smarter technologies to make future land vehicles better in the field and more useful tools for soldiers. The RST-V is a technology demonstrator built entirely by General Dynamics to show what's possible on a smaller-sized vehicle built around a series hybrid drive system.


It uses a small diesel-engine powering a generator to charge on-board batteries or power the in-wheel electric motors. Instead of mounting the wheels to studs on the motor as is normally done on hub-motor concepts, this concept works a bit differently. First the wheel is assembled on a bearing riding on an stub axle, then on goes the 90 kW peak, 50 kW continuous pancake motor mount installed on the splined hub shaft, then on top of that a pancake gear reduction unit which interfaces with an eccentrically mounted geared track one the rim of the wheel. Very, very clever. Each wheel gets an independent motor controller so even if three motors get shot out, forward motion is still possible.

Aside from being able to operate in all-silent mode, it can also export over 20 kW of power to the grid. Since it doesn't have the traditional powertrain layout, it allows packaging designers to mix things up. Outside you get a pretty extreme break-over angle for great obstacle clearance but inside you excellent passenger room, and some pretty sweet all-digital gauges and electroluminescent controls.

With a combined instantaneous power output of 482 HP at the wheels and staggering ground clearance, we'd love to see what this thing could do out in the muddy and rough stuff.