"Who Dares Wins," or so goes the motto of Sayeret Matkal, one of the Israel Defense Force's special units. Israeli truck customizer AIL of Nazareth has dared with the Jeep J8-based Storm 3 Type R, and it looks like they may win... a lucrative army contract, that is.
A journo from jeepolog.com took one out for a spin in the searing heat of the Negev Desert this summer, and according to the off-duty, but very salty army guys who drove it with him, Storm 3 Type R is an ass kicker.
A stock Jeep Rubicon is already a pretty capable vehicle, but AIL had to figure out how to make it do something that the Humvees the Israeli army currently uses don't. By stuffing a 194 hp, 2.8-liter four pot turbo diesel between the fenders, they created something light and strong that has all of the offroad prowess of a Hummer without all the noise and with way better handling and maneuverability.
The only problem the old soldiers could see with Storm 3 Type R was it has a lower cargo capacity than the big AM General (although most sources I found showed that the HMMWV has a much lower cargo capacity than what AIL claims the Storm 3 Type R can handle), but they said it would be a good candidate for border patrol, pursuit, and deep strike missions. And that's why the IDF has been testing them all around Israel, a country which, although it's only about the size of New Jersey, has incredibly varied terrain.
Storm 3 Type R's suspension is more or less stock, with an extra leaf stuffed into the shackles over a Trac-Lok Dana 44 front axle and a beefy Trac-Lok Dana 60 rear. Offroad tires are mounted on non-beadlocking steel wheels, but maybe bead locks would be advisable if the truck is deployed on terrorist chasing missions. Tipping the scales at 4,451 pounds, Storm 3 Type R can carry a 2,756-pound payload and tow 7,716 pounds.
Consensus among those who care about such things suggests that the maximum load a 6.2 V8 diesel-equipped Hummer can tow is 4,200 pounds, and that its top interior payload capacity (in certain configurations) is about the same. Plus, the four banger Jeep has a 22.5 gallon fuel tank — the Hummer, which weighs nearly 10,000 pounds empty, can hold only a few more gallons of refined black gold — so it probably has a pretty decent range.
Jeep Custom of Nazareth's creation sure looks good on paper, but we'll let the Israeli government sort that one out. (hat tip to Nimrod!)
Photo credit: jeepolog.com