WASHINGTON — Polaris Defense is rolling out its new turbo diesel version of its MRZR off-road vehicle to align with US military requirements, company officials said Wednesday.
"The Polaris MRZR-D provides military customers around the world with improved logistics and range and global fuel flexibility by running on diesel and JP8, without sacrificing performance that has made the MRZR so popular," the company said.
MRZR vehicles are designed to be expeditionary. They are ultralight and are V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor transportable. The vehicles come in a two-, four- or six-seater version.
"MRZRs have redefined ultralight, off-road mobility for military vehicles and are mission critical for expeditionary forces in the US and more than 20 allied countries to meet mission demands and threats while forward deployed," a company statement reads.
Polaris plans to unveil the new turbo diesel version of the MRZR next week at the 2016 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa, Florida, next week and also at a Canadian show in May.
"The new turbo diesel powertrain is significant in reducing the logistics burden for select US services and many foreign militaries that have strict requirements for diesel fuel," Jed Leonard, senior manager with Polaris Defense, said. "And as importantly for our military customers, we've engineered this diesel powertrain to meet the same mission requirements and extreme off-road performance that Polaris and the MRZR are trusted for in peacetime, security operations, and conventional military missions."
Leonard told Defense News that by providing the diesel and JP8 fuel capability, it gets after the military's desire for a common fuel among all vehicles.
And there are more improvements that the new fuel capability brings to the vehicle, Mark McCormick, development director of Polaris Defense, said. For instance, it's estimated the range of the vehicle will increase by about 30 percent for on-road capability. It is harder to predict off-road range capability.
Leonard added that from a cost standpoint, the military will see a big reduction in the logistics burden in having to prepare and bring along multiple types of fuel for different platforms.
Polaris also took feedback from the field and has made improvements in updated seating space, ergonomics and sightlines. Most importantly, but most importantly, the new version provides increased auxiliary power and greater range, "making it even more effective," according to the statement.
Polaris noted it continues to produce the original gas powertrain MRZR 2 and MRZR 4 through the Lightweight Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle program with US Special Operations Command and other international customers.
Polaris' DAGOR vehicle is currently being tested and demonstrated, along with other vehicles, in advance of the Army's Ground Mobility Vehicle procurement program that is expected to kick off in fiscal 2017.