For its military-minded service, the vehicle was completed with full-time 4x4 wheel drive with the forward axle being steerable (under power-assist). A light steel sheet metal armor skin was used to cover the steel tube roll cage within. A skid plate mounted under the chassis allowed the vehicle to traverse extremely rocky/uneven terrain with some security from becoming stuck in place. Each rubber-tired road wheel was independently suspended for improved cross-country mobility. Dimensionally, the XR311 was given a running length of 4.3 meters, width of 2 meters and height to hull roof of 1.6 meters. The entire vehicle was coated in a non-reflecting black matte finish.
Externally, the vehicle was of a conventional arrangement with the driver seated behind a steering column in the usual way. A twin-panel windscreen protected the frontal view while the sides, rear and top of the cabin were optionally left open. The roll bar assembly ran behind the cabin and across center. The six-shot TOW missile launcher was fitted overhead on the center beam. Stowage boxes were situated to either side of the engine installation at rear and additional tow launcher tubes could be fixed on mountings over the front wheel fenders. All pertinent systems gauges were installed along a contained dash area near the steering column. The gear stick control was between the two frontal seats while there proved a small area behind the seats for additional crew or storage (the passenger front seat was noticeably larger in size for two possible occupants. The engine compartment was well-ventilated through slits across the top and grating along the back facing.
While tested by the United States Army (through the 2nd Armored Division into 1974), the XR311 was never ordered for serial production, leaving the few completed units in existence (the US Army eventually committed to the 4x4 HUMVEE series in 1984). One XR311 example sits at the indoor display of the Russell Military Museum in northern Illinois - this version fitted with the multi-shot TOW missile system and over-fender TOW launchers. While not formally adopted, US Army interest in the XR311 inevitably led to other like-minded special fast wheeled developments such as the Chenoweth Desert Patrol Vehicle (DPV).
The XR311 eventually became known under the nickname of "G.I. Hotrod" for rather obvious reasons.
Text ©2003-2016 www.MilitaryFactory.com. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Email corrections/comments to MilitaryFactory at Gmail dot com. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance or general operation. Please consult original manufacturers for such information.