If there's anything out there that drives like an LAV, we haven't tested it. In fact, when we first got the call from our contacts at GM Defense, we thought someone was playing a cruel joke on us: "How would you like to drive one of our eight-wheel-drive 31,000-pound turret-equipped $2 million infantry carriers? It'll go 60 mph." Long pause. "Sure," we said, about ready to jump out of our skin. "We'll see what we can do about showing you the big guns," came the reply.

With an overall length about 3 feet shorter than a 1-ton long-bed crew cab, the LAV III has a 55-ft turning diameter, a top speed of 62 mph, and a range over 300 miles. Designed as a rapid-deployment troop carrier, the LAV holds 10 people: one driver, one vehicle commander, one gunner, and seven fully geared troops in the rear-seating (dual-bench) quarters--but all we cared about was the seat with our name on it.

Peruse the following pages to find out more about our road test of this unusual vehicle. Afterwards, if you'd like more information on military-equipped civilian-made vehicles, check out our associated photo gallery: "They're All Getting in the Game."