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French automotive specialist Texelis announced on 28 November 2023 that it has launched a new “turnkey offer for vehicle mobility” called Celeris.

The development is designed to offer original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of military 4×4s “modern, high-performance, military-grade mobility on their vehicles without having to worry about adapting or developing a new mobility solution”.

As explained by Texelis in a press release, “Any OEM willing to add a 4×4 vehicle to its range has two options. One is to build on a commercial chassis, thus benefitting from low purchasing costs and large access to spare parts. However, that option does not provide with a military-quality mobility solution, does not grant full control over the components and their settings, does not guarantee support and life cycle management for the vehicle, and requires heavy work to adjust it to the workload required of a military vehicle, thus almost cancelling the price argument and creating a world of technical issues to solve.

“The other option is to develop a custom-made mobility solution,” Texelis noted. “That strategy guarantees high performance, control over the components, life-cycle management, support over 40 years and complete adequation to the actual needs of the end users. However, in-house development is expensive and can only be a sensible investment if commercial success is guaranteed.”

As an alternative to these two options, Texelis is offering in Celeris what it bills as “the best of the two worlds: a complete, hassle-free, custom-made, turnkey solution, effectively granting the partner with its very own mobility solution, designed to meet his needs, including a tailored support system”.

The company says that it already has a launch customer for Celeris, although it declined to name who that is.

The Celeris 4×4 comprises 12 base kits, such as axles, powerpack and steering, as well as more than 30 optional kits, depending on the exact configuration, planned use and performance needed. It can accommodate both self-supporting body vehicles as well as ladder-frame vehicles, enabling a wide range of architectures and uses. With a mass of about 4.5 tonnes including tyres, the Celeris 4×4 can accommodate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) ranging from 13 to 18 tonnes.

At the heart of the Celeris 4×4 are Texelis T750 axles, with a rear axle available both with trailing arms (9.5-tonne load) and with double wishbones (8.5-tonne load). The driveline combines a Cummins ISL9 Euro 3 diesel engine with an output of 375 hp and an Allison 3200SP transmission with a two-speed-plus-neutral transfer case.

The Celeris 4×4 is a turnkey package designed to offer military-grade mobility without the full development costs. (Image: Texelis)

Texelis notes the Celeris “can be instrumental for countries or OEMs willing to create or expand their automotive industry with a tight schedule. It is thus particularly suited for companies looking to increase local content in the framework of a wider contract.”

In its press release Texelis asserted that Celeris “is not just a rolling chassis to adapt to an armoured body” but rather “a complete environment in which Texelis’ team of experts bring their knowledge on mobility and integration to assist the customer throughout the complete development of the prototypes and first series of vehicles. They then hand over all existing documentation and setting tools, effectively making Texelis’ partner fully autonomous and in control of the vehicle, its settings and its support.”

Originally an axle supplier, Texelis has over the past several years transformed itself into a provider of complete mobility packages for key military platforms. For the past six years, for example, the company has been the mobility system supplier for the French Army’s Serval multirole light armoured vehicle, of which 2,000 units have been ordered.