The tank-like Tornado Intercept Vehicle 2 that stars in the Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers" started life as a 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 dual-rear-wheel 4x4 pickup. Our friends at Jalopnik have the inside scoop on how the TIV2's dramatic transformation into a tornado-chaser was accomplished.
The TIV2's pickup body was replaced with a new steel-frame safety structure, covered in 1/8-inch-thick welded steel plates. The sides are fitted with hydraulic skirts that can be lowered on demand to direct high-speed tornado winds safely around the truck. Power to the truck's three driven axles comes from a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel, outfitted with propane and water injection. The two rear axles are Dana 80s needed to support the TIV2's 17,500-pound curb weight.
For more on the making of the TIV2, jump over to Jalopnik.