is excerpted from a meeting between a VRDF Supply Corps officer, and Leftenant-General
Detroit (call sign "Wrecker"), the VRDF's self-appointed expert in
Supply: ...so you see, sir, the problem is not the Zinger's combat utility, but simple cost. Between battlefield losses, and the expense of outfitting the new Errant Divisions, the VRDF simply cannot afford to continue using the Zinger as a standard unit.
Detroit: I realize that cost is a problem. But what would you propose to do about it? The Zinger is one of our best vehicles!
Supply: RDC has provided an answer, sir. (He presents a design) Let me present the Outrider. It is a derivative of the Zinger, but has a much more reasonable price tag.
Detroit: Oh really?
Supply: Yes, sir. It starts by downgrading the engine...
Supply: (with an "I knew this was coming" roll of the eyes) Yes, sir. The single biggest factor in the Zinger's cost was its XL engine. That nearly doubled the unit cost by itself. The Outrider uses a standard fusion engine.
Detroit: (grumbling) How much of a downgrade is it?
Supply: The Outrider has a top speed just over 150 KPH.
Detroit: Too slow.
Supply: That aside, the Outrider also uses standard armor to further reduce costs. It keeps the same level of protection by using slightly more tonnage in armor.
Detroit: It's too slow.
Supply: The Outrider also uses the same electronics package as the Zinger, and the same turret package as our Destrier ISV. This will simplify the switchover in production, and reduce long-term costs.
Detroit: Did you not hear me? I said it's TOO SLOW!
Supply: The end result, SIR, is a unit that is still one of our fastest vehicles, at a much lower price.
Detroit: (grumbling some more) How much lower?
Supply: (beaming) For the price of one Zinger, we can get two Outriders, with change to spare. The unit cost is less than half the cost of a Zinger.
Detroit: (silent glare)
Supply: (quietly) Sir. The Outrider may be slower, but cost is the issue.
Detroit: Yes, I know, but...(trailing off) You know I do not like this one bit.
Supply: (smiling slightly) Yes, sir.
Detroit: And you also know I have no choice, you bastard.
Supply: (grin broadening) Yes, sir.
Detroit: (sighs one last time, then signs the form) C'est la.
BattleTech Vehicle Technical Readout