While the M12 Warthog series of vehicles had remained the mainstay of the UNSC Marine Corps armoured units since its introduction, it had its limits. It was extremely bulky, a severe handicap in the urban terrain that the UNSC has found itself increasing fighting in, and though it excelled at offroad work and was an excellent all-terrain vehicle, its inability to easily navigate pre-existing roads made it a poor choice for urban combat. As such, the M13-X Lynx LRV was proposed by Sierra Space Systems as a supplement to the Marine Corps fleet of LRV's in 2531, and developed into two prototype models.
The Lynx was smaller than the Warthog in comparison, having a lower vertical profile, and was slightly narrower. On the other hand, it lacked the rear tray that made its bulkier counterpart so versatile, and had few places to mount usable external weaponry. It shared the four-wheel independent traction system used by the warthog, though its height-adjustable suspension bars were more vulnerable to fire, and possessed a reinforced roll-cage with ceiling cover, providing more protection to its occupants than the open-top configuration. It also used an improved hydrogen fuel cell, better able to process carbon and other materials for use in internal combustion.
During performance trials, the Lynx displayed more agility than the Warthog, able to turn tighter corners, as possessing a faster rate of acceleration. In field tests at Songnam Military Research and Development facilities, it proved more efficient at manoeuvring through simulated urban combat areas, providing more protection to its occupants. However, its single biggest weakness was that it lacked suitable weapon mounts for defence, a feature that has seen a startling number of variants of the M12. The M247 Mongoose ULATV, while sharing the lack of weaponry, was developed for a smaller scale role, never intended for assault missions. The Lynx, however, would be exposed to areas where an assault rifle carried by the passenger would be insufficient. Attempts were made to rectify this problem by mounting a remote-operated M202 XP machinegun mounter to the roof, but problems with the TADS and unbalancing of the vehicle led to its removal. In the end, the design was shelved by CENTCOM in favour of retrofitting existing vehicles with new technology, and rolling out more of the Mongoose ULATV's.
- "The damn things were fast. Or maybe they just felt like they were because they were smaller? Less dead weight, right?"
- "People bitch and moan about the Mongoose because it has no weapons mounted to it, but if they'd seen the Lynx, they'd be glad for what they've got."
- "Hey, I liked the Lynx! At least it could fit in a tunnel, and you didn't have to crush everything in your way!"
- "Are they bringing it back? Why are you asking me about it? Who are you?"