Despite the launch of the new Land Rover Defender a couple of years ago, the iconic original refuses to die. This phenomenon is apparently not just in the heads of those who will die on the hill of it being the best 4x4 ever, but also in the minds of designers looking to build rugged utility vehicles for the future.
The latter is the case with Scottish start-up, Munro, which is launching the MK_1 on 5 December and has teased us with a sketch of something which is, well, an old Defender, no doubt exploiting the fact that the High Court ruled that Land Rover didn’t own the Defender shape. Should the brand’s ambitions come to fruition, it will be the first car to be produced in Scotland for 40 years – which is nice.
More pertinently, Munro reckons the MK_1 will be ‘the most capable all-electric 4X4 in the world’, without stating exactly the capabilities in question. Though we can infer they mean in its ability to traverse hostile terrain, which, alongside school run duties for landowning wannabes in Hunter wellingtons and Harris Tweed, was the party piece of the original.
What we know so far is that it is designed in Britain, is powered by a state-of-the-art electric powertrain and ‘best-in-class’ mechanical 4x4 driveline, enabling it exceptional off-road ability. It’s said to be an opportunity for the mining, construction, agriculture, forestry and mountain rescue sectors to decarbonise, which is actually a potentially sound business model – targeting a niche but essential group of industries.
There’s no word on range, just that it can operate for up to 16 hours on a single battery charge. It will accommodate a crew of five, a 1000kg payload and has 3500kg of towing capacity. Its strengths are off-road performance, reliability, ease-of-repair and longevity… Which were all hallmarks of the internal combustion powered Defender.
Munro CEO, Russell Peterson commented: “This early sketch of the Munro MK_1 by our award-winning in-house designer Ross Compton, underlines our design commitment to build an all-terrain electric 4x4 engineered from the wheels up to provide unparalleled workhorse capability for commercial customers looking to decarbonise their fleets. The Munro MK_1 will effortlessly go to places others can’t reach, with bulletproof durability and ultra-low running costs.”
Where Munro needs to stand out when it is put up against the myriad conversions that are already out there, for example those from Electrogenic and Twisted, among others. These promise low(ish) cost conversions and rapid return on investment. As such, we’d hope the cost of a MK_1 isn’t as high as other low volume EVs that have hoped to steal a segment of the market.
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