July 19, 2024

Munro Vehicles taking deposits for MK_1 pure electric off-roader

3 min read
Munro Vehicles taking deposits for MK_1 pure electric off-roader

Munro Vehicles taking deposits for MK_1 pure electric off-roader

After getting the idea for an electric 4×4 while on a driving trip in the Scottish Highlands, Russell Peterson and Ross Anderson established Munro Vehicles in Scotland in 2019. In August 2022, the aspiring automaker showed a white prototype of its MK_1 battery-electric off-roader. Now at the tail end of a two-year testing regimen, Munro has revealed this black pre-production model and production specs. Designed for commercial applications like agriculture and mining, the MK_1 doesn’t merely look simple, it is simple. Russell said, “It dawned on us that there was a gap in the market for an electric-powered, four-wheel-drive, utilitarian workhorse. We envisioned a vehicle with ultimate, go-anywhere, off-road ability, unrestricted by road-derived underpinnings that limit the all-terrain ability of vehicles such as the 4×4 pick-up trucks that have come to dominate the market.”

The mission and T-square aluminum bodywork over a ladder chassis might seem familiar. Munro designer Ross Compton was also the exterior designer at Bollinger Motors and Atlis.

There will be three choices of LNMC (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide) packs, all powering a single electric motor. The Utility trim fits a 61.2-kWh battery, motor output is 295 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of peak torque, estimated range is 113 miles in adverse conditions on the WLTP cycle, 141 miles in ideal conditions. That motor can be paired with an 82.4-kWh pack in a Range trim that extends range to between 152 and 190 miles. The Performance trim keeps the big battery and the range, pairing it with a 375-hp motor that makes 516 lb-ft. Nothing the name, the Performance can do the 0-60 run in 4.9 seconds, a tidy 2.7 seconds faster than the Utility and the Range. Top speed is limited to 80 miles per hour in all trims.

The pack is placed in the 5-mm-thick galvanized steel frame in three pieces, one large piece between the rails, two smaller packs outside the rails — yes, we have questions about that. The max charging rate for the small battery is 70 kW, upped to 94 kW for the large battery, able to replenish either pack from 15{5be0972a10a00bb621c1a18de1a801d58662e556d02921cebb422beac5e5b2fe} to 80{5be0972a10a00bb621c1a18de1a801d58662e556d02921cebb422beac5e5b2fe} in 36 minutes.

The e-motor sends its power to a two-speed transfer case that routes power to the live front and rear axles, because the company didn’t want the complexity of a computer managing e-motor output on two axles. The truck will come with a center locking differential, locking diffs at both axles will be optional. The nearly 19 inches of ground clearance and brief overhangs result in a cliff-climbing 84-degree approach angle, 51-degree departure angle, 31.6-degree breakover angle, and 31.5-inch wading capability.

The same simplicity is expressed everywhere. All glass is flat, for ease of repair. The instrument panel is a small screen and a few toggle switches. The production lights look like prototype units normally used to hide production lights. There’s a plywood floor in the square load bay, the bay sized to swallow a European pallet of 47 inches by 32 inches. The interior can be hosed out. There’s no frunk, the axial flux motor and power electronics placed where the engine normally goes, but there are two more storage compartments over the front wheel arches. The commitment to plain, proven features and engineering is explained by Munro targeting a 50-year service life for the MK_1, meaning the shell would last far longer than the life of an EV powertrain.

When it comes to managing a burden, the MK_1 is rated for a 2,204-pound payload and 7,716 pounds of towing. Owners who know they plan to do a lot of towing can option air springs that improve stability when pulling.

The plan is to start with the five-door five-seat SUV on a 130-inch wheelbase, hand-assembling 50 units next year. In the UK, prices will start at £49,995 before VAT, a little over $61,350 U.S. Some of the initial batch will cross the water for testing in the U.S. and Canada. In 2024, Munro wants to move to a dedicated factory in Glasgow and build 250 units, with an eventual eye on 2,500 units of annual production across three body styles, the second one a pickup. The company is accepting deposits, and says prospective buyers have placed orders from as far away as Dubai.

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