Perhaps this American start-up has beaten Land Rover to a Defender replacement.
An American start-up electric SUV manufacturer says that it has developed the most extreme and durable battery-powered off-roader, which is due to launch in mid-2019.
Bollinger Motors, based in Hobart in upstate New York, is in the final stages of developing its new B1 SUV. The all-wheel-drive machine features front- and rear-motors that combine to produce 355bhp and 472lb ft of torque. The power will be controlled by front and rear electronic locking differentials, and twin two-speed range gearboxes to control the torque.
It will be offered with a 60kWh battery, giving a 120-mile range, with the firm intending to offer a 100kWh battery with a 200-mile range.
Bollinger engineer John Hutchinson said: “There’s no other electric SUV like this. Electric drivetrains are great for off-road use, because they offer plenty of torque at low RPM. The B1 is designed for fun off-roading, or for use as a farm vehicle. Those vehicles don’t travel great distances, so range is less of an issue.”
The machine features a stripped-out interior with a boxy exterior design that resembles a Land Rover Defender. It features aluminium chassis and bodywork, designed to make it easy to manufacture, practical for off-road use and simple to replace panels. A steel roll cage has been added for safety.
The B1 is designed for use in extreme off-road conditions, and as such has 15.5 inches of ground clearance and 10-inch wheel travel. It is 3810mm long and 1943mm wide, with a wheelbase of 2667mm. With the rear seats removed it has a 2690-litre capacity.
The design takes advantage of the lack of engine up front to feature a distinctive ‘pass-through’ area in the front storage compartment, allowing long loads to fit inside the vehicle.
The B1 was the idea of industrial designer Robert Bollinger, who founded the company that now employs ten people in 2014. The firm claims to have received 10,000 expressions of interest since the project was first announced, and is currently evaluating manufacturing partners in the US.
While the B1 is focused on the American market, the firm is aiming to start exporting models in 2020, principally to the Middle East.