Few would deny that cars like the new Land Rover Defender and Suzuki Jimny are proper off-roaders, but beyond the local showroom there’s a whole range of purebred machines so much more extreme that side-by-side, they leave those 4x4s looking a little half-hearted. Cars like the Bollinger B1 and perhaps even Hennessey’s 1000hp Gladiator show how extreme these off-road offerings can be, but none of them comes close to being as honed in on the job of going absolutely anywhere like Tomcar’s new TX.
This is one of the most focussed ultimate terrain vehicles we’ve seen yet, designed to venture across the world’s most challenging wildernesses without breaking a sweat – and at immense pace. So capable is this four-wheel drive car that it can survive a parachute drop, remain composed when driving along a 60-degree gradient and even carry another TX of the same weight on its roof. It’s essentially a civilian version of Tomcar’s military-grade machine.
The TX’s toughness comes from the simplicity of its build. It’s based on a steel-welded frame with a roll cage, with an aircraft-grade aluminium floor underneath capable of dealing with hard shocks and impacts from rocks. The latter should be minimised thanks to a class-leading 432mm ground clearance, provided by four-wheel independent and adjustable suspension with hydraulic shocks allowing for 356mm of travel. It’s all said to be repairable out in the field.
As standard, power is sent to all four wheels via pneumatically activated locking diffs from a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine putting out 107hp. (Although potentially the all-electric version and its 38kWh lithium-ion battery would be the most capable thanks to its instantaneous supply of 207lb ft of torque). The heaviest TX model, the four-seater 4, weighs only 1.1 tonnes and the gearing is short for off-roading, so you can imagine just how quick the Tomcar is on the rough stuff. And the placement of the powertrain means centre of gravity is low.
Most of the above has been pinched straight from Tomcar’s military offering, but the US firm does widen the passenger compartment, fit power steering and provide a heater and air con in the TX, so there are a few creature comforts. An even plusher (relatively speaking) version is apparently in the works to add doors into the equation, as is a diesel variant for those who want maximum range, so there’s more to come from the world of Tomcar UTVs. For now, prices start at $34,900, about £26.9k.
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