A new threat has silently crept up on the Suzuki Jimny.
Recently released in the UK, the MW Motors Spartan EV 2.0 is a small, rugged off-roader, but instead of a petrol engine it runs on electric power.
The Spartan EV 2.0 is designed as a light commercial vehicle for those “dependent on 4×4 vehicles, farmers, forestry workers, extreme sports enthusiasts, mining firms and nature conservation[ists]” according to MW Motors.
It’s not cheap, though. The Spartan EV 2.0 starts from £49,995 (A$97,000) before on-road costs.
Autocar reports the Spartan EV 2.0’s ladder-frame chassis and tough-looking exterior are taken from Indian firm Force Motors’ Gurkha 4×4. The battery is reportedly sourced from China while the remaining engineering is done in the Czech Republic by MW Motors.
As the Spartan EV 2.0 is based on a car that utilised internal combustion power, the battery is stored under the bonnet where the engine would normally reside.
The electric motor itself occupies the space the transmission used to fill. The motor still drives all four wheels through a two-speed transfer case with high and low ranges, and a manually selectable part-time four-wheel drive system.
According to MW Motors, the Spartan EV 2.0 produces 130kW of power and a whopping 1075Nm of torque.
Feeding power to the electric motor is a battery that provides a usable capacity of 57.4kWh, giving the Spartan EV 2.0 a range of roughly 240 kilometres. It’s unclear what test cycle this is based on.
It can be charged at up to 90kW using a DC fast charger, while it also offers vehicle-to-load capabilities. Its bi-directional charging can supply 230 volts and 16 amps to an external appliance.
The rugged theme for the Spartan EV 2.0 continues underneath, where coil-sprung solid axles are found front and rear. Additionally, the off-roader features front and rear differential locks and hill descent control.
The Spartan EV 2.0 measures 4116mm long by 1812mm wide by 2075mm tall. For context, that’s roughly 150mm longer than the four-door Suzuki Jimny XL. The Spartan EV 2.0 weighs roughly 2350 kilograms and it can tow up to 3000 kilograms.
“We haven’t taken away any of the 4×4 capabilities, but this car provides much more than just a rough 4×4 experience. It’s really very comfortable, not only in [rural] terrain but also on the road,” MW Motors general manager Lukás Metelka told Autocar.
MW Motors is a small manufacturer based in the Czech Republic that sells to its home market and the UK. It’s known for re-engineering existing vehicles with electric drivetrains, although it also produces an off-road ready camper trailer.
The company formerly produced the Spartan EV before the Spartan EV 2.0, which was based on the UAZ Hunter, a Russian military light-utility vehicle.
The company is also readying the Luka EV, an electric sports car that according to Autocar, takes inspiration from a 1950s Tatra prototype and promises “superb handling” and in-wheel motors.