Will the all-electric Munro MK_1 one day rival the Land Rover Defender?

by TopGear.com | Dec 8, 2022
CAR MODELS IN THIS ARTICLE

Munro Vehicles has revealed its first off-road electric vehicle, the MK_1, bringing automotive manufacturing back to Scotland for the first time in over four decades.

The MK_1 is a five-seat, all-electric utility vehicle designed for off-road performance. Munro's CEO Russell Peterson suggests “think of it more like a piece of machinery than a car.

The entry-level, aptly named 'Utility' model has a 61.2kWh battery paired with a 220kW electric motor. It's expected to have a range of 226km or 12 hours running time and has a maximum payload of up to 1,000kg, supported by 600Nm of torque.

Image of the Munro MK_1

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓

The Range version gets you 299km or 16 hours running time and an 82.4kWh battery with a 220kW/295hp electric motor. As the vehicle is designed for rugged off-road pursuits, 0-100kph times aren't groundbreaking unless you go for the top-of-the-range Performance model.

Coming in at 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 129kph, Performance maxes out with a 280kW/375hp electric motor, delivering 700Nm of torque. This means the top spec is capable of towing up to 3,500kg.

Munro co-founder Ross Anderson emphasizes the MK_1's off-roadness with a note that “if you're 99% on the road, the MK_1 is probably not for you. For the UK market, it's mainly targeted at agricultural applications but the firm is also setting its sights on North American clients in mining, forestry, and construction.

Image of the Munro MK_1

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓
Recommended Videos

In theory, the MK_1 is designed to last around 50 years with regular maintenance and servicing. Peterson says “nothing on this vehicle is without purpose, it's a workhorse built to last, we're not jumping on an EV bandwagon.

OTHER STORIES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
This minimalist Muji x Honda ebike is now in PH with an P89,998 price tag
36 LTO field offices are unable to provide license-related services at the moment

The vehicle is currently in a small production phase which means the front and rear axles can sit extremely close to the edge of the vehicle and still qualify to be road legal. The benefit of this is a significant increase in its angle of approach and departure at 84 and 51 degrees. Ground clearance is 480mm and if you're brave enough, it should wade up to 800mm.

Inside, the interior is stripped back to essential controls that are all standard, waterproof buttons that can be easily replaced. The vehicle is designed to be hard wearing but easily repairable with several standard components throughout, which contribute to lower production and maintenance costs.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓

Image of the Munro MK_1

For your tech, there's two USB C ports, two wireless charging pads, and two three-pin plug points in the center console. On the dash is a small touchscreen that's compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

To keep the battery topped up there's the option of AC charging that can deliver a full charge in three and a half hours or DC charging that'll top it up in just over half an hour. The battery pack itself is guaranteed to deliver 80% of its original capacity for at least eight years or 160,000km, after which time it can be reconditioned or replaced by Munro.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓

Anderson describes the vehicle warranty as “super flexible, explaining that customers can repair and maintain their vehicles without invalidating their warranty.

With a wheelbase of 3,300mm, the MK_1 can accommodate five adults. In the back, the load bay has a plywood floor with aluminum tracks and hooks to hold up to 400kg in place. Petersen said, “our customers should be able to throw things in the back without feeling bad.

Image of the Munro MK_1

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓

To handle extreme terrain the MK_1 has a permanent mechanical four-wheel drive system, linked to a transfer case and differential. This facilitates power delivery to any wheel if the vehicle loses traction. Munro has opted for a two-speed transmission still fairly unusual for EVs, seen in the likes of the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT.

Anderson explained they chose an axial flux motor to reduce weight by 40kg and provide greater control of the vehicle at low speeds. “It generates exceptionally high amounts of torque when running in reverse.

“When the Munro is in high gear ‘Drive' mode, lifting off the accelerator provides a degree of regenerative braking via the resistance of the electric motor. In the low-gear, ‘Off-Road' setting, the regenerative braking is much more pronounced. This enables the vehicle to be driven in ‘one-pedal' mode and provides a highly effective hill descent function to enhance safety and performance off-road.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓

In 2023 Munro is set to reveal a pick-up version of the MK_1 with other iterations including single cab, six-wheeler and flatbed models all in the pipeline. Next year, 50 units will be produced at Munro's East Kilbride site before moving to a purpose-built facility in central Scotland in 2024 to scale up production to 2,500 vehicles a year by 2027.

NOTE: This article first appeared onTopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

See Also

View other articles about:
Recommended Videos
  • Quiz Results

  • TGP Rating:
    /20

    Starts at ₱

    TGP Rating:
    /20
    Starts at ₱