Rugged­new util­ity can seat seven

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

O NE of the most ro­bust go-any­where ve­hi­cles made in Aus­tralia has been ex­panded to seat seven. Bris­bane com­pany EarthCruiser Over­land Ve­hi­cles has adapted a Mit­subishi Can­ter 4x4 to cre­ate a dual-cab util­ity model to add to its range of short and long-wheel­base ad­ven­ture trucks and utes.

EOV spokesman Michael Greg­son says the de­sign is based on cus­tomer feed­back.

‘‘There are many peo­ple out there, whether they be trades­man, hob­by­ist or leisure seekers who don’t want a truck, but badly need a good qual­ity seven-seat, four-wheel-drive dual cab util­ity with a huge tray and a qual­ity fin­ish, so we be­lieve we will be of­fer­ing a unique prod­uct to a keen au­di­ence,’’ Mr Greg­son says.

‘‘We have gone through the sec­ond-stage man­u­fac­tur­ing process to de­liver what po­ten­tial cus­tomers of these great ve­hi­cles have been cry­ing out for — long-travel, soft-ride sus­pen­sion, sin­gle wheel, with real off road­tyres and a de­cent size tray with a mount­ing sys­tem that lets the chas­sis work.

‘‘Add to this the Aus­tralian made sus­pen­sion seat and it com­ple­ments the pack­age to de­liver a com­fort­able and tough unit.’’

EOV spe­cialises in build­ing ve­hi­cles ca­pa­ble of long-range sus­tain­able world travel over al­most any ter­rain and has tested its prod­ucts on ex­pe­di­tions across many kilo­me­tres and con­ti­nents.

EOV boss Lance Gil­lies says the com­pany is at­tract­ing cus­tomers from around Aus­tralian and the world, in­clud­ing a Swiss buyer who ar­rives next week to pick up a ve­hi­cle and clients from Egypt ‘‘in a month or so’’.

The new ute weighs less than 4500kg, so it can be driven on a stan­dard car li­cence, like most EOV prod­ucts.

‘‘With the whole ve­hi­cle be­ing not much wider than a Land­Cruiser, they can tackle the same tracks and nar­row river cross­ings as con­ven­tional four-wheel drives,’’ Mr Greg­son says. EarthCruiser ve­hi­cles are pow­ered by a 4.9-litre in­ter­cooled turbo-diesel.

The new dual-cab ute is priced at $89,000 plus on-road costs.

The short wheel­base EarthCruiser costs $195,000, the mid-wheel­base is $230,000 and the ute is $75,000. www.earthcruiser.com.au

MARK HINCH­LIFFE

Go any­where: the EarthCruiser dual cab and (be­low) its in­te­rior.

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