This New Electric SUV Channels the Spirit of the Old Land Rover Defender

And it's coming to America, technically.

munro vehicles mk1 prototype
Munro Vehicles

We know off-road SUVs will survive in the electric era due to popular demand and EVs being even better suited to the task. The Rivian R1S is here. The Hummer EV SUV is en route. Jeep is building the Recon, and Land Rover is building an EV.

All of those vehicles should be compelling and super capable. But it will be hard to recreate the simple, boxy charm of the originals. One new EV SUV that looks closer to an old Land Rover is the Mk1, a new prototype from Scottish company Munro.

munro vehicles mk1 prototype viewed from the side
Munro Vehicles

The Mk1 bears more than a passing resemblance to the Bollinger Motors B1, unveiled before the company switched to building only commercial vehicles. That's not so coincidental as Munro's design head Ross Compton worked as a designer at Bollinger Motors. Like the B1, the Munro Mk1 will be designed as a Class 3 Truck.

The Mk1 is as simple and old-school as it looks. It will run on a ladder frame steel chassis with solid axles front and rear. It has a low-range gearbox for off-roading. It has a standard center locking differential and optional front and rear lockers. The Mk1 uses flat glass to make cutting replacement windows easier and bolt-on fenders designed to be easily replaced.

munro mk1 prototype testing on dirt hill
Munro Vehicles
munro mk1 prototype testing in mud
Munro Vehicles

Propulsion is also more straightforward. The Mk1 has a single electric motor located centrally and powers all four wheels for continuous four-wheel drive mechanically. Munro offers 295 hp and 375 hp outputs and 61 kWh and 81 kWh battery packs. The targeted maximum range — 190 miles under the more generous WLTP standard — won't lend itself to highway driving. But that classic Defender doesn't get driven on the highway, either.

The Mk1 can hit 60 mph in less than five seconds but tops out at 80 mph. It has impressive-sounding off-road capability, with 18.9 inches of ground clearance and 31.5 inches of wading depth. It has an approach angle of 84º, a 31.6º breakover angle and a 51º departure angle. The Mk1 can haul up to 2,200 lbs and tow an additional 7,700 lbs.

The good news? Munro does plan to sell the Mk1 in America (though they don't yet have a North American production facility), with prices ranging from a $61,000 base model to a $115,000 fully loaded version. The less good news? The Mk1 will only be a work fleet vehicle, not consumer transport.

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