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IPFS News Link • Transportation

Vanderhall's big-tired 404-hp electric buggy explodes through the sand

•, By C.C. Weiss

Switching names from Navarro to Brawley, the all-new 300-V e-4x4 relies on four motors to float its 35-in tires through deep sand and power them over hard desert floor. It looks like the most off-road fun you can have without any of the usual noise or emissions.

Vanderhall snaps on one more wheel than its accustomed to, leaping out in front of the high-performance electric four-wheeler trend that's sure to hit the powersports industry before too long. Electric power has crept into the work-oriented utility side of the side-by-side market with models like the Polaris Ranger EV, and the Brawley represents one of the first all-out performance-sport builds, joining the reportedly canceled Nikola NZT prototype.

The Brawley's face clearly draws influence from Jeeps, but the 4x4 isn't built to drive itself to the trailhead, as it lacks airbags and other equipment necessary for full road use. It isn't exactly the typical open-air side-by-side, either, packing four adults inside an enclosed, filtered body with heating, air conditioning, heated seats and Bluetooth audio. It does let some fresh air in through lowering windows and a removable roof panel, and it gives occupants a view of the terrain to the sides through transparent door panels.

The Brawley may need to hitch up to a tow vehicle on the way to the trail, but it's specced to absolutely steal the show upon arrival. The four individually controlled motors team up for up to 404 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. A four-wheel steering system helps throw the unibodied OHV around tight corners, while the off-road suspension with internal bypass shocks eats up bumps, hits and drops with up to 22 inches (56 cm) of cushion.