If 4x4 is good, 6x6 is better, right? Hmmm...not always...
What you see here is the Land Rover Defender 6X4 Puma Concept, which was recently developed in Malaysia by Land Rover Malaysia and Sasbilt Technologies Malaysia. It features a long wheelbase of 3302mm and the 6-wheeler can run on either 4 wheels (6X4) or all 6 wheels (6X6). Since the concept was displayed at the Defense Services Asia 2008 exhibition this month, it has apparently attracted a high level of interest from the Malaysian Armed Forces and numerous foreign visitors.
The long wheelbase, it's said, enables the use of a custom body which can accommodate an electric generator in the rear compartment and a spacious cabin for radio and satellite equipment and at least four crew members. The cabin doors are wider to enable easy access and loading of radio equipment. A full-size antenna can be mounted on the roof for the 6X4 Puma Concept to be used as a VSAT satellite vehicle in the battlefield.
So far, so good. Except for the long wheelbase part. Casual chatter here at the office reveals an extreme distaste for long wheelbase Rovers as they can get too easily hung-up on uneven terrain, 6x6 or not. The vehicle looks like it is slung far too low to be dependable in the jungles of Malaysia. One fallen log over the road could render this vehicle helpless; not a good feature for creating a reliable link in your vital communication chain.
It is powered by Land Rover’s Ford Duratorq “Puma” 2.4 liter common rail turbodiesel engine. Depending on tuning, it can produce between 74hp to 135hp and between 185Nm to 285Nm of torque. Not a real powerhouse, but then it's just supposed to be toting electronics, not weapons. Perhaps the rising cost of fuel was an issue for them. ("Sorry the war had to be called off on account of high fuel prices.") Actually, our office consensus was that we're simply not sure what they were thinking. What do you think?
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