A new series begins. Field Worthy. This series is all about motor vehicles (motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses). Vehicles that shine off-road. Basically, aiding us to go where most wild creatures can be found and where the road terrain is way too rough and tough. Why motor vehicles? Other than nature, man’s creative ability to build “beasts” that go above landscapes, cross tough terrain and look good while they do it, captivates many people.
“Don’t think, just do.” – Horace
This series will highlight vehicles that are well able to go off-road without experiencing extreme damages. For instance, saloon cars are made for tarmacked or well-paved roads and not tough terrain as the body is not made to withstand such kind of tough off-road pressure. The motor vehicles to be featured include 4 by 4’s and in most cases manual drives, motorcycles such as adventure or off-road/dirt motorbikes, overland trucks and so much more. The series will also highlight motor vehicle maintenance and ways we can aid in mitigating global warming with the rising trend in electric and hybrid motor vehicles. This is considering that most motor vehicles use fossil fuels which is the greatest threat to our climate.
Read an interesting article on why Increase in the number of vehicles in Kenya is a health concern.
Let us begin local because this was a great stride for Kenya. The Mobius is a locally designed, developed, assembled and a marketed car built for the African mass market and the rough terrain by Mobius Motors. The vehicle manufacturing company seeks to create an alternative to most imported vehicles which rarely go off-road as the cars built for rough terrains, the SUVs, come at a higher cost.
Mobius may not be as comfortable as most SUVs as more effort was geared towards pure functionality investing in springs, shocks and wheels. It is a re-engineered version of the luxury Land Rover but looks more like a mini jeep having eliminated air conditioning, power steering, ABS (anti-lock braking system), normal interior fixtures and even glass windows for Mobius one. You can also look at it like Probox, with better aerodynamics, a good steering wheel, more power, better suspension and a more lively dashboard. The engines, brakes, and steering are built around a tubular steel frame which reduces cost and maintenance. The affordable and effective design ensure going through off-roads is an easy task.
Almost all off-road vehicles are fitted with low gearing. This will allow the driver to make the most of the engine’s available power while moving slowly through challenging terrain. With a manual gear, Mobius engine and transmission systems are engineered to deliver solid traction. This is useful when driving on rough roads and even when hauling heavy loads. The high-efficiency engine combines 16 valves and VVT (Variable Valve Timing) to drive increased rotating force at lower engine speeds while also delivering top-end power and fuel economy.
The double wishbone coil spring suspension in the front is custom developed. The rear has a live axle leaf spring suspension offering a large amount of support between the wheels, axles and the car’s chassis. The vehicle performance is improved in drive handling and steering stability and does not compromise the vehicle when transporting heavier goods.
The Mobius exterior design makes it look and feel like both an on-road and off-road vehicle. Just because it has a simple design, basic interior requirements such as GPS navigation and additional characteristics such as WiFi connectivity, multimedia. USB connection, Near Field Communication and Bluetooth for hands-free calling have not been left out.
While driving on the highway, Mobius II can go for 12 km with 1 litre of fuel and 10 km in city driving. The top speed 160 kilometres per hour which is achieved using a five-speed manual transmission. Off-road? This is something to look forward to in another post.
The Mobius II is a great achievement for the country and even the economy. We don’t have to look at expensive foreign models or hand – me – down cars, whose maintenance also comes at an extra cost. With a locally manufactured SUV/ Four-wheel drive in the country, maintenance becomes a non-issue and we can explore the non-human world. The new Mobius II starts from KES 1.3 M
Note: Off-road driving is not driving away from paved and designated pathways within our National parks and reserves. Stick to the lane.
Image credits: Mobius Motors