Munro Mk_1 4x4 EV Truck 'Mountain Rescue' Edition: Blue Lights and a Stretcher

Munro Mountain Rescue Electric 4x4 19 photos
Photo: Munro
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‘Electric cars’ - what’s the first image that pops into one’s mind when hearing the two words? Hyper-quick sedans, or perhaps two-seat outrageously expensive bullet-fast Croatian gems on wheels? Or maybe limited range anxiety, charging infrastructure solutions, and high prices? Let me give you an alternative: how about Scotland?
Munro Vehicles is a manufacturer of all-electric all-terrainers; it’s also Scotland’s only mass-production car manufacturer, and it has something to add to the current Brownian motion of automotive. The Scots call it a ‘Mountain Rescue’ special edition of their MK_1 electric truck.

Quite conspicuously, the 4x4 is custom-made to suit the needs of first responders for rapid interventions in remote and challenging areas. The battery-powered Munro comes with all the bells and whistles of the base model but adds roof-mounted blue lights, an enclosed space large enough to fit a stretcher inside, and room for four – the driver and three passengers – and their gear.

Chances are high the name Munro doesn’t have a familiar ring to it for most gearheads – if it even has any ring whatsoever – and the main reason is that the carmaker is still walking on all fours. The company launched its first product, the MK_1, this past December. The Scottish startup brags about its only model as being the ‘world’s most capable all-electric 4x4.’

Munro Mountain Rescue Electric 4x4
Photo: Munro
Looking at it, we can see two immediately striking features: one – it appears to have been designed, engineered, and built using only a try-square and a razor. Put it next to a Cybertruck, and Elon Musk’s sharply-angled all-road suddenly seems a masterpiece of fluid dynamics.

You can scroll through the gallery to gaze at the brutishly angular Munro but put on a welder’s mask to protect your eye vision. The abruptly edgy Highlander looks like a three-year-old’s first try at drawing an automobile (and it's oddly cool for that exact reason).

The second visible feature is the raised stance of the thing, a natural talent for a vehicle created with one purpose in mind: go anywhere, indifferent to weather, season, surface, climate, or destination. The extremely short front overhang gives the driver a staggering 84-degree approach angle. That’s about a finger under downright vertical – not many off-roaders can claim that performance.

Munro Mountain Rescue Electric 4x4
Photo: Munro
The departure angle is also high above the industry average at 51 degrees, and the break-over limit sits at 32 degrees due to the Munro’s relatively short wheelbase of 3,255 mm (128.1 inches). The overall length of the all-electric off-road is just 4,590 mm (180.7 inches), partly thanks to its unique powertrain architecture.

Instead of focusing on hypercar-touting horsepower figures and a one-to-one parity between axle count and the number of electric motors, the Scots decided to plant one midly-powerful electric motor in the middle of the car, right between the front seats.

Practically, there isn’t another automobile on our good old Planet Rotor that is more mid-engined (would mid-motored be the proper term for EVs?) than the Munro. That’s one of the reasons why the BEV 4x4 nails the ideal 50:50 weight distribution ratio.

Munro Mountain Rescue Electric 4x4
Photo: Munro
The axial flux rotor sends 220 kW / 295 hp / 300 PS and 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) to a sturdy analog mechanical four-wheel-drive system. An alternative motor for the high-priced Munro is available, with 280 kW / 375 hp / 381 PS and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft).

Munro engineers chose the more expensive and resource-intensive axial motor to reduce weight and space –just 40 kg (88 lbs). And the square-looking 4x4 sports another significant advantage: the low RPM range of its powerplant. The Munro’s ‘pancake’ axial motor spins between 5,000 and 8,000 revolutions per minute, rendering a reduction drive unit useless.

The motor sends all its electric torque straight to the two-speed transfer case. Three locking diffs – one central and one on each of the live axles – ensure that the wheels always get equal amounts of torque. Take that, torque vectoring preachers. Smirky grins aside; the  Munro is claimed to be a rock-crawling performer that would make a Land Rover Defender or a Jeep Gladiator turn yellow in envy. The lowest point of this EV's body sits 480 mm / 18.9 inches above the road. However, the real ground clearance is much less than that value - but the Scotland-based manufacturer doesn't tell the exact number on its website.

Munro Mountain Rescue Electric 4x4
Photo: Munro
The Scottish BEV comes in three trim levels – Utility, Range, and Performance – but they aren’t cheap. The base model starts at £59,994 ($74,443 at the September 2023 exchange rate), and the mid-range variant is a hefty £71,994 ($89,333). The high-end version jumps the $100,000 mark with a starting price of £83,994 ($104,223).

The three Munro versions share two powertrain and battery pack options: the Utility and Range both sport the 220-kW motor, while the Performance has the 280-kW muscle. The former two rely on a 61.2/56.3-kWh (gross/usable) modular battery pack. The liquid-cooled Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide cells run at 384.8 volts. The expensive Munro has an 82.4/75.8 kWh energy storage capacity with a nominal voltage rating of 388.5 V.

The maximum DC charge rate is 94 kW, giving this BEV a 15-80% replenishing time of 36 mins on a 100+ kWh charger. The AC charging rate is 22 kWh, meaning the 15-100% operation takes a full three hours. The range varies between a maximum of 190 miles (306 km) in optimal conditions to 85.5 miles (137.5 km) when towing a 3,500-kg (7716-lb) braked trailer. The numbers are valid for the more powerful motor and battery; the lesser hardware gives only 227 km / 141 miles of ideal-road autonomy.

If anyone wants to do an acceleration test in a boulder-climbing Munro, the best 0-62 mph (100 kph) time is 4.9 seconds, and terminal velocity is 129 kph / 80 mph. Another non-mainstream feature of this boxy off-road machine is its projected lifetime of 50 years – half a century, everyone. The frame is made of 5 mm-thick steel for that exact purpose, provided routine maintenance and regular updates are performed.

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About the author: Razvan Calin
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After nearly two decades in news television, Răzvan turned to a different medium. He’s been a field journalist, a TV producer, and a seafarer but found that he feels right at home among petrolheads.
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