The Hummer H1's Successor Is Electric But Is Not Made by GM

The Hummer H1's Successor Is Electric But Is Not Made by GM 17 photos
Munro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series MMunro Series M
In Scotland, a Munro refers to a mountain surpassing 3,000 feet (914.4 m) in height, listed by the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC) as a Munro, without a specific topographical prominence guideline.
Munros are named in honor of Sir Hugh Munro, 4th Baronet, who initially compiled a list of these peaks, famously known as Munro's Tables, in 1891. Apparently, the SMC has listed a total of 282 Munros in Scotland, but if we modify their definition to include things other than natural formations, there should probably be 283.

Say hello to Munro Electric Vehicles, a startup founded only four years ago, which vows to bring back automotive manufacturing in good old Scotland after more than four decades since the Talbot Sunbeam put an end to volume car production in Linwood.

The Birth of an Off-Road Legend?

Munro Series M
Photo: Munro EV
The idea that led to the carmaker's eventual creation appeared to the two founders while on a camping trip in the Highlands, when they found the vehicle they were driving, which may or may not have been an old Land Rover Defender, was struggling with steep climbs.

For some unexplained reason, apart from wanting to create a go-anywhere mechanical workhorse, the two wanted it to be exclusively electric, spotting an automotive niche that has yet to be explored at its full potential.

Fast forward to 2019, when Russell Peterson and Ross Anderson co-founded Munro Vehicles with private funding, and in 2023, the carmaker is already ramping up production of its products, part of the Series M lineup.

What started as an idea has since evolved into a strategy, as Munro wants to "address the growing global demand for zero-emission off-road vehicles." The upcoming EV off-roader lineup was developed for potential customers from the mining, construction, agriculture, and even defense sectors.

Hummer H1 Capabilities With Zero Emissions

Munro Series M
Photo: Munro EV
The Munro Series M lineup so far includes a traditional five-door utility vehicle and a four-door pick-up truck, both sharing a similar construction and body.

As their looks seem to show, the exterior design is either based on a Bollinger or on a British low-volume off-roader called the Foer Ibex. Still, the proportions have been modified extensively to include the all-electric powertrain.

Speaking of the powertrain, this is where the Monro becomes truly unique on the market, as you are looking at what is essentially a mid-engine configuration for all intents and purposes.

The car was developed to climb mountains, so it is obviously an all-wheel-drive, so you would expect it to have at least two motors. With that in mind, Munro engineers have developed it by mixing new-school and old-school technology and many novel or downright weird engineering ideas.

Low-tech Design Hides High-Tech Features

Munro Series M
Photo: Munro EV
Instead of fitting the EV off-roader with two motors, one per axle, the Munro has just one electric motor, sitting smack right in the middle of the vehicle, surrounded by an LFP battery.

That is not the crazy part, as the motor sends its power via a two-speed gearbox and up to three locking differentials to both axles. This makes the Munro a combination between a Hummer H1 and a G-Wagen regarding its off-road capabilities, but it is probably better than both when the going gets tough.

The reasons behind choosing a modular LFP battery system are its durability, long cycle life, and sustainability, thanks to not using any Nickel or Cobalt. Plus, it's also much cheaper to manufacture and can be charged repeatedly to 100 percent without any issues.

The single motor in the middle of the car is available with two power outputs, starting with a base 228 HP (231 PS) and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque, enough to propel the 2.5-ton vehicle from 0 to 62 mph (100 kph) in 9.2 seconds.

The top-of-the-range model comes with 375 HP (381 PS) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque, dropping the 0-62 mph time to just 6 seconds, quicker than any hardcore off-roader should be allowed to accelerate.

Oh, and did I mention we're talking about a permanent magnet axial flux motor, like almost nobody else in the industry, bar Ferrari and upcoming AMGs are using?

Opting for an axial flux motor presents substantial advantages over a more traditional radial flux unit. Often referred to as a 'pancake' motor due to its compact profile, the axial flux motor offers a significant weight reduction, halving the weight from 176 lbs (80 kg) to 88 lbs (40 kg) in the case of the Munro Series M.

The compact nature of the motor also allows placement between the two front-seat occupants near the vehicle's bulkhead, thus achieving a near 50/50 front/rear weight distribution.

It Looks Big and Bulky, But it Isn't

Munro Series M
Photo: Munro EV
Despite what some of the official photos might suggest, the Munro Series M is not even close to the size of a Tesla Cybertruck, for example, or the original Hummer H1. With a length of 180.7 inches (4,590 mm) and a width of 71.3 inches (1,812 mm), the five-door off-roader has a smaller footprint than a compact crossover like the Toyota RAV4.

In fact, its dimensions are perfect for serious off-roading, mainly thanks to a massive 18.9-inch (480 mm) ground clearance, which allows a wading depth of 43.3 inches (1,100 mm).

Where the Munro Series M is similar to the hugely capable Hummer H1 or the Humvee is the 84-degree approach angle since it can almost climb a vertical wall.

Inside, the models feature a minimalist design focused on essential controls. These controls even comprise things like standard waterproof buttons, ensuring durability and ease of replacement. The interior is engineered to prioritize sturdiness and repairability thanks to the incorporation of standardized components.

That said, the vehicles are also equipped with some convenient amenities. The center console houses two USB Type C ports, two wireless charging pads, and two three-pin plug points. Additionally, a compact touchscreen display on the dashboard provides compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, not bad for what is essentially a tool, not a passenger car.

Where to From Here?

Munro Series M
Photo: Munro EV
Scotland's sole production car company is set to manufacture 50 vehicles in 2023. Looking ahead to 2024, the company plans to relocate to a specially designed facility near Glasgow. This move will facilitate their operations and generate around 300 new job opportunities.

The production volume is anticipated to rise significantly, aiming for an output of 250 vehicles per year. Munro Vehicles has laid a strategic roadmap to achieve an ambitious target of manufacturing 2,500 units annually by 2027.

Recently, the company has started a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, which aims to raise more capital for kickstarting their future plans. They say things about the luck of the Irish but nothing of the sort about the Scottish. It may be time to introduce that saying if everything turns out as expected with Munro, the 283rd mountain in Scotland.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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