Just a couple weeks after lighting up headlines with its Mountain Rescue 4×4, Munro Vehicles is back in the announcement chair, this time with a production-refined utility vehicle it calls the Series-M. The company has rolled early feedback into its design, trimming and sculpting the face, revising bodywork, and adding an exoskeleton rack around the rear cabin for carrying tools of the trade. The new Series-M also gains more range, more efficient operation and more driver comfort.
In moving from the pre-production MK_1 to the 181-in (459-cm) Series-M, Munro has stepped away from the broad, boxy Bollinger-like front-end brought over by design chief Ross Compton. It has sculpted and tightened the face into a more streamlined T-shaped fascia with headlamps floating over top arched fender flares. Whether you love or hate the styling change, it does have a purpose: Munro says the tauter design improves forward visibility, aerodynamics and cooling.
Sliding along the flanks, additional changes include the contrast rear fender arches matching the front set and an emphasis on body components that can be more easily replaced. The largest visual break is what Munro calls the “exoskeleton,” a honeycomb-like rack mounted around the rear third of the Utility model’s hardtop, designed for mounting tools and accessories.
We immediately thought overland-ready shovel, recovery jack and traction boards when we first saw that exo-rack, but Munro is thinking more in terms of industrial usage for the likes of mining, defense, construction, and search and rescue. In which case, we’re surprised it didn’t wait to prepare the first Mountain Rescue Edition atop a Series-M instead of an MK_1.
The Truck version misses out on the new rack, so those buyers will just have to be happy with their pickup bed.
Munro has also tweaked the powertrain and running gear, starting with what it calls a more durable, longer-lasting lithium-iron-phosphate battery spread around the steel frame. The slightly larger modular 85-kWh battery pack provides for a nice, round 200 miles (322 km) of range and sheds a few minutes off its charging time to drop to an even 30 minutes at 130 kW.
Power for the base model, the M170, drops to 227 hp (170 kW) from 295 hp on the MK_1, but the top-tier M280 carries over the 375-hp (280-kW) electric motor. Each motor sends output through a permanent mechanical 4WD with two-speed transfer case, locking center differential, and available locking front and rear diffs.
Munro has also added in an adjustable steering column with steering wheel controls, available safety features like ABS, airbags and traction control, and ergonomic enhancements like adjusted seat rake and height adjustment.
“We have also significantly improved the thermal efficiency of the vehicle,” said Ross Anderson, Munro cofounder and head of powertrain. “Waste heat, scavenged from the drivetrain, can now be used to heat the cabin. Combined with more effective sound deadening measures, the Munro Series-M now makes for a more comfortable traveling experience, whether it is being driven on tarmac for a range of up to 200 miles or traversing the most challenging off-road terrain in the world.”
The reveal of the Series-M design accompanies the launch of Munro’s equity crowdfunding campaign on investment platform Seedrs. Munro will run the campaign through the end of October to raise funds for delivering its first production vehicles, hiring more workers, scaling its premises and expanding resources.
Munro says it’s received more than 250 Utility and Truck preorders. It plans to deliver pilot vehicles to early-adopter customers in 2023 before turning attention to production Series-M deliveries in 2024 and 2025. By 2027, it intends to be building 2,500 vehicles per year.
Source: Munro Vehicles