After the formidable Luka EV retro presented in 2018, the Czech company MW Motors is now attracting attention with a new project: MW Motors Spartan is a fully off-road electric vehicle based on the 469 Hunter from the Russian manufacturer UAZ.
The UAZ-469 Hunter is so to speak the Russian counterpart to the Jeep; a military-looking off-road vehicle, which has been produced more or less continuously since the early 1970s – at that time still in the Soviet Union. UAZ and MW Motors have now combined the platform of this four-wheel off-roader with an electric drive, as the Czech company announces on its website. The name of the SUV, MW Motors Spartan, stands both for the minimal, robust design and as a metaphor for a tireless fighter. The Spartan is not a noble stallion, but a workhorse, emphasizes MW Motors.
On board the battery-electric car has battery packs with 56 to 90 kWh capacity and “a correspondingly powerful electric drive”. The manufacturer does not provide any further data – not even a word about range. However, the MW Motors Spartan is already ready for series production: as a right-hand drive vehicle it is to be available in Europe step by step in the year, and as a left-hand drive vehicle in Great Britain from mid-2020. The Czech company define their target group as those who have been “forgotten” by the electric car market so far, such as “true four-wheel drive enthusiasts, the agricultural sector, forestry workers, fans of off-road activities and mining companies who appreciate a hard-working, practical, minimalist, affordable and easy-to-repair vehicle”.
It is interesting to note that MW Motors is not making modifications to some of the old UAZ Hunters, but that the Czechs are officially working with UAZ to move the model into a sustainable future. The cooperation will enable the use of UAZ’s existing factories and MW Motors’ existing finishing facilities in Europe, the company’s website says. Investments in the construction of new plants are therefore obsolete. This is good for the CO2 footprint, guarantees economic sustainability and allows “an affordable price for the end customer”. The company, which is based in the Czech municipality Štěnovice, leaves it open how high this price will be.
Stylistically, the difference to the Luka EV presented in 2018 could hardly be greater. The debut electric vehicle from MW Motors was designed according to the motto “retro on the outside, future on the inside” in the classic look of the mid-20th century car bodies, but runs purely electrically. In the meantime, the company has listed a price for the luxury coupé on its website. Thanks to “intelligent vehicle design and intelligent technology”, it should be available ex works at an extremely affordable price – specifically from 30,000 euros excluding VAT. However, the Czechs also say that the first deliveries are still to come, as they are “still waiting for some official test results”.
The Czech company MW Motors already delivered a foretaste of a formidable electric car in retro design in April 2018 with the Luka EV. Thanks to an aluminium chassis and a comparatively light 21.9-kWh battery, the Luka EV is said to weigh only 815 kilos and have a range of 300 kilometres.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.
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