Munro is a new vehicle manufacturer in Scotland and is about to launch what it describes as the ‘world’s most capable all-electric 4 x 4.’

The aim is simple: to take on and beat the established all-wheel drive market leaders, including the Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, and Toyota Hilux.

The choice of EV power is not about being on-trend, but part of a plan from Munro to lower whole life running costs and create a vehicle with greater durability for those who use a 4 x 4 for work rather than leisure. As a result, the Munro has been engineered as an extreme off-road vehicle first and a road car second.

The Scottish Farmer: A rear quarter view of the Munro. Looks familar? Well it's a utility vehicle just like the old Land Rover DefenderA rear quarter view of the Munro. Looks familar? Well it's a utility vehicle just like the old Land Rover Defender

There’s full-time four-wheel drive, with a low-ratio transfer ’box to give the best off-road driving ability. Munro CEO, Russell Peterson, said: ‘From the start, the Munro MK 1 was designed and engineered without compromise for ultimate off-road ability and exceptional longevity.

"That is why we chose a single-central mounted electric motor that delivers power to a robust, proven and easily maintained mechanical four-wheel drive system.

"The best way to drive off-road is to ensure that the same amount of torque is delivered to each wheel and that all the wheels spin at the same speed and that is always best achieved by a single power source and a single unified mechanical driveline."

Along with 480mm of ground clearance, 800mm wading depth, and front approach and rear departure angles of 84° and 51°, respectively, the Munro is hugely able off-road.

Longevity is a key principle for the company as it expects customers to keep their vehicle for much longer than existing pick-ups and SUVs, which will offset the initially higher price of the Mk 1.

Munro provides a five-year warranty on all vehicles and those maintained within the company’s service network will have that extended to 10-year cover. There are also plans to offer a guaranteed buy-back scheme which to bolster used values.

Munro has designed the Mk 1 to be easily updated and upgraded throughout its life. The major components are easy to access for servicing, repair, or replacement.

That includes the battery packs, which sit within the chassis to keep the weight low for good handling and off-road lean protection. The batteries are encased in 5mm thick water-tight boxes.

The base of the Mk 1 is a separate steel chassis made from 5mm thick metal, which is more than three-times the thickness used for most other body-on-frame 4 x 4s. The chassis will be galvanised and coated in protective paint to make it as long-lasting as possible.

There is built-in roll protection and Munro offers optional extra roof strengthening to meet Falling Object Protection standards so the vehicle can be used in industries such as mining and quarrying. The body is made from simple flat aluminium panels.

While the chassis and body are produced in-house by Munro, it uses outside suppliers for the suspension. The firm builds its own axles, but the suspension has been developed from off-road competition specification equipment to be as strong as possible.

The Scottish Farmer: Munro recently launched this pick-up to its range for sale later this yearMunro recently launched this pick-up to its range for sale later this year

The name of the company is inspired by the collection of mountains in Scotland that are more than 3000ft tall. During a passenger ride, we didn’t scale any hills that high, but the Munro Mk 1 tackled severely rutted gradients, deep water, and slippery ground that most standard SUVs and 4 x 4s would struggle with.

As well as making easy progress with no hint of ever getting stuck, the most impressive part of the Mk 1’s drive was how smooth the ride and suspension were over such pitted routes. That’s important when the Munro is pitched as a work vehicle as this sort of comfort reduces fatigue for the car’s occupants, even when carrying up to a 1000kg payload.

Driving in the Munro and then a 2015 Land Rover Defender showed just how smooth, comfortable, and quiet the EV newcomer is.

There’s also plenty of space in the cabin of the five-seat estate version and the company will offer crew cab and pick-up bodies, as well as working with customers who want specialised conversions.

A simple digital dash is easy to read and most switches are borrowed from tractor manufacturers, so they are very tough and easy to use, even when wearing thick gloves.

Munro has modest sales targets of 50 Mk 1s by the end of 2023, followed by 250 in 2024 and rising to 2500 by 2027. Prices start at £59,994 for the base Utility model that comes with climate control, 2500kg towing capacity, and driving range of up to 141 miles.

The Range version can cover up to 190 miles on a full charge and also comes with heated seats from £71,994. Just as important, the company says this model can operate for up to 16 hours powering tools before a recharge will be needed.

The Performance has a 375hp electric motor in place of the others’ 295hp motor and can tow up to 3500kg, and costs from £83,994.