Battle Approved Motors says its electric UTVs are what would result if a Ferrari and Tesla had a baby—in the dirt. At first blush, it’s hard to disagree. The fledgling startup has just unveiled a new electric four-wheeler for hair-raising off-road racing sans harmful emissions.
The small but mighty UTV concept, known as the R101, was developed by BAM’s founder Chris James. The entrepreneur, who also happens to be an ex-professional BMX rider and filmmaker, spent the last half-decade refining the design with a team of experts. And, although it’s still in the conceptual stage, the R101 may well point to the off-roading of the future.
With a sculpted body and menacing fat tires, the UTV looks like it could be the star of a Mad Max movie. It will be built around a Chromoly chassis equipped with a long-travel suspension and a generously proportioned lift kit that helps it negotiate rough terrain with ease. No engine specs have yet been shared, outside of the fact that it will be powered by batteries. Inside, it has a high-tech touchscreen dash.
Battle Approved says the R101 will be one of the first high-end UTVs to come straight out of the box. This eliminates the need to go to a fab shop to modify an existing vehicle with a roll cage and other expensive aftermarket parts. The startup also claims its UTV will be beefier than a typical one-seat ATV and allow for “side-by-side” riding. In other words, this baby will let you bring some company to your next off-road adventure.
The company has two other models—the S102 and E103—in the works and has already received more than $830,000 in crowdfunding from over a thousand investors. If all goes according to plan, BAM says the first race-ready vehicles could roll out as soon as 2022.
“We are blessed to have investors who share our passion for and vision of an all-electric off-road future, and more are joining us every day,” James told Robb Report via email. “With their support and our dedication to introducing a unique, climate-conscious product to the market, I truly believe that Battle Approved Motors is destined for great things.”
The timing couldn’t be better, either. The UTV market was valued at $6 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $9 billion by 2025 as the rise in off-road racing events across the globe continues to drive demand. Add to that the recent move toward electrification and BAM’s battery-powered UTV seems seems poised to make some noise.