A 21st century alternative to the Land Rover Defender is about to arrive, touting an almost 2400kg payload capacity and serious off-road ability underpinned by electric propulsion.

IF THE NEW Land Rover Defender didn’t deliver the retro boxy styling you wanted, the new Bollinger B1 and B2 should fit the bill – just you’ll need to live with the driving range constraints of an electric car.

Carmaker Bollinger, based out of Michigan, USA, has unveiled prototypes of its upcoming B1 SUV and B2 ute, which pay homage to the old Land Rover Defender and Hummer – though only in style, as they sit on a new age electric platform.

The replaceable aluminium panels clad Bollinger’s Class 3 platform which consists of an electric motor on each axle. Both combine to produce a total output of 450kW of power and 906Nm of torque, helping the B2 ute achieve a payload capacity of 2359kg, though towing is under 3.5 tonne at 3402kg braked. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is under 4.8s for both the B1 and B2, going on to a top speed of 160km/h.

Energy is provided from a 120kWh lithium-ion battery which has grown 20 percent over the 100kWh battery first unveiled, the larger unit now promising over 320km electric driving range. Level 3 fast charging is possible via the CCS port for DC connections, which will replenish the battery fully in 75 minutes.

Proper off-road specs include a two-speed gearbox with high and low range, 381mm ground clearance, front and rear locking differentials, and 52 degree approach, 30 degree break over and 43 degree departure angles.

Despite all-aluminium construction it does take a hit at the scales, the large battery pack contributing to a hefty 2268kg kerb weight.

Bollinger joins other emerging electric car brands in preparing to launch models in the 2020s, fellow US start-up Rivian the nearest rival with its R1T and R1S. Bollinger plans to launch the B1 and B2 in 2021, and the company says that there are already over 30,000 expressions of interest.


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax, Carsales.com.au, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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