- Fering Pioneer - Credit: Fering

This huge hybrid offroader have an impressive 7000 km range

Even more impressive - nobody have heard of the company, but there are some familiar faces running it.

What the hell is Fering?

Fering is a young and unknown company, the brain child of Ben Scott-Geddes, who worked with Gordon Murray on McLaren F1 and the GTR racing-spec 1995 Le Mans winning miracle. I say that because at the time the F1 GTR was underpowered, compared to the competition, but had proven its worth in difficult conditions.

The same guy then brought the only Le Mans trophy in the BMW cabinet in 1999 with BMW V12 LMR. His later work led him to engineer Caparo T1, before departing for Maranello to try and convince Ferrari to make his 44 inch wheels super-offroader concept. Obviously that went very well with the Italians and now he works for a startup. But he helped in the SF90 development, so his contribution to the Prancing Horse was significant.

Fering Pioneer - Credit: Fering

Fering Pioneer - Credit: Fering

British and Hummer-esque

The Fering Pioneer looks like it's copying the new Hummer EV at first glance, but under the surface, it's a completely different animal in every single way possible. Contrary to its size, the Pioneer is properly light at a mere 1.5 tonnes of weight. To put things in perspective, a Mercedes A45 AMG weighs a bit more and that's a fairly compact hatchback! Not exactly a surprise, given Ben's immense experience with lightweight sports cars, but this thing is a huge, battery-powered offroader.

While an aluminium-composite space frame chassis doesn't sound exactly new or innovative, the exterior panels have been replaced by . . fabric! Yes, this is serious and seriously cool, because it's a tough, reinforced fabric that makes modular and easy to replace panels all around the outside. And to add even more bragging rights, the fabric in question has better sound-insulating properties than traditional materials, making the interior even quieter. It's a rugged bully, wearing a suit!

Pioneer test prototype - Credit: Autocar

Pioneer test prototype - Credit: Autocar

Under the suit

To weigh so little and to be so big usually means something must be lacking and the Pioneer is no exception. The battery pack is tiny at only 20 kWh, but this is where the party trick steps in. Or rather tricks, because there's plenty to talk about. See, the Pioneer is an extended range hybrid, meaning that it's got an internal combustion engine to charge the battery pack while on the move. Well, I say engine, I mean a pepper grinder - an 800cc diesel generator is in charge of keeping you moving. They say it's multi-fuel, but right now diesel is available at the petrol stations.

And move you - it will, for a claimed range of 7000 km! Which means that if you're an American, you can take the longest coast-to-coast route and still have plenty of range to spare when you arrive on the other side of the continent. And you can do the shortest route nearly two times without stoping for diesel. Of course, you won't be doing that very fast, since the two off-the-shelf electric motors won't move you past 125 km/h, but you can cruise comfortably at 100. Curiously, the small battery pack is a lithium TITANIUM oxide one, meaning it's capable of working at extreme temperatures without too much compromise in the state of charge. Canadian winter? Absolutely!

Fering Pioneer prototype testing - Credit: Fering

Fering Pioneer prototype testing - Credit: Fering

When the road ends

Not to be mistaken for a grand tourer, the offroad capabilities of the Pioneer are a separate talking point and they are impressive to say the least. With 3 (three) times the ground clearance of a Land Rover Defender, 60% gradient climb abilities, 50 degrees traverse angle and 1.4 metres wading depth, the big beast have been tested for over 56 000 miles, from Pole to Pole!

And the good news don't end there, oh no. While the tyres are enormous and offroady, they are nothing special or expensive, so when you eventually pop one or two, it wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to replace them. The secret is having a very dependable and conventional suspension geometry - nothing fancy to require any special tyres, but literally off-the-shelf ones from any tyre dealership. May not be a Skoda, but that's simply clever by all means!

The price will be 150 000+ British pounds and it will be available to buy this summer.

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