There’s something about extreme offroad vehicles that appeal to the pioneer spirit in us.
That idea that armed with just a chassis, an engine and some specialised tyres, you can conquer mud, deserts, jungles and, yes, even the moon gets us feeling all... omnipotent!
So what vehicle should you pick? Well, just take a look at our menu of seven of the most extreme offroad vehicles ever produced and make your choice! And if we’ve missed out your favourite, let us know on Twitter @RedBullMotors.
Peugeot 208 WRX
While a World Rally Car, like the Volkswagen Polo R WRC driven by Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen, has to cope with tougher terrain than a car in the World Rallycross Championship, at 600bhp the Peugeot 208 WRX packs almost twice the horsepower and can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 1.9 seconds. Wanna see? Watch an onboard lap with Timmy Hansen from last year’s World RX round in Italy in the video below.
Kamaz 4326 Dakar truck
If a 600bhp Peugeot is a little power-light for you, try a 730bhp 17.2-litre V8-powered racing truck for size. Russian firm Kamaz’s enormous beasts have won 13 Truck class victories at the Dakar Rally since 1996. Each truck weighs in at 8.5 tonnes, has a 16-speed gearbox and rides on 50-inch Michelin tyres.
Watch the Kamaz team preparing to head to the Dakar in the video below.
KTM 450 Rally
While the weighty Kamaz trucks are the most imposing way to take on a race like the Dakar, there’s no beating a motorbike for that real sense of off-piste freedom. Riders from T.E. Lawrence to Ewan McGregor have championed ‘the iron horse’ as the ultimate way of seeing the world, and it’s hard to argue with them – check out the video below of Marc Coma shredding his KTM 450 Rally in the desert with Ronnie Renner to see what we mean.
Formula Off Road trucks
As the 10th least populated region in the world, there’s a lot of space in Iceland to be explored – which is why some clever fella came up with Formula Off Road. Racers in the Unlimited class use paddle tyres – meaning they can also be driven on water – and engines that can pump out north of 1600bhp to climb up almost vertical slopes on courses usually housed in disused mines. Well, you’ve got to get through the winters somehow…
Judge Dredd Land Rover 101
Not a vehicle that, to our knowledge, actually did any offroading, the Judge Dredd-spec Land Rover was mostly used by Sylvester Stallone in the 1995 film for scaring small children and taking care of miscreants. The vehicle was actually based on the 101 Forward Control that Land Rover built in the 1970s for the British Army. So at least we know it can go offroad...
Watch a Top Gear report on Sly Stallone’s Judge Dredd ride in the video below.
Jon Olsson’s Audi RS6
As a professional skier, Jon Olsson needs a practical car – an Audi A6 estate, for example – to whisk him to and from the slopes. But for the car-mad Swede, whose previous ski transport has included a Lamborghini Gallardo (with a roof box), an Audi R8 (with a roof box) and a Nissan GT-R (with, yep, a roof box), a 2.0-litre diesel was never really going to cut it. So Jon got Swedish car builder Koenigsegg's former chief engineer to make him a DTM-inspired, 1000bhp (1000!!) Audi RS6 Avant. Can it go offroad? You bet it can! Just check out the video below...
Lunar Roving Vehicle
Funny that with all the brawny, power-mad vehicles listed above, the most extreme one on this list is a 1bhp electric buggy. The Lunar Roving Vehicle was used as the astronauts’ whip in the Apollo moon missions. It may only have been able to travel at around 8mph, but rolling in an atmosphere where the gravity is only one-sixth what it is on Earth meant the LRV could get some serious hang time. And let’s face it, when it comes to conquering offroad terrain, it’s pretty hard to beat taking on the moon!
Watch the Lunar Roving Vehicle in action below. Looks like fun, eh?