This is the Mattro Ardenner. Three treads, over 1,000 lb-ft of power, near-silent operation, zero emissions. And styling straight out of a Terminator-themed nightmare. So will we be riding it or running from it in the first robot uprising?
Developed by the same outfit that brought us Der Ziesel , the dystopian-future war-ready electric wheelchair, the Ardenner here was designed on the principle of being able to drive "any surface," climb virtually any grade, and haul heavy loads.
Mattro started cooking this thing up Summer 2014, and have finally build a working prototype with a 500-plus pound payload capacity and, supposedly, unbelievable off-road abilities.
Mattro founder and engineer Alois Bauer says; "For this vehicle, like for the Ziesel before, we found tracks to be the ideal choice. Skis or similar are too limited." The third tread provides stabilization for the cargo bed, improving balance over rough country.
Propulsion comes from electric motors making a total of 50 kilowatts, connected directly to the drive-wheels to minimize power loss through more moving parts. Looks like a whole heap of coilovers are strapped to these treads for suspension... but the company's not saying anything specific on how the ATV(?) is sprung.
Obviously, "electric power" and "off-road" brings inherent issues. What are the range limitations? How waterproof is it really? So we'll see what real-world applications this might have after it's gone through a bit of a shakedown.
The operational prototype, which we're told does indeed exist, will be unveiled in person at the Interalpin exhibition in Innsbruck, Austria. The event is basically a gathering of snow-technology creators and ski industry folks, as Mattro sees this primarily as an evolution of the snowmobile.
I sort of think it looks like something an evil Paul Blart would ride in a fucked up mirror universe. Or one of those Hammacher Schlemmer items you're pretty sure is a joke but still wish you could afford.
Mattro will be field-testing their new toy this summer, and might start talking pricing and availability after that. Here are some more pictures for you to ponder, most of which are a lot less scary than the first one: