No two off-road pursuits are ever the same. It’s all about easing across treacherous terrain, putting yourself and the vehicle through the motions as you battle with the elements and ultimately tackle some of the most high-octane courses known to man. Here are a few essential factors to look out for when choosing the right off-road vehicle for you.
The four key elements
Navigation has been a critical turning point in the development of off-road pursuits over the last 20 years. The latest technologies enable drivers to focus on taking full control of the vehicle, helping to ensure a safe journey regardless of natural obstructions like thick forest or poor weather conditions.
Off-road vehicles are naturally large and bulky in order to enable strength and movement through tough terrain. Teaming this with effortless precision is one of the most difficult tasks that designers face, yet it’s a crucial aspect of any off-roader – especially those that are required to steer through tight spaces or avoid unexpected obstacles.
Everything about an off-road vehicle should be specifically designed to enhance traction, suspension and drive. Four-wheel drive, low ground pressure and low gearing are recommended for off-road pursuits and help in giving full control of the drive to the person behind the wheel.
Additional safety features including the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and Hill Hold Assist (HHA) are also present in some modern vehicles, including the VW Amarok – recently launched for 2017 by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles with the help of their #TrailBlazers challenge campaign (see below).
The sheer size and weight of off-roaders isn’t always enough to establish them as powerful vehicles. The potential to tear through unpredictable landscapes with speed and force is critical, while the perfect off-roader should also have the power to tackle both hard and soft land with minimal difficulty.
Most of us don’t have the money or space to invest in a vehicle that is used solely for off-road ventures – however much we’d love to. The VW Amarok is unique in its ability to seamlessly balance off-road precision and power with a design that is just as well suited to city life. Ultimately, it’s a fearless adventurer that wouldn’t feel out of place on the school run, making it one of the most perfect off-road vehicles we’ve come across.