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Gordon Murray helps engineer world’s first flat-pack truck

Gordon Murray, the brains behind the original McLaren F1 hypercar, has helped engineer the world’s first flat-pack truck called the Ox, by Global Vehicle Trust. It is designed to be affordable and conquer rough terrain such as that found in Africa.

Global Vehicle Trust OX by Gordon Murray-2

Flat-pack assembly is usually synonymous with Ikea furniture. Based on Murray’s iStream lean manufacturing principles, the Ox can be quickly assembled using treated wooden panels over a steel ladder frame. It is a forward control design, with fully-independent suspension and the front-wheel drive, 2.2-litre Duratorq powertrain from a Ford Transit.

Best of all, it features a central driving position, like the aforementioned McLaren F1. The car was dreamt up by Sir Torquil Norman, who is the founder of Global Vehicle Trust.

Global Vehicle Trust OX by Gordon Murray-interior

Six Oxen can occupy one 12-metre shipping container. Said to be very capable off road, the Ox is intended to hit its market destinations within two years. In a statement, the company said:

“The packaging is a key triumph of the OX project: the overall vehicle length is far shorter than a large SUV, and yet it can carry a payload of 1900kg (approximately twice the capacity of most current pick-ups) with a load volume of 7.0 m3. Based on EU size guidelines, it can seat up to 13 people or carry eight 44-gallon drums or three Euro-pallets.”

Global Vehicle Trust OX by Gordon Murray-front

A similarly principled durable and simple car exists in the form of Kenyan manufacturer Mobius Motors’ Mobius II. It is a conventionally-styled, tubular-framed rugged terrain vehicle with simple fixtures, no windows and a simple, 1.6-litre powertrain. It is designed to provide Africans with a low-cost and tough vehicle.

What do you think of simple cars like this? Would you like to see them being introduced in more countries? See below for the full specs of the Ox.

Technical specifications – XP3 prototype

Dimensions (mm)

Exterior (mm)
Overall length 4229
Overall width 2070
Overall height 2302
Wheelbase 2560
Track 1795

Weights (kg)

Dry weight 1600 kg
Payload capacity 1900 kg

Suspension and damping

Front OXGlide leading arms, telescopic dampers and coil springs
Rear OXGlide trailing arms, telescopic dampers and coil springs

Engine

2.2-litre 16v Diesel
Type 4 valves per cylinder
Capacity (cc) 2198
Bore x stroke (mm) 86.0 x 94.6
Compression ratio 17.5:1
Power 100PS at 3500rpm (74kW)
Torque 310Nm at 2100rpm

Transmission

Manual, All Synchromesh 5 speed and reverse

Steering

Type Rack and pinion
Turning circle 11.7m

Brakes

Front 300mm ventilated disc
Rear 280mm solid disc

Wheels and tyres

Wheel size Tyres – Front Tyres – Rear
x 16-inch 205/80 R16 205/80 R16

Capacities (litres)

Luggage 3430 (to sides) / 7000 (maximum)
Fuel tank 80

Mitchell is a contributing journalist and features writer at PerformanceDrive. He has been a passionate petrol-head from a very young age. He is excited by the future of the industry, and considers himself as a bit of a fanatic when it comes to the technical aspects of cars. He is also fascinated by new cars that are popping up in developing markets.