Currently reading: New Czech firm launches UK's first electric 4x4 for £50k
MWM Spartan 2.0 beats rivals to market, offering 150-mile range and whopping 793lb ft of torque

An affordable electric off-roader is now on sale in the UK, after Czech start-up MW Motors beat all the major manufacturers to market.

The new Spartan EV 2.0 promises to match supreme yet easy-to-use off-road capability – already verified on test by Autocar – with on-road refinement from £49,995.

That price excludes VAT, because it is homologated as a light commercial vehicle, its target audience being the agricultural, forestry, nature conservation, mining and extreme sports sectors.

Although the rolling ladder-frame chassis and G-Wagen-esque bodyshell are familiar from Indian firm Force Motors’ Gurkha 4x4 and the battery is bought from China, everything else is the Czechs’ own work.

Engineers took on board feedback from customers of the original Spartan EV – a conversion of the UAZ Hunter, a Russian military 4x4 dating back to 1971 – from across Europe. 

In the Spartan 2.0, a single motor in place of a gearbox transmits 174bhp and a huge 793lb ft of torque through a transfer case to give manually selectable two- or four-wheel drive with high and low ranges. There are also manually locking differentials at the front and rear and hill descent control.

MWM Spartan 2.0 rear

With a usable capacity of 57.4kWh, the under-bonnet battery provides a range of around 150 miles – enough for the average customer’s working week, believes MWM.

Charging can occur at rates of up to 90kW, so a 20-80% fill should take just over half an hour. Bi-directional charging is possible, meaning 230V can be provided to power tools and other equipment.

At 4116mm long and 1812mm wide, the Spartan 2.0 is considerably smaller than most off-roaders, allowing easier manoeuvrability in rural areas. Its approach angle is stated at 38deg and its departure angle at 35deg, while its breakover angle is estimated to be 25deg. The slightly larger new Dacia Duster SUV, for reference, touts angles of 31deg, 36deg and 24deg.

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The Spartan 2.0’s kerb weight is 2350kg, while the load and towing capacities are 1025kg and 3000kg.

Suspension is by coil springs and an anti-roll bar at both the front and the rear.

MWM Spartan 2.0 interior

The car’s name belies an interior that is hard-wearing but competitively specified, featuring a pair of cloth-upholstered adjustable seats, a two-way adjustable steering wheel, electric windows, air conditioning, a digital instrument display and an infotainment touchscreen.

MWM general manager Lukás Metelka told Autocar: “We haven’t taken away any of the 4x4 capabilities, but this car provides much more than just a rough 4x4 experience. It’s really very comfortable, not only in [rural] terrain but also on the road. The quality on the road isn’t compromised. It’s comparable to any other car that you will see on a highway.

“If you’re somebody who is taking care of parks or nature, you really need to think about what you’re doing to animals and surroundings. So you need an EV, because it’s quiet, it’s less polluting and so on.”

MWM UK sales manager Rosh Mendis added: “If you’re looking for a luxury SUV, this isn’t the vehicle for you. This is a functional, practical, utilitarian vehicle. But it has the modern comfort of a modernday car – and it’s fully electric.”

MWM Luka EV render side

MWM plans to follow the Spartan later this year with a sports car, the Luka EV, which takes its design inspiration from a 1950s Tatra prototype, promises “superb handling” and could become the first EV with in-wheel motors.

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FastRenaultFan 2 February 2024
Awe so that's where all the last generation Defender dashboards went then lol. Looks very similar to The dashboards of the one in the last defender before the current defender came along
Chris C 1 February 2024

Seeing how expensive the Defender and Grenadier are it's amazing that Force Motors/a UK importer hasn't already brought their Gurkha to the UK market in its ICE form, with suitable EU mods, given its rugged spec, low price and pedigree.

STR11 1 February 2024

What a shameful advert masquerading as a "news" article. Seriously, so you've got first dibs on driving this abomination. Is that worth selling your journalistic integrity for?