Are you a fan of camping? Ever set off on long scientific explorations? Do you have a general disdain for refilling your fuel tank? Well, have we got the expedition vehicle for you.
This is the KiraVan, a formidable off-roader engineered from the ground up to do one thing – get you (and your stuff) there and back. Inventor Bran Ferren developed the vehicle as a mobile learning lab for his daughter Kira, but also with scientists and film crews in mind. It allows teams to trek out to remote locations but not forgo the comforts of working from a lab or an editing studio.
If you’re thinking, “Hey, that kind of looks like a Unimog,” you’d be right. The KiraVan is one part Unimog and one part fifth-wheel camper. Up front, a modified Mercedes-Benz Unimog truck chassis supports a four-door cabin, putting 260-horsepower and 700lb-ft of torque to the ground through a six-cylinder turbodiesel.
Out back, the 52-foot trailer comprises sleeping compartments, a full kitchen, two computer workstations, a bathroom, a private area solely for Kira’s use, and Ferren’s turbodiesel KiraBike, located on a rear elevator. If the going gets too tough, power can be sent to the trailer’s rear wheels – offering 6×6 operation up to 25mph.
Features and techy toys abound inside the vehicle, including access to an extensive server-based media library, precision 3D location and navigation tools, and even a reconnaissance drone.
All in all, occupants can conquer planet Earth’s toughest terrain without having to worry about running low on fuel, both combustibles and digestibles. The KiraVan can carry 170 gallons of diesel or biodiesel, which provides up to 2000 miles of fill-up-free driving range, or the equivalent of New York City to Albuquerque, New Mexico, on one tank. Ample food and water storage permits a crew of three people to go three weeks with restocking vittles.
The cost? Ferren hasn’t revealed a number, but seeing as he’s built it with his daughter in mind, this off-roader might stay in the family for a while.
- Bran Ferren