If there’s one automotive niche that’s suffered in the 21st century, it’s “people’s cars,” vehicles designed as basic, reliable transportation for the masses.
Compare a new MINI Cooper or Volkswagen Beetle to its ancestor, and its apparent how far these cars have come from that ideal. Yet there’s a new company that hopes to get back to basics.
This is a vehicle that makes a Land Rover Defender look like a Rolls-Royce. Its unadorned bodywork does without windows, and there’s no air conditioning for the eight-seat interior.
Under the hood is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces a mere 86 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque, enough to get the 2,805-pound Mobius II up to 75 mph. However, the tubular-framed SUV does have nine inches of ground clearance, and a cargo capacity of 1,375 pounds.
All of this will cost around $10,000 when the Mobius II goes into production. In Kenya, that’s about one-third the price of a new Toyota Corolla.
The recent investment will cover an initial production run of 50 vehicles and help Mobius set up a distribution network in its home country. The company plans to launch a successor model, the Mobius III, in 2016.