If the dead start to walk the Earth, things are going to change. The structure and order upon which we’ve built our lives will crumble under the weight of the impending threat, and fear — not work or play — will be what gets us out of bed in the morning. You’ll need to keep moving to stay alive, but not just any vehicle will do. You’ll want something tough, agile, and adaptable, and there aren’t too many vehicles that fit the bill. You can thank us now or thank us later, but just remember, there may not be much time left. Here are 15 zombie-proof rides to get you through the apocalypse.
Look, no one said the cars you’d use during the apocalypse would be enjoyable to drive. The Ford E-350 certainly isn’t, especially not in box-truck configuration. It’s ancient and its cabin is louder than a Douglas DC-3’s. We don’t care about that; what matters is the box grafted onto the chassis.
In the event of a zombie attack, the E-350 becomes a swiss army knife on wheels. You can use it to carry supplies, you can live in it if needed, or you can even turn it into a jail to discipline bad apples. E-350 box trucks are in every American city, often branded either U-Haul or Penske. Parts are plentiful, and it’s as easy to repair as you’d expect an old-school van to be.
It’s hard for us to imagine life in Zombieland without a tank. Fuel is limited so we don’t recommend you use it daily, but when push comes to shove nothing beats a battle tank developed for ground warfare.
The M1 Abrams is one of the more common tanks in America. It was designed in the 1970s and production began in 1979. Getting a tank is, of course, easier said than done. You can’t go down to CarMax and drive off in one. We’ll leave that part up to you. Be creative; the world is ending.
Designed and built by NSU, the Kettenkrad HK 101 is a cross between a tank and a motorcycle. It was used by Germany during WWII. Today, most are either in museums or in the hands of collectors; we suggest you start your quest at the former to get your hands on the best remaining examples.
In spite of its contentious history, the Kettenkrad remains a versatile runabout useful for penetrating through deep forests that cars and trucks can’t venture into. It can tow a small trailer; alternatively, it can be towed by a bigger vehicle. Consider it an indispensable part of your fleet.
We predict the Ford F-150 Raptor will become sought-after in a post-zombie world. Sooner or later you’ll need to venture off the beaten path, whether it’s to find food or to escape a hoard of starving zombies. Designed for Baja racing, the Raptor is well-suited to blasting through the desert at high speeds thanks to a beefed-up suspension and a twin-turbocharged V6 rated at 450 horsepower.
You can find Raptors all over America, so you can build up a small armada of trucks if needed. And you can make it more rugged and durable by raiding a warehouse of aftermarket parts. Get at least a bull bar and extra lights; you’ll thank us later. You’ll score bonus points if you find one of Hennessey’s six-wheeled Raptors, but those are much rarer than the standard truck.
You enjoy the finer things in life. You’re hoarding cognac in your basement so you can still have a nightly sip when there’s no longer anyone around to make it. And you’re going to arrive comfortably and stylishly come hell or high water — or zombies. If that sounds like you, the only way to roll where the dead roam is the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet.
Based on the proven G-Class, the G650 offers 621 earth-rattling horses and enough ground clearance to power through the planet’s most unforgiving terrain. The catch (there’s always one, isn’t there?) is that Mercedes made just 99 examples of it. You might have to barter some of the Louis XIII in your collection to get your hands on one.
The Biski is perfect for those looking to take on the end of days alone — others will only hold you back as resources become sparse. The amphibious two-wheeler has a maximum land speed of 80 mph and a top water speed of 37 mph. This, of course, is more than enough speed to outpace even the most spritely of zombies. And switching from bike to ski takes less than five seconds, meaning you can spend less time in transition and more time putting the two-cylinder engine through its zombie-thwarting paces.
The Ripsaw EV2, manufactured by Howe and Howe Technologies, is one of the more unique vehicles we’ve ever covered on DT. A distinct blend of dexterity, durability, and comfort, the EV2 is one of the fastest dual-tracked vehicles ever made, with more than 600 diesel-fueled horsepower pushing the menacing crusher forward.
With its zombie-squishing treads and 12 inches of suspension travel, the Ripsaw has the ability to weave through obstacles over almost any terrain, but it also boasts the power and grit to smash right through them if needed. Inside the thick armored walls lies a surprisingly pleasant interior as well, as the EV2 equips leather seats, a touchscreen, and attractive LED lighting. This is clearly not your average tank, but during the end times, that’s exactly what you’ll need.
In a post-zombie world, the roads will be filled with rolling coffins, the rusted relics of a civilization long dead. Needless to say, a standard four-door probably isn’t going to cut it.
Enter the Gibbs Humdinga ‘amphitruck’, a vehicle that grants you the freedom to go just about anywhere. It features permanent four-wheel drive, can travel at highway speeds on land, goes 30mph on water, seats six, and can transform into amphibious mode with the simple push of a button.
Zombie’s can’t swim, right?
The Zetros 2733 6×6 is a massive, six-wheel drive off-roader with the fortitude to keep you safe in almost any environment. Inside however, you’ll find yourself pampered and comfortable, so much so that you might just forget the world outside has gone to hell.
On one hand, you have a 7.2-liter diesel inline-six with 326 horsepower, 959 pound-feet of torque, and three locking differentials. On the other, you’ve got heated marble floors, two flat-screen televisions, a Bose sound system, a shower, and just about everything else you could want in a rolling home. Everything’s powered by a diesel generator as well, so as long as you can appropriate fuel, you’ll be on cloud nine. Who said the life in the apocalypse had to be crude?
We normally wouldn’t include the Marauder in our list, since it isn’t a civilian vehicle. But it’s just too good to pass up. The South African ‘multi-role, highly agile, mine-protected armored vehicle’ is a true beast. It has room for 10 soldiers, can withstand a blast from 30 pounds of TNT, boasts a range of 430 miles, and offers a 14.5-mm heavy machine gun as optional equipment. With the Paramount Marauder, the apocalypse doesn’t stand a chance.
What’s not to like about the Local Motors Rally Fighter? The open-sourced two-door looks mean, has a meaner Corvette engine, equips a Ford truck rear end, and boasts the ground clearance to mow through groups of walkers without worry.
With this slurry of American-built components, you should be able to find tons of spare parts to fix it when it inevitably breaks down. Parts availability might not be sexy, but tell that to the snarky Land Rover owner when he’s being torn apart by walkers.
If you were brave enough to sit through Transformers: Age of Extinction, you saw the Rally Fighter being used by a fictional black ops unit of the CIA.
When the dead rise, some will choose to confront them head-on with brute force and firepower. Wave after wave of zombies will fall, but the problem with the undead is they just don’t stop. That terrifying fact in mind, we suggest you do the smart thing and flee as fast as you can.
In terms of transportation that can move quickly almost over any terrain, Jeep’s Trailcat Concept is about as good as it gets. Powered by the supercharged 707 horsepower V8 from the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, the Trailcat features a widened Wrangler chassis, 39.5-inch BFGoodrich Krawler tires, rugged Fox shocks, and Dana 60 axles front and rear. It’s a bit loud and exposed to overtake the Ripsaw EV2 or Inkas Huron APC in terms of zombie defense, but it’ll get you where you need to go quick no matter the conditions.
While this concept will likely never see production, Jeep has confirmed the next best thing — a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee is set to arrive by the end of 2017.
No, you probably won’t be getting your hands on the Black Shark unless you’re a Russian politician or Arnold Schwarzenegger. That said, it is a production vehicle, and this list would be incomplete without it.
The Prombron is simply a ridiculous thing. It’s completely bulletproof, offered with a 1,500-horsepower biturbo V12, fits electric-shock devices to the doors, and is wrapped in Kevlar-coated titanium.
According to Dartz, the armored vehicle also equips retinal and fingerprint scanners, psycho-physiological condition recognition, and cameras to eliminate blind spots. Put it all together and the Black Shark is just as capable repelling zombies as it is chasing off those pesky bandits.
Jeeps are known for their “go-anywhere” ability, but the Watercar Panther takes it to another level entirely.
As the name would suggest, the Watercar is a half-boat, half-car that can transition from land to sea in less than 15 seconds. All the driver has to do is shift into neutral, pull a knob to engage the jet, and press a button to raise the wheels. When it’s all said and done, you have a vehicle that can escape a walker’s grasp over a variety of surfaces, which should go a long way toward keeping you on this side of the afterlife… provided zombies can’t swim.
Despite its Wrangler-esque appearance, the Panther is actually built from a unique chromoly chassis and fiberglass hull, one filled with 32 cubic feet of Coast Guard-approved styrofoam. A rear-mounted Honda V6 and Panther Jet propulsion system provide forward motivation, and the vehicle is capable of over 55 mph on land and 44 mph on water.
This teardrop-shaped vehicle, sprung from a collaboration between the Eindhoven University of Technology and Dutch company NXP Semiconductors, is completely solar-powered.
Stella seats four and is actually energy positive, meaning that is produces twice as much energy as it consumes. That means it could power basic electronics like radios, heat lamps, and stoves. It’s also small and svelte, allowing it to maneuver around blockages than larger vehicles cannot.
Stella can travel up to 500 miles on a single charge, something it proved during a recent zero-emissions jaunt through California. If you can’t locate a zombie-free spot to recharge in 500 miles, you’ve got other issues to deal with.
While most zombie-proof cars require some sort of fossil fuel to keep moving, we’re well aware of the fact that apocalyptic conditions and abundant caches of gasoline don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. In a cannibalistic panic, people will horde fuel for themselves, gas deliveries will come to a halt, and even the stations themselves will become serious hazards to the living — and we’re not talking about expired hot dogs and doughnuts.
Thankfully, there’s a car called the Immortus that has infinite range and never has to refuel, provided the sun is still shining. Manufactured by Australian startup EVX, the solar-powered Immortus wears 75 square-feet of solar panels on its roof that funnel energy to the battery packs inside. The carbon-fiber laden vehicle can travel indefinitely so long as it doesn’t top 40 mph, which is comfortably above the walking speed of most zombies.
Full-blown tanks are great for keeping the zombies out, but they can be hard to maneuver. The Knight XV splits the difference with an SUV-based urban assault structure. Highlights include underbody magnetic bomb detection, an external smoke screen, night vision cameras, electrostatic window tinting, run flat tires, and armor strong enough to stop anything short of a .50 caliber round.
The KV is also highly accommodating, with heated, quilted leather seats and a passel of infotainment features. What will it cost to barrel through danger in cowhide comfort? Just $450,000 (and an apocalyptic atmosphere).
Unicat is known for building incredible all-terrain vehicles, but while most of these rigs allow professionals to trek off the beaten path, they also double as apocalypse-beaters. Of the number of available Unicat models, we’d choose the TerraCross 52 Comfort. Business in the front, and a party in the back, the TerraCross 52 is ready for anything.
Its thick body, rigid structure, and ample storage make the TerraCross 52 a rolling safe zone for two to four passengers. Better still, the rig is equipped with a double bed, sanitary room/shower, kitchen, toilet, a water supply, a sophisticated power supply, and solar panels. With enough food and water, you could survive weeks or months without ever stepping foot outside.
Now for what is by far the most badass and durable vehicle on this list, we present to you the Oshkosh M-ATV. The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (M-ATV) is America’s latest defense rig, replacing the now-dated Humvee M114. While the M-ATV was designed to transport U.S. troops safely around Afghanistan, it can also weather the worst of apocalyptic scenarios.
The most impressive features include an armored V-shaped hull (great for deflecting mines), off-road capability, run-flat rubber (the M-ATV can drive for 30 miles with two blown tires), and a roof turret that can accommodate machines guns, grenade launchers, and anti-tank missiles. Even if zombies aren’t shooting at you, survival-minded humans might. The M-ATV all but guarantees your prolonged existence.
So far, we’ve shown you some incredible vehicles for covering earth and water, but what about the air? It’s tough for a zombie to penetrate a tank, and even harder for it to attack you on the open seas, but it’s darn near impossible for it to take flight.
Here, the TerraFugia TF-X has you covered. The compact car-plane can drive on any paved roads and doesn’t need an airport to take to the skies. That means if you run into trouble on the ground, you can quickly escape to the skies. With a range of 500 miles and a cruising speed of 200 mph, the TF-X can’t stay in the air forever, but it won’t struggle to put some distance between you and the undead. The best part? The TF-X runs on automotive fuel, so anything you’d use to fill up your car, you can use to run the TF-X.
- The best camper vans
- Best car brands
- Future cars: The best upcoming cars worth waiting for
- The best trucks for 2021
- Every upcoming electric car