Peter Wheeler Scarmander

I urge you to click on the image above and watch (or re-watch) Harry Metcalfe's video diary with the vehicle during his tenure at EVO Magazine. I still rank it as one of my favourite video road tests (if you can call it a road test). 

With his background in farming, as is so often repeated, Metcalfe possesses the off-road chops to test the Scarmander, giving us a rare look at this futuristic…thing. Peter Wheeler, the ex-TVR owner and boss, nearly saw his final project completed before an illness took his life in 2009. 

I like the Scarmander because it has a real name—said to evoke both a river god and Trojan warrior—and because it's a rare attempt to completely change how we approach certain types of vehicles. Designed to specialize on the rocky, mossy, alien landscape called moorland, traditional 4x4s often get bogged down on this type of terrain—what do you think when they coined the word "bog", anyway?

At between 317-453 kg (700–1,000 lbs) lighter than the Jeep Wrangler family, the Scarmander leaves a complicated four-wheel-drive system behind and instead relies upon lightness in order to float over the landscape…well, as much as possible. (11 inches) of ground clearance The Scarmander will also top 6 knots on water, surely making it the ideal vehicle for the type of people who participate in zombie apocalypse cosplay or those who sincerely consider their ideal "bug out" vehicles. Yes, the Scarmander has a shallow truck bed out back. And a central driving position, like the McLaren F1.

Like the Wrangler, it's fitted with a V6 taken from passenger car duty—a 300 horsepower 3.0-litre Ford Duratec unit that's connected to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Simple. Zero-to-100 km/h (62 mph) in 8 seconds and a top speed of 193 km/h (120 mph) means it'll be fun on road as well. Maybe Ariel can start building the Scarmander as a big brother to the Nomad…that'd be cool.

With design flair typical of a TVR…crossed with something from the erotic dreams Elon Musk has about Mars exploration, the Scarmander looks like nothing else. And it works. It's not often we get to see a new type of vehicle born.