Automobile Industry

Horriba MIRA RIV – The Fastest Desert SUV

Horiba Mira RIV

Horriba-MIRA has developed a new military SUV, RIV that will be used by UAE Special Forces for rapid insertion into menacing areas via Chinook helicopters.

Horriba-MIRA has developed a new military SUV, RIV (Rapid Intervention Vehicle) that will be used by UAE Special Forces for rapid insertion into menacing areas via Chinook helicopters. The UK-based firm that provides development and consultancy services to vehicle manufacturers was tasked by NIMR, a military vehicle manufacturer in the United Arab Emirates to develop the vehicle. Living up to the expectation of its client, Horriba-MIRA built the vehicle in just 12 months.

The rugged vehicle meant for the desert terrain (primarily) is driven by the modified version of 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. Interestingly, this is the same unit that is used in the Maserati Ghibli. In terms of power, the high capacity engine makes maximum power of 300bhp along with 601Nm of peak torque. Power is translated to all four wheels through ZF’s eight-speed automatic gearbox; and it also comes with Torsen T2R torque-sensing differential. The vehicle has been built to withstand high temperatures of up to 55deg celcius.

In terms of dimensions, the rugged vehicle measures 5,250mm in length, 1,820mm in width and 1,850mm in height. Weighing around 4000kg in weight, the RIV is claimed to propel to 100kph from rest within 10.5 seconds while attaining top speed of 161kp. Considering that it will be used on the deserts, the aerodynamic styling saves the interior from getting clogged by sand. Up front, it gets winglets which aide reducing drag around wheels. Additionally, the vehicle can cover 966kms (with tank full) at a speed of 100kph.

The chief engineer on the project, Jim Hopton claims that RIV is the fastest vehicle across the desert. What makes it special is its rigid body frame that allows accommodating 4 heavily armed soldiers weighing 120kg each. Use of components like fabricated steel lends it strength. Some of the bits on the vehicle such as the spaceframe chassis, short entry and departure angles for 36-degree dune gradients make it suitable for desert driving. Additionally, it gets a flat floor that prevents it from becoming grounded on dunes.

The 300mm of ground clearance further add to its driving capabilities across the desert, though, the ground clearance can be reduced to 120mm while loading it onto a Chinook. Furthermore, the Horstman hydrostruts suspension mechanism, filled with fluid and nitrogen gets hotter & firmer while alerting the driver to the prospects of overheating. There is an onboard tyre inflation system that enables wheels to tune to different surface conditions.

The UAE military is currently evaluating two out of three vehicles built by Horriba-Mira.

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