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Exclusive: Tomcar updates off-roader range

Made in Australia: Tomcar’s range of go-anywhere vehicles is gaining traction Down Under with more ATV users attracted to the brand’s suitability to our diverse and unforgiving landscape, such as the Simpson Desert.

Five new variants and more power added to locally built Tomcar ATV range


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2 Feb 2016

MELBOURNE-BASED all-terrain vehicle manufacturer Tomcar has broadened its range of hardcore off-roaders, with a choice of five new variants added to the original line-up of three core models, including a new military-spec version.

As before, the all-Australian-made range is still comprised of the TM2 two-seater, TM4 four-seater and TM5 ute-based models, but in response to feedback from Tomcar owners, selected versions are now available with a more specialised set of equipment.

In addition to the greater choice, the 1.0-litre petrol engine has been upgraded to a more efficient 1.1-litre unit sourced from Chinese automotive giant Chery, which has inflated the cost of spark ignition variants. With only a slight increase in capacity, the new engine has almost doubled the power.

All three Tomcar models are still available with the 1.4-litre Kohler four-cylinder diesel, which produces 26kW/84Nm and adds $2000 to the ticket price, while the outgoing 1.0-litre petrol delivers 41kW.

Kicking off the 2016 range is the Tomcar Raw, which is minimally equipped to allow customers to modify the relatively blank canvas to their own specifications. Prices start from $28,000 delivered but from that point owners can either perform their own modifications or choose from a range of about 40 Tomcar options.

According to Tomcar, the pricing is approximate and may vary depending on individual requirements and specifications.

In the middle of the range are the Adventurer and Pro Farmer variants priced from $32,000 apiece.

While the manufacturer has always traditionally focused on hard-working commercial vehicles, the Adventurer is its foray into a recreational model, and has features such as an electric winch that can be moved from the front of the vehicle to the rear.

As the name suggests, the Pro Farmer is aimed at the brand’s most popular audience and includes hundreds of modifications developed in consultation with existing owners.

Tomcar Australia co-founder and CEO David Brim told GoAuto this week that each time an agricultural user highlights a way to improve the operation of a Tomcar, the company raises an engineering project. The Pro Farmer is result of numerous cases over many years of field testing.

“The Pro farmer is what we have learned over the years of working intimately with our customers. The relationships we have with our customers are remarkable, as is the feedback,” he said.

Another area not yet explored is racing, but the company is now also dipping its toe in to competition cars with the Outback Racer variant.

Priced from $62,000, the competition Tomcar has Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) approval and comes with racing seats, six-point harnesses, adjustable suspension with Fox dampeners, removable steering wheel, side safety nets and a host of other modifications.

Power also gets the racing treatment with a turbocharger added to the 1.1-litre fuel-injected four-cylinder.

Just six Outback Racers will be produced to compete in the Australian Off Road Championship, and a full customisation and training program is included in the price.

“There have been about four or five people who have been annoying the hell out of us for a number of years asking us to do this,” said Mr Brim.

“There will be a period of four or five months where we will test them together, customise the suspension and customise each car as part of a factory team. Those first six buyers will get a lot of benefits: discount options on further models, free components and parts, discounted parts for five years, so it’s a complete package.”

Just as more conventional car manufacturers develop technology that goes on to feature in production models, Mr Brim said the same process applies to Tomcar products.

“Having a racing fleet will allow us to do cool product testing just like they do in Formula One. Some of the knowledge they learn will filter down into our commercial vehicles,” he said.

“The team has always wanted to build a racer. Our chief engineer is ex-racing Lotus and Ferrari. He knows his stuff and he is leading this project.”

While the product sold on Australian soil is the work of 10 years of local development, the Tomcar originated as an Israeli military vehicle, and to celebrate its combatant DNA the company is now offering the vehicle in military specification.

Priced from $120,000, the flagship Tomcar Mil Spec is a serious step up in price but Mr Brim confirmed that there had been a handful of interested civilian customers.

“We’ve had a number of expressions of interest already for this but from private buyers, from hunters and people who like military things. The key for us is that the military pedigree of a Tomcar is across our range.”

The Mil Spec Tomcar is equipped with extra kevlar armour, 12-ply run-flat tyres, fully waterproofed electrics and gun mounts with customisable firing positions, but Mr Brim explained a majority of the cost comes from the development of battlefield schematics and documentation that the armed forces insist on.

“When you sell to a traditional customer you get a digital owner’s manual but that’s not acceptable for armies. They need large documentation and that is where the main cost is on top of the battlefield schematics and electrics. They also take longer to build and have special paint.”“It doesn’t come with any guns but if you tell us what guns you have then we will make mods.”

As part of Tomcar’s Reloaded program, owners can return any model to the development centre in Moorabbin, south-east of Melbourne, for a complete upgrade to the latest Tomcar technology, including the new 1.1-litre engine.

“We don’t have planned product obsolescence so you’re always able to upgrade your car.”

Tomcar was due to release a new mining-spec variant in 2014 but, while several large mineral and resource mining companies are still interested in the special version, the project was postponed to allow a critical new development.

“We are about to make an announcement about that in the next two or three months and it’s amazing,” said Mr Brim. Stay tuned to GoAuto for the official announcement.

2016 Tomcar pricing*
Raw (a)$28,000
Adventurer (a)$32,000
Pro Farmer (a)$32,000
Outback Racer (a)$62,000
Mil Spec (a)$120,000
*Prices are approximate and pending finalisation.

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