Imagine a scene of barren wastelands, vast plains of emptiness, one deserted town after the other no matter which direction you go. Everything’s deserted, buildings are in ruins, and infrastructure has been pretty much destroyed. You’d need some sort of vehicle to get you where you want to be, wherever that is, wouldn’t you? What type of vehicle are you thinking of now? A Toyota Hilux or Landcruiser? Or a good old Land Rover, or maybe a Hummer H1? A go-anywhere, do-anything kind of vehicle at least, right? It turns out there are plenty of options, ranging from a beefed-up Morgan to a Mars-ready Porsche and even something called the Apocalypse Hellfire 6×6.
Of course, this is just some random chain of thought to set the mood for today’s topic, three cars fit for a (hopefully distant) dystopian future. And yes, this chain of thought does paint a grim picture, like something out of a Hollywood blockbuster or a very graphic Sci-Fi novel, but that was exactly the point.
If you’d have to choose a certain vehicle in a situation like this, or simply want to have loads of fun blasting off-road in something cool, these three might be perfect candidates, gradually increasing in madness.
Morgan Plus Four CX-T
First up we have a classy Britton, built by Morgan, the car manufacturer known for building retro-styled roadsters and coupes using wooden ash frames. While Morgan does a lot more than that by now and has moved into the 21st century quite some time ago, the brand still does a lot of things the old fashioned way.
The Morgan Plus Four CX-T starts out as a regular Plus Four, the company’s latest roadster, introduced in 2020. It’s not to be mistaken with the +4, which is basically the car that most people have in mind as a Morgan. The +4 was first introduced in 1950. Production ran until 1969, pretty much unchanged, and then again from 1985 to 2000. The final run of the original + 4 started in 2005 and ended in 2020 with the introduction of the new Plus Four.
To create the Plus Four CX-T, Morgan has teamed up with Rally Raid UK, a firm specializing in Dakar prepped cars, bikes and trucks. It has a beefed up aluminium chassis, increased ride-height, updated suspension, a new body and an external roll-cage. Of course it comes with all the off-road necessities you can imagine, like spare tires, a shovel, sand-ladders, high-beam rally lights. You could also opt for a bike rack, or a roof-mounted tent, and have a proper outdoors adventure.
Morgan have used the standard drivetrain from the Plus Four, which means a turbocharged 2 litre BMW 4-cylinder engine producing about 255bhp. It is mated to a manual six-speed gearbox and a adjustable locking differential to cope with changing terrain. Only 7 will be built, with a starting price of GBP 200,000 each. It looks amazing, and seems like a proper bit of fun to drive off-road, judging by Top Gear’s review;
For more information, please visit Morgan-Motor.com
Next up on the list is a German bruiser, built by Marc Philipp Gemballa. Now, for those who have been around a little while longer, the name Gemballa might ring a bell or two. It was once responsible for creating the most insane Porsche adaptations on the planet, resulting in fire breathing monsters based on just about any Porsche, and the odd Ferrari and McLaren. The cars weren’t exactly subtle, both in looks and specifications. And neither was the founder of the company, Uwe Gemballa.
In 2016, the company was seized by the German government after Uwe Gemballa went missing and later turned up dead in South Africa. It is believed he became a victim of a money-laundering scheme that went south. Despite this tragic turn of events, the Gemballa name is still alive and well, as Uwe’s son Marc Philipp has recently presented the Marsien under his own company.
More than two years of development have gone into the Marsien, otherwise known as Project Sandbox. Basically, it’s an extreme Porsche conversion, much in the spirit of Uwe Gemballa. Instead of being honed for the track, the Marsien uses a 992-generation Porsche 911 Turbo S and is turned into a desert off-roader. Taking inspiration from the Dakar-winning Porsche 959’s, a new full carbon fibre body with an integrated rear spoiler is fitted over the chassis and engine. New suspension, including an adjustable lift-kit, gives you the ground clearance and traction needed off-road.
Legendary Porsche-tuner RUF is responsible for the engine, upping the horsepower to 740. If you think that’s not enough, a Stage II kit increases it to 818bhp. The interior is updated as well, with a bespoke centre console and lots of customization options to choose from. Only 40 will be built, with a price tag of USD 583,000 each. Mind you, that is without the necessary Porsche 911 Turbo S donor car. An insane amount of money for sure, but it buys you one of the most extreme Porsche’s out there.
For more information, please visit MarcPhilippGemballa.com.
Apocalypse Hellfire 6×6
Now, bear with me, as we’re taking things into the ridiculous. With a name like Apocalypse Engineering, no one is expecting a company making sensible little EV hatchbacks. With a name like that you expect something big and brutish, and you’re not going to be disappointed. Of course, it’s over the top, and of course, it’s loud and in your face, but If you want something to tackle the Zombie Apocalypse and scream “GET OUT OF MY WAY”; this is the perfect vehicle.
Apocalypse Engineering is a US company that turns an already beefy Jeep into an absolute monster. This Apocalypse Hellfire 6×6 is truly mindboggling and required quite a bit of engineering and development to realize. And of course, pretty much everything is customizable.
The Hellfire 6×6 starts out life as a Jeep Gladiator and Apocalypse Engineering reworks the entire chassis, especially the back end of it, obviously. The entire bodywork is altered to fit the new chassis, with newly built fenders, hood, truck bed, and lots of other things. The Apocalypse Hellfire 6×6 featured in this recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage;
Underneath the Kevlar-epoxy coated, tactile exterior of the Hellfire 6×6 is a choice of three engines; a 3.0L twin-turbo diesel engine, a Chevrolet LS3 V8 or the Hellcat engine from Dodge. The latter one is by far the most powerful engine of the three, with over 700 horsepower on tap.
Power goes to all six wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Hellfire 6×6 sits on a custom independent suspension system with tires that are 40 inches tall, fitted to a 22-inch wheel. There’s a special clutch and differential system to help you take turns and get over the most challenging obstacles. The entire vehicle weighs just a little under 6,000lbs, which equates to 2,700 kilograms. So far 79 of these beasts are sold, all with a base price of USD 150,000.
For more information visit Apocalypse 6×6’s website.