OX truck

An IKEA style flat-pack truck has been designed as a low cost all-terrain vehicle for remote parts of Africa and the developing world.

The Global Vehicle Trust OX has been specifically designed with everyday tasks such as collect drinking water and transporting grain, fertilizer or building materials. It is unlike any other vehicle and has no direct competitor.

Powered by a 2.2L Ford diesel, the OX has 74kW and 385Nm of torque to handle a payload of 1900kg. Its dimensions are shorter than the average SUV but can carry 13 people, or eight 44-gallon drums or three pallets.

The Global Vehicle Trust was formed five years ago by Sir Torquil Normal to pursue his pursue his ambition to help people in the developing world by providing cost-effective mobility. Teaming up with renowned designer Gordon Murray, the OX was born.

“My inspiration for the OX goes back to seeing the ‘Africar’ project of the 1980s. This project shares some of the aims of that vehicle, but its execution is radically different. OX was just a dream six years ago, but it is now a realistic prospect for production with working prototypes that have completed a comprehensive testing programme,” Norman said.

According to Murray, the OX was even more challenging than designing Formula One race cars.

“The OX design and prototyping programme is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and challenging I have undertaken during my 45 years of car design, including my years in F1,” he said.

“The added challenge of a flat-packed vehicle design over the already tough targets for cost, durability and weight saving made for a fascinating and stimulating journey from concept to prototype.

“The most satisfying elements of the project for me are that the OX will make such a difference to so many people and that it has no competitor in any part of the world. It has been a privilege to work alongside Torquil to make his vision a reality,” Murray added.

Designed for all terrain conditions, the OX has high ground clearance, large wheel movement and a multi-purpose tray and three-person cab with a centrally mounted driver.

The layout of the cabin makes the OX suitable for both right hand and left hand markets.

The OX’s revolutionary nature extends beyond the vehicle design because, uniquely, it is capable of being flat-packed within itself, enabling it to be transported more efficiently around the world.

It takes three people less than six hours to create the flat pack in the UK prior to shipping, and six of these flat packs can be shipped within a 40ft high-cube container. Assembly labour is transferred to the importing country, where local professional companies will be employed to assemble and maintain the finished vehicles. Three skilled people can put an OX together in approximately 12 hours.

Beyond its revolutionary packaging design and two-wheel-drive all-terrain ability, the OX is full of design innovations. For example, the tailgate does not merely contain the load in the back; it detaches completely from the OX and can be rotated lengthways to double as a loading ramp.

The rear bench seat bases also have a dual purpose. The long ‘egg crate’ frames can be removed from the vehicle and used as ‘sand ladders’ under the wheels to help the OX traverse challenging soft ground.