The Mud Master-C Concept from Daihatsu looks like a Dakar rally van that's been left in the wash too long. It's a true truck with a body-on-frame design, though. It's generous ride height and copious degrees of approach and departure angles mean that the Mud Master-C can actually go places while leaving an eency-weency footprint in its wake.
Daihatsu says that there are three gullwing doors on the concept, though they're really hatches, one on each side and one on the back. The truly neat thing about the Mud Master-C Concept is that it's configurable. For instance, the mountain bike support model developed with professional cyclist Raita Suzuki (shown at right) is configured to carry a pair of bikes, but the concept can also be configured as an open bed truck capable of carrying an ATV or even a crane!
Check out more info and Daihatsu's press release after the jump, and be sure to browse the gallery to see the Mud Master-C's unique features.
The Mud Master-C also features what Daihatsu calls a hub reduction system that transfers power using gears mounted between the driveshaft and the wheelhub. It appears the system allows the driveshaft to sit higher than the center of the wheelhub, giving the Mud Master-C its impressive ground clearance. The relatively large 16-inch off-road tires help, too.
Inside the concept you'll find a dash that's comprised simply of one large screen that displays both gauges and in-car entertainment options. Being the activity vehicle it is, the Mud Master-C also features water repellant seats so that hosing mud off of them is not a problem. The seats, however, are flat as church pews, which, when combined with the concept's height and narrow width, mean turns should be taken with caution.
Daihatsu didn't mention what powers the Mud Master-C, but we're guessing it's a small gas or diesel engine mounted amidship below the floor.
2. MUD MASTER-C (Mud Master-Concept)
This small, tough transporter leverages compactness and light weight for special off-road agility and adopts body-on-frame construction for outstanding durability and cargo capability. This mountain bike support model was designed in collaboration with the leading professional cyclist, Raita Suzuki.
- A hub reduction system, which transfers driving power via gears mounted between the drive shaft and wheel hub, together with large-diameter 16-inch off-road tires, achieves 370mm ride height and generous angles of approach, departure and breakover for outstanding off-road drivability and stream-fording capability.
- The body uses highly durable, lightweight and compact body-on-frame construction. A range of attachments can be combined for a variety of applications, from outdoor sports to work in rough terrain.
- Large gullwing doors on three sides give the MUD MASTER-C great convenience, ideal for loading and unloading bicycles in the "mountain bike support" model.
- Full-cabin styling creates a strong presence.
- The interior features a simple instrument panel with large-screen LCD multi-display and the water-repellent seats, reflecting the car's rugged image.