Click above for high-res gallery of the TAC Stark
For those looking to tackle the Brazilian Amazon, your vehicle has arrived. Well, almost. The TAC Stark was scheduled to debut last year, but supplier setbacks forced the upstart Brazilian automaker to push back the launch of its first product until next year.
The TAC Stark is a small Jeep-like truck that looks like a cross between a Wrangler and a dune buggy. Its Volkswagen-sourced engine is mounted in front of the cabin but in between the axles for optimum balance, and produces a little over 100 hp from either gasoline or ethanol. If it had made it to market on time, the TAC Stark would have been the first off-roader to boast that particular flex-fuel ability, but the Mitsubishi Pajero TR4 beat it to the punch. Not to worry, though, as there's plenty else to set the Stark apart from local competition. The quizzically engaging design is crafted out of composite body panels over a tubular chassis with an independent double-wishbone suspension, Eaton five-speed transmission and BorgWarner transfer case. It measures a bit over four meters long with a two-and-a-half meter wheelbase and barely tips the scales at 1300 kg.
The vehicle will begin delivery through five Brazilian dealerships next year for the equivalent of about $41k, including the 30% purchase tax on new vehicles in Brazil. Assuming all goes according to plan, TAC hopes to begin exporting the Stark as soon as 2012. In the meantime, you can check out the images in the gallery below.