Nikola’s Reckless UTV is What Your Drill Instructor Drives On Weekends
Meet the Rambo version of Nikola’s NZT buggyby Tudor Rus, on
The Nikola NZT buggy is by no means a soft piece of machinery. It packs two electric motors on each axle and produces 590 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of instant torque. It’s also waterproof and can get pretty brutal out on the off-road course. The thing is, it all fades away in the presence of the Nikola Reckless OHV.
The Nikola Reckless is as Badass as it Gets
We’ll put it this way: Nikola’s Reckless, although a lot similar in shape and size to the NZT, is basically the mechanical equivalent of that cousin of yours who went to the army, fought in a war or two, and came back as the most badass human being you know.
And, although it shares the same powertrain and performance figures with its civilian brother, the Reckless packs a long list of military-grade systems. Yes, even weapons.
Just the thought of coming face to face with a vehicle that packs three high-caliber automatic machine guns that can aim at your head with pin-point precision - like you’ll see in the photo gallery - is enough to make us want to run for cover under our beds.
Now, we don’t imagine Nikola selling mobile weaponry to civilians, and it’s pretty clear that the company is targeting military-involved customers, given the fact that the Reckless can be fitted with an autonomous weapon system. It can also carry out recon tasks - thanks to a complementary Planck Aerosystems drone - and is touted as highly modular, thus making it apt for various applications, at least in theory.
Guns aside, the Reckless doesn't have doors but comes with 35-inch Kevlar-reinforced wheels on all four corners, a ground clearance of 12 inches, and the ability to carry four people and a maximum payload of 1,260 pounds.
And, just like its milder peer, it employs a 125-kWh battery pack that generates a maximum operating range of up to 150 miles (240 km).
As for charging out in the open, Nikola says its Reckless can be charged in 19 hours when connected to an EV ARC solar charging station. Because, you know, there are no power outlets in the wild. But, in case there’s a DC fast charger nearby that you can use, charging time will drop to just two hours.
Needless to say, this thing has the go-anywhere vibe backed up by the Fox 3.0 Internal Bypass shocks with 18-inch travel. It’s also supposed to tip the scales at 5,250 pounds (2,381 kilos) - which is the exact value Nikola provides for the NZT - although we’re willing to bet that with all that extra military gear, weight will definitely go up.
Now, as far as electric military vehicles go, the option spectrum is not that wide at the moment. Electricity, however, is something the military wants to further harness for a couple of reasons - better mobility, improved reliability and, therefore, lower running costs, and a basically non-existent heat signature that makes an EV stealthier than any ICE-powered army machinery out there. The only military-oriented electric vehicle we can think of that’s also similar in purpose and size to Nikola’s Reckless is the Tomcar TXwhich, unlike the Reckless, can be had in three different flavors:TX3, TX4, and TX5, depending on the number of people it can carry.
Below you’ll find a side-by-side look at some of their essential specs:
|Nikola Reckless||Tomcar TX4|
|Powertrain||Four 400V AC motors (2 per axle)||Dual 96V, 3-phase, AC electric motors|
|Max power||590 horsepower||120 horsepower|
|Max torque||775 pound feet (1,050 Nm)||206 pound-feet (280 Nm)|
|Drivetrain||single gear reduction at each wheel, 4x2 and 4x4 on demand||CVT, on-the-fly 2WD and 4WD, front and rear differentials, Hi/Lo transfer case|
|Length||160 inches (406.4 cm)||159 inches (403.9 cm)|
|Width||72 inches (182.8 cm)||72 inches (182.8 cm)|
|Height||73 inches (185.4 cm)||68 inches (172.7 cm)|
|Wheelbase||125 inches (317.5 cm)||120 inches (304.8 cm)|
|Weight||5,250 pounds (2,381 kilos)||2,650 pounds (1,202 kilos)|
|Payload capacity||1,260 pounds (571.5 kilos)||2,500 pounds (1,134 kilos)|
Read our full review on the 2020 Nikola One.