We’re living in an era of amazing Overland innovation both in vehicle design and associated gear. Earthcruiser’s announcement of its Next Generation Overland Vehicle Platform is an outstanding example of this.
- Next-generation platform for EarthCruiser EXP, FX, and CORE models transitions to Isuzu NPR Series chassis paired with EarthCruiser’s proprietary 4×4 system.
- EarthCruiser offers the only cab-over 4×4 production vehicle in its class in the U.S.
- Existing Fuso chassis EarthCruiser vehicles will continue to be supported by Fuso’s parts, service and support center network operations.
EarthCruiser Overland Vehicles announced today that its next generation of EXP and FX EarthCruiser models, as well as CORE brand vehicles, will transition to the Isuzu NPR Series Class 4 platform. These iconic overland models have earned a reputation for providing the ultimate in self-contained, off-road world exploration vehicles. With this new platform, EarthCruiser continues its success story by combining the proven performance of the Isuzu NPR chassis with EarthCruiser’s proprietary 4×4 drivetrain and unique upgrades to create the most agile and capable vehicle in its class.The Isuzu NPR chassis underpinning new EXP, FX, and CORE models offers an ideal size footprint with proven performance and dependability. EarthCruiser modifies this Isuzu platform for off-road use and applies its overlanding and engineering expertise. The end result is not only an incredibly capable off-road machine, but also the only production cab-over 4×4 vehicle in its class available in the U.S. “We look forward to this new chapter, as we make the transition to Isuzu platforms for our 4×4 world-exploration vehicles,” said EarthCruiser General Manager Chad Knight. “Isuzu’s reputation for reliability and serviceability make it a great partner for our next-generation chassis. We’ve also found a great fit in Isuzu thanks to its shared commitment to domestically produced vehicles. ”The Isuzu NPR gas-model chassis is assembled in Charlotte, Michigan. The Isuzu NPR platform also benefits from an American-sourced power plant, a 6.6L, 350 horsepower, 425 pound-feet, V8, produced by General Motors for use in Heavy Duty pickup trucks. In addition to packaging benefits, a cab-over platform also aids in overlanding and off-road drivability. The cab-over position offers unmatched visibility, critical in complex off-road situations, along with remarkable maneuverability. A cab-over design also enables the shortest possible vehicle with the largest possible living or cargo space. In addition, the completed EarthCruiser has a remarkably tight turning radius (36’ inside diameter), roughly the same as a midsize pickup truck.
EarthCruiser’s Proprietary Four-Wheel-Drive System
The proprietary EarthCruiser four-wheel-drive system is key in transforming the Isuzu chassis into a unique go-anywhere 4×4 expedition vehicle. EarthCruiser’s bespoke 4×4 system meets the unique demands of off-road exploration. Practicality, durability, and serviceability drive every EarthCruiser design, including the 4×4 system, which was designed with widely available off-the-shelf components.
“Our proprietary 4-wheel-drive system is constantly being put to the test by our team, and it continues to impress in a variety of conditions,” said EarthCruiser Engineering Development Manager, Austin Stiemer. “The NPR’s 6.6L 6L90 GM powertrain is a great fit with EarthCruiser’s custom gearing, delivering strong low end torque on the trail, while maintaining efficient highway performance.”
Transforming a two-wheel-drive chassis into an innovative 4×4 exploration vehicle was no easy feat — especially without altering its powertrain. EarthCruiser effectively strips the stock chassis and replaces the entire suspension and driveline with its distinct design, including an Atlas transfer case and custom Fusion axles fitted with Auburn electronically locking differentials. The result is a rugged 4×4 system that does not compromise the vehicle’s EPA certification. Each EarthCruiser vehicle is also certified to meet and comply with stringent FMVSS and DOT standards.
EarthCruiser remains committed to supporting its Fuso-chassis models alongside the new Isuzu-chassis models, backed by an international network of service and support centers.