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If IKEA built a truck, this would be it

The Global Vehicle Trust OX is meant to provide a low-cost utility vehicle for the developing world.


If you want to bring cars to a developing nation, there are two very expensive roadblocks in the way. First, shipping whole cars is egregiously expensive, and second, setting up a manufacturing facility is an exercise in spending way too much money. The Global Vehicle Trust OX helps to solve this, using a technique that's already saving you money when it comes to home furnishings.

The Global Vehicle Trust OX can be flat-packed, just like your Pöpli, for shipping around the world. The truck can be packed up in about six hours, and six of these flat packs can fit into a single 40-foot container. Once it arrives in the developing world, a team of three can assemble the truck in as little as 12 hours.

That's the whole point behind Global Vehicle Trust -- proving proper mobility solutions in countries that aren't exactly flush with cash. GVT hired Gordon Murray, of all people, to design this blocky truck. The OX is a far cry from two of Murray's greatest road car designs, the McLaren F1 and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. The OX and F1 even have something in common -- a centrally located driver's seat.

Global Vehicle Trust

Not only is it cheap and easy to ship around the world, it's still quite capable. Despite being shorter than a large SUV, it can carry nearly 4,000 pounds. According to EU size guidelines, it can transport up to 13 people, eight 44-gallon drums or three European-sized pallets. It only has two-wheel drive, but GVT promises performance equal to other 4WD vehicles. Power comes from a 2.2-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine.

This is the kind of vehicle design that's flat-out impressive. In an era filled with all sorts of technically complicated, million-dollar hypercars, there's still a strong need for vehicles in developing countries, where roads and access to manufacturing facilities aren't common. Gordon Murray could spend the rest of his life designing the aforementioned hyper-machines, but it's nice to see him dipping his toes into a much more worthy cause.

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