Superlite Moab: The Trophy Truck We've Been Waiting For
Last year, Polaris sold more of the RZR off-road buggy than Chevy sold Corvettes. That underlies the potential from a neglected group of automotive enthusiasts. A group that doesn’t seem to be getting much traction from the rest of the industry. Those that want to go fast, but over rough terrain. Superlite Cars might have just come up with a solution to that problem. RELATED: See Photos of the Jeep Wrangler Moab Special Edition
Superlite Cars builds the SL-C supercar kit car and LM-P racecars. It's a small kit-car company based in Fraser, Michigan. But don’t let the "small" aspect fool you. These people are seriously good engineers. For instance, the company’s personal race car won the NASA Super Unlimited National Championship in 2011. In addition, a customer SL-C led the 2013 NASA 25 Hour race for 18 hours before contact with a Miata put them out.
However, they didn’t just want to build winning race cars, or fun street machines, they wanted to build this.
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It's called the Moab. Superlite owner Fran Hall first thought of the project a little over a year ago. He decided to collaborate with a friend/former McLaren engineer. While the pair had worked on other Superlite projects in the past, the duo wanted to build an off-road truck because of a shared passion for off-road vehicles. Hall promised that the project would “stay true to the Superlite DNA, one that would be fast and fun as a desert pre-runner, a dune-buster, or even a fun truck that could run through the brush.”
The Moab is set to be one of the first off-roading kit trucks to be produced for the mass market. To illustrate the proof of concept, the first production truck shows the detail oriented engineering this company is known for.
For the test truck, in order to highlight that sports car DNA, the team turned to the ever popular LS engine. Superlite has been using the LS engine for years throughout both their sports cars and race car programs. It made for an easy decision when it came time to pick an engine platform.
The production truck will come with LS engine mounts already fabricated into the shell, but any similarly sized engine will fit with new mounts fabricated. In this first truck, Superlite went with a Katech tuned LS3 that pumps out 560 horsepower.
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Powerful as it is, Moab was made to handle some of the most hostile terrain on Earth. Engineers fabricated a stout frame to handle both off-road mobility and all that power.
Using 2” drawn-over-mandrel with 1/8” wall tubing was the perfect choice for allowing the frame to cope with that need. It’s the same type of material found in Dakar and Trophy Truck frames, except this is something you’ll actually be able to afford. Add 20” of suspension travel to the choice of engine and frame, and it makes for a truly extreme ride.
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For the shocks, the team went with Fox Racing due to the prevalence of the parts in off-road racing applications and the relative ease at replacing components if broken. But unlike most trucks with off-road “potential," the Moab uses “dual stacked springs as is common on race trucks, so that the smaller bumps are handled with the shorter, softer spring, but big jumps and bumps are managed with the heavier ones.”
Everything on this truck is pro-grade material, and every part has been designed so it’s easy for the owner to access for better reliability. Even with all the off the rack parts, this truck is set to be a beast of a machine.
A long time has passed since kit-car was a dirty word. Today’s kit cars are more purpose built race cars with levels of engineering similar to a space shuttle. Not just a VW Beetle with a fiberglass Ferrari body. The Moab is certainly proof of that, and for just $49,995 as a roller, it’s about as close as you can get to a fully fledged Trophy Truck.
You’ll be able to see the Moab in person if you’re heading out to the King of the Hammers race next month. But stay tuned, we’re going to get a bit more 'up close and personal' with the Moab very soon.
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