Driving the Scorpion MK IV feels like driving a sports car with 40-inch tall tyres.
At one corner of Auto Expo 2018 is a massive crowd, but even they can't quite hide the view of the huge olive green vehicle that has drawn their attention.
It is the Scorpion MK 1, the first all-terrain Scorpion 4x4 that was built in the United States in 1997. A taste of what India might soon have.
William Dwaine Jungen of Preferred Chassis Fabrication in Arizona and Jaskirat Singh Nagra of Sarbloh Motors in India have now teamed up to launch the Scorpion MK IV extreme off-road vehicle in India. These vehicles are currently manufactured only in the US and Jungen and Nagra are working on setting up a manufacturing unit in Punjab under the company Iron Scorpion HMV.
Jungen tells Rediff.com, "The company is already set. We are working on getting certifications from the Indian government so that the vehicle can be released as a road legal vehicle. It is an Indian-American partnership with Nagra."
The Scorpion 4x4 is a fully tubed chassis vehicle.
"It does not have any OEM product in it, nor is it a converted vehicle from another brand," says Jungen. "This vehicle is a strictly standalone built vehicle."
The most significant characteristic, he adds, is "it allows 52 inches of Axel articulation while keeping all four tyres on the surface its standing on and also keeping ground pressure on all four tyres."
What that means is you can maximise traction by minimising slippage. The suspension allows the vehicle to move forward at a highly successful rate while not impacting the terrain it goes over.
Making this a juggernaut that can go through the most extreme surfaces.
The Scorpion MK1 displayed at Auto Expo has a 5.7 litre Chevrolet V8 petrol engine, but in India they want to provide a locally sourced four-cylinder diesel engine for the baseline model.
"We won't really know the exact costing until we get the final power train set because we are concentrating heavily on the made-in-India concept. Not only do we have to find an engine that complies with that, but also complies with Indian regulations and emission standards," Jungen says.
The base price of the Scorpion 4x4 in the US is $ 81,000.
"But when you have something solely built in India, due to the cost differential in what it costs to make things in India, we are hoping that we can bring it significantly under that," Jungen says.
Asked about maintaining US standards when manufacturing locally, he adds, "I am a firm believer in our talent and our shop here in India. Their abilities are amazing. I have no qualms that we are going to be able to produce a vehicle of severely great quality and reliability."
So, how does it feel to drive such a monster?
"It weighs an enormous 3,600 pounds (more than 1,600 kg). It's kinda like driving a sports car with 40-inch tall tyres," says Dwaine.