Extreme drive: Formula Off-Roader
Nothing else on Earth comes close. Like dragracing up a cliff. Massive power, minimal comfort
Posted: 11 Nov 2010
Still, I'm here in Iceland to drive one of these behemoths, so it's time for a little acclimatisation. Of which there isn't much. The car I'm driving was once some sort of Jeep, which now sports a 600-800bhp (nobody is actually sure) Chevrolet V8, with a couple of hundred horses of nitrous if the going gets particularly vertical. Being a novice, I'm not allowed the nitrous, and to stop me ‘accidentally' hooking it up, the bottle is removed. The gearbox is a drag-racing three-speed, of the kind that is exceptionally resistant to abuse rather than any good at seamless shifting. The axles are tree trunks, and the diffs are the size of basketballs, all mounted on the huge rubbery airbags that you see on the back of the biggest artics. Which essentially means that although these cars technically have suspension, it's about as compliant as marble.