Devolro's apocalypse-ready off-road limousine
By C.C. Weiss
April 8, 2013
Does anyone really need to be chauffeured around in a stretched-out off-road rambler? Probably not, but if society ever collapses into a loose collection of post-apocalyptic outposts strung together with rock and rubble, we expect that the truck-based Devolro limousine will be the vehicle of choice for new-era one-percenters.
I was half-jogging to a New York Auto Show press conference that I planned to squeeze in before a dinner meeting when the very corner of my eye caught Devolro's hallway stand. The world stopped. I couldn't turn away from the towering hunk of black metal dressed loosely with seductively posed vixens. I was drawn in and held captive for a good 20 minutes, missing the press conference and delaying my dinner meeting. The thing just refused to be ignored.
An even more extreme alternative to the Hummer limousine, Devolro's limo is about as extreme as a vehicle can get. It is built on a stretched-out, jacked-up Toyota Tundra platform and equipped with things like steel bumpers, all-terrain tires, a six-inch lift kit and a rooftop gear rack. The roomy interior is as swank as any limousine and features leather seats, a mini bar, televisions and a big audio system.
Despite how ridiculous the idea of a massive limousine navigating dirt and rock is, Miami-based Devolro Performance Cars Studio does see its limo as an off-road-capable solution. When we asked where the design was meant to drive, a rep said quite simply "Off road."
Back in the real world, we're guessing savvy off-roaders will continue to drive themselves in small, maneuverable jeeps, and avoid the pitfalls of that football field of underbody and bus-like turning radius. This limo will more likely be used to make unapologetic and flamboyant displays of wealth at the galas of those that crave attention and the sweet 16 parties of their offspring.
The limousine on the New York floor was the first model built, and Devolro hopes to build about 20 a year for the likes of political leaders and celebrities. The model can be outfitted with armor or left in "standard" form, and prices will start at around US$380,000.
The Devolro limo may be one of the least practical vehicles on the face of the Earth, but its little brother Diablo (seen above) does have some utility, albeit for a very small crowd. Built to "unleash your beast" and "show who you really are" (assuming who you really are is an aggro, Earth-roaming nomad), the Diablo is a smaller Tundra-based off-road expedition vehicle.
Devolro strips the meek standard bumpers off the Tundra, replacing them with its own heavy-duty special alloy reinforced by stiffening ribs. Not only do the bumpers give the Diablo "tank-like armor," but they deliver its intimidatingly mean presence. The burly bumpers are raised off the ground thanks to a 7-inch lift and 37-inch tires. If those accoutrements aren't enough to navigate the unforgiving piece of world you're driving through, the air-locking differential should help you claw your way onward.
The Diablo is powered by a 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 engine fed by 187 liters (49 gallons) of range-extending fuel tank. An available supercharger system increases horsepower to more than 500.
Devolro creates a big belly to its beast by adding a fiberglass locking bed topper for gear storage. An available camper configuration uses the roofed bed as a living space, with two to six bunks, cooking space, refrigerator, stove, sink, toilet, shower and more. It's sure to be one of the baddest overlanding campers on any remote expedition.
Speaking of remote expeditions, Devolro, which also has a distributor in Russia, put its money where its mouth is and took the Diablo on a 10,000-mile journey across Siberia in support of a documentary from Russia Today. Besides its primary purpose of documentary filming, the expedition served as a test run for the Diablo, allowing Devolro to make design changes based on real-world performance and problems. The company has another expedition planned for this summer and actively seeks scientific, governmental and other expedition partners.
Other available Devolro upgrades include off-road lighting, Brembo brakes, a Warn winch, Bushwhacker off-road wheel flares, smoked LED taillights and a rear-view camera. Off-roaders might be happy enough with a set of off-road-specific controls and a pair of wipe-clean seats in the cabin, but Devolro adds a layer of comfort with a custom leather interior and Harman Kardon audio system. Of course, its vehicles are designed in cooperation with its customers, so willing buyers can have the say-so in terms of what goes into and comes out of their burlified Tundras.