Husqvarna's electric Panthera Leo concept ride-on mower
By Loz Blain
June 18, 2009
Just when you thought that wildly overdone, highfalutin concept vehicles were the sole preserve of the automotive market, Husqvarna has dropped a lawnmowing bomb with its majestically named Panthera Leo concept ride-on mower. Using five inbuilt electric engines, it lets you quietly go about your lawn maintenance in the knowledge that you've brought a Gatling gun to a knife fight. Three individually suspended cutting heads can be spaced to your liking, there's an LCD dashboard with speed, cutting height, width and battery maintenance readouts and an object collision avoidance system - and it can rotate completely on the spot for total mowing precision.
The Panthera Leo has 2 hours' worth of lithium-phosphate batteries on board, which power three individual circular cutting heads, each of which is suspended on a cutting tree at the front of the vehicle. You can pull the heads close together for detailed work, or space them out for broader strokes on your lawny canvas.
Looking down at the dash, you'll see a speedo readout, plus the height and separation of your cutter blades, remaining battery time and service needs. Sensors can also check out what's going on with your grass and give you recommendations on speed and cutter height for the perfect lawn.
Warnings will pop up if you're too close to a detected obstacle, or if you're trying to go up too steep a hill. The front wheels can be individually controlled against the rear caster wheels, such that you can turn around on the spot within the length of the device itself.
It doesn't seem to have any grass-catching abilities - and that might prove to be an issue if you've got a lawn big and complicated enough to be considering one of these jiggers.
Check it out in the promo video below. While this one seems way over the top, the idea of electric lawnmowers is a sound one - no fighting the ripcord to start them, no trips to the servo for two-stroke oil, and nice quiet neighbor-friendly operation being the major drawcards. Wonder how battery life will be effected by the long sits in between mows?