Vanderhall steps out of three-wheeler segment with electric Wrangler rival

Utah-based Vanderhall announced its first four-wheeled model will be an electric off-roader that looks like a cross between a Jeep Wrangler and a dune buggy. Called Navarro, it’s scheduled to go on sale in 2022.

The SUV is recognizable as a member of the Vanderhall range because its headlights are mounted directly behind the grille, but the similarities end there. It’s tall, rides on massive tires, and doesn’t have overhangs on either end; it looks like it could climb up a wall. Its wheels are exposed, a styling cue that will undoubtedly summon a dark cloud of disapproval from regulators, and it’s fitted with some kind of removable top.

One of the coolest features, at least judging by the short video Vanderhall posted on YouTube, are see-through doors. Stylists didn’t add them for adventurers who want to go groundhog spotting. Punching out the sheet metal allows off-roaders to see the obstacles that could potentially cause expensive damage to the rocker panels and the underbody. The born-again Ford Bronco offers them, too, though they’re found on the list of options.

Specifications remain under wraps, so all we know is that the Navarro is 100% electric. It’s not absurd to presume four-wheel drive will come standard. How else will users take advantage of the long-travel suspension and the foot-plus of ground clearance? 

Vanderhall is doubling the size of its factory in Provo, a town about 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City, to build additional models, including the Navarro. When construction work is completed, the one-million-square-foot facility will have an annual capacity of approximately 10,000 cars thanks in part to 900 employees.

Although it’s not a household name, Vanderhall earned a small but loyal following with three-wheelers like the Carmel, which is powered by a General Motors-sourced turbo four, and the Edison, which is electric. Pricing starts at $25,950 for gasoline-powered models and $34,950 for the battery-powered variant. Pricing information for the Navarro hasn’t been announced yet, but there is no reason to believe Vanderhall will charge less for more.