For several years now, Nikola has been teasing the offroad community with an all electric HP powerhouse UTV. Boasting up to a 150 mile range on a single charge, direct drive eliminating the problematic belts and a 0-60 MPH time of four seconds flat, could this be the future of UTVs?
The Nikola NZT is driven by four independent electric motors that put out 590 HP and 775 ft/lbs of torque. The motors are IP-68 rated to be completely waterproof. With the motors being all electric, that means that power is instantly available, only limited by the programming of the computer controlling them.
The NZT is heavy compared to other UTVs on the market, coming in at 5250 pounds. To be able to handle that weight, the NZT comes loaded with massive 3.0″ FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks with 18″ of travel on each corner.
Despite the huge 35″ tires that comes standard on the Nikola, they have managed to keep the center of gravity low. The increased stability of keeping the weight at the feet of the driver results in ground clearance of 12″. The heaviest components like the batteries are installed inside the bottom frame rail. The UTV is wide at 72″ and its wheelbase is 125″. The increased wheelbase and width should work in theory to make it a monster in cornering and steep hill climbs. The 35″ tires are wrapped around a set of 17″ aluminum beadlocks.
The NZT also has a host of creature comforts, coming with a 13″ infotainment display with standard front and rear cameras, along with a 7″ instrument cluster. For sound, there is a completely integrated Rockford Fosgate sound system standard. To help turn the massive tires, the Nikola has high torque assist electronic power steering. The NZT also offers in cab heat and air. If you want to protect yourself from the elements, the can be completely sealed off as an option. The sealed cabin option even offers power windows.
The Nikola NZT is built to be a workhorse as well. The electric UTV boasts a 3,000 pounds towing capacity with a 2 5/16″ ball receiver. While details on whether the vehicle is made to be street legal are vague at this point, in locations where UTVs are allowed on the road, no other upgrades should be needed. The NZT is equipped with front and rear turn signals, along with high and low beam lighting.
There are two charging options available for the Nikola. The standard will do a full charge in around 15 hours. There will be an optional fast charger available as well that can bring everything back to life in only two hours.
All these features sound like they could be expensive and it certainly is. However, this is a UTV that is being targeted to a much more niche and refined market, possibly creating its own market with the idea of luxury all-electric UTVs, similar to the way Tesla has done with the electric car segment. Announced starting price of the UTV has been announced at $80,000. Production of the Nikola NZT has been scheduled to begin in 2021.