As far as horror sub-genres go, tales about flesh-eating hordes of undead wreaking havoc on the living continue to be a huge hit for both movie and TV fans alike. With all-star smash hits like AMC’s The Walking Dead standing strong next to films like World War Z, there’s no denying the fact that as a culture, we eat up all things zombie-related faster than you can say the word “brains.”
Whether you prefer to watch classics like Romero’s 1978 breakthrough hit Dawn of the Dead, or a CGI gore fest series like Resident Evil, there’s one key component to most zombie flicks that always plays a crucial role: a getaway car. Heading out on foot (especially at night) isn’t an advisable option for anyone looking to save their skin, so a solid set of wheels is a must when the chips are down and it’s time to get the hell out of Dodge.
So if the end were nigh and you had to grab one set of keys, what would you opt for? For argument’s sake, let’s imagine that when the zombie apocalypse happens, you happen to be at an extreme off-road car lot. There are tons of options available but you can only pick one, and there’s no going back. Every vehicle has its pros and cons, but you need a set of wheels fast, because the hungry horde is now on the sales floor and you still have to pick up some Pampers before heading back to the fortress.
Fortunately for you, we’ve selected a few vehicles we’d want on that lot to outrun the legions of the damned. This way, you can choose which vehicle would be best for your driving preferences and chances of survival. Now the only question is: Would you rather have something lightweight and fast, or would it be better to be a little slower but a lot more protected? For now, there’s no right or wrong answer — just pros, cons, loads of firepower, and that imaginary swarm of zombies.
1. A. Kahn Design’s Flying Huntsman 6×6
What’s better than crushing zombie skulls? Crushing zombie skulls with six wheels instead of four! Based upon the Land Rover Defender 110, A. Kahn’s Flying Huntsman 6×6 sports a 6.2-liter GM LS3 V8 engine, a six-speed automatic gearbox with shift control, and an estimated 430 horsepower to give the high-low ratio drive system a thorough workout as you run over swarms of flesh-eating evil. It has locking differentials, a heavy-duty reinforced chassis, and rocks upgraded braking and suspension systems for when it’s time to ditch the urban landscape and try your luck out in the wild.
The rear cabin has been lengthened about 32 inches, and the entire vehicle has been widened by 5.9 inches in order to fit more survivors in the back should you make an escape. While this is helpful, we also like that the doors have been widened to make entries and exits a cinch when the undead come a calling. Limited edition armored versions are also up for grabs, so be sure to look for those first, as they’ll provide added security for both driver and passenger alike.
Pros: Excellent all-around visibility, loads of low-end torque and traction settings, easy to operate.
Cons: Armored versions can be hard to come by, six wheels increases the chances of drivetrain issues and flats, easy to flip over.
2. Paramount Group’s Maverick: S.W.A.T. APC
When heading out to grab a pack of Pampers after the zombie apocalypse, nothing says “family car” quite like a six-cylinder turbo-diesel armored S.W.A.T. van. Paramount Group (the guys who brought us the Marauder) has released one hell of a gnarly looking van, which can be outfitted with turret guns, flame throwers, and grenade launchers without the need for specialty tools. This assault van can also clear obstacles using its pneumatic dozer blade and bullbar, and features superb maneuverability and a very tight turning radius.
But just because the Maverick is compact doesn’t mean it isn’t accommodating; it offers seating for up to 12 in the cabin, and with a full-time rear camera, you’ll always be aware of your surroundings. And since the Maverick features armored front and side doors, as well as a locking rear hatch for easy entry and exit, bailing in a pinch is always an easy option. Additional armor and an assault ladder/ramp system can also be installed within minutes to add an extra escape plan when things get too dicey and it’s time to take your chances on foot.
Pros: Top-mount turret gives excellent visibility and can accommodate some serious firepower, reinforced caging on all windows, escape/rescue ladder options and locking hatches, expansive seating, integrated surveillance system, battering ram.
Cons: Disproportional power-to-weight ratio, excessive plating makes maintenance difficult, won’t fit in alleys easily.
3. Terradyne Inc. Gurkha
From Canada comes this military-grade transport vehicle that’s guaranteed to turn (and sever) heads everywhere it goes. Terradyne Inc.’s Gurkha sports a 6.7-liter V8 turbo-diesel engine with 660 pound-feet of torque, and comes with a manual rotating gun turret, an integrated winch, protective window mesh, and additional weapon ports. We also appreciate that unlike other armored vehicles, the Gurkha has a tire speed that has been rated up to 70 miles per hour, so hasty escape and rescue attempts are now possible.
The Gurkha also offers a thermal imaging camera for nighttime rescue missions, a fire suppression system (covering engine, interior, and wheels), and a remote weapons station along with additional gun racks for when it’s time to saddle up and take on the undead. But perhaps one of our favorite options is one that most of us take for granted: The Gurkha comes standard with remote power locks. For us, there’s nothing more annoying than trying to flee from a horde of hungry corpses only to realize that you can’t remember one is the door key.
Pros: Quite quick and nimble, tons of weapon-mounting options, thermal imaging cameras, comes equipped with a winch.
Cons: Poor visibility, questionable long-term reliability, limited passenger seating space.
4. Mercedes-Benz Zetros 2733 A 6×6
To us, the all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz Zetros is the ultimate RV, partially due to the fact that it uses a 7.2-liter inline-six that offers 1,300 pounds-feet of torque and comes with a nine-speed gear box. This transmission also offers a special “crawl mode” designed for extremely slow speeds, which is needed when going down steep declines, and offers loads of traction thanks to its customizable driveline. The rear cabin is extremely spacious, and the Zetros features a full kitchen, bathroom, and separate sleeping quarters, as well as a padded sleeping spot for the driver and a 7-inch touchscreen with a reverse camera connected for surveillance and backing up.
Four auxiliary spotlights sit on the outside, and at the rear is a carrier for a pair of spare wheels, along with a lift system that enables cargo to be hoisted onto the cab roof. The rear camera can activate additional rear spotlights should zombies try to pull a fast one, and a small vehicle bay holds a four-wheeler for tactical ground missions. There’s a gun safe that’s permanently integrated into the cabin, and a water-cooled diesel generator ensures independence from the power grid. We like that the Zetros also offers separate water systems that can supply both drinking water as well as water for the shower/toilet, so zombie slayers can wash up after coming home bloody as hell.
Pros: All the comforts of home on six wheels, integrated dual ATV carrier, specialized off-road low-gear prowess, extra insulation for summer and winter months, outstanding water and surveillance systems.
Cons: Unwieldy, slow, relatively unarmored, no external stationary gun turrets.
5. Gunner Fabrication’s Dodge 3500
Our final post-apocalyptic dream car is a simple and effective pickup. The Gunner Fabrication Dodge 3500 comes outfitted with a custom bed that houses a .50 caliber-rated ring mount, storage compartments for AR rifles, an easy-access ammo can, 12-inch floodlights, skid plates, and a 10,000-pound winch for hauling yourself out of danger. A roof rack supports extra lighting along with a FLIR thermal camera system, and the engine has a protective cage around it that can be folded down for maintenance.
This off-road rumbler also comes equipped with massive tires, raised suspension for corpse clearance, a customizable brush-guard, and an A-10 Warthog joystick with trigger controls for all forward facing lights and a thumb-toggle for easy gearbox controls.
Pros: Pre-built to be outfitted with heavy artillery, extra rifle and ammo storage, easy to drive, lightweight.
Cons: No heavy-duty armor, no caging on glass, gun turret operator remains exposed, limited passenger seating.