First off, for an MSRP of under $10,000, how can you go wrong? A capable electric off-roader sized just right for maneuvering cramped, rugged, narrow trails. The Kilow La Bagnole is a 16 kW mini Jeep/mini truck with its eyes on the future. At under 1,000 lbs, the eco-warriors can’t say you’re not treading lightly. And if a smaller size matters to you, the La Bagnole is almost two feet shorter than a Willys CJ.
How small is the La Bagnole?
The small SUV comes out to be 111 inches long, 59 inches wide, and 57.5 inches high. Power comes from two tiny brushless motors for a combined 21 hp. You may think that’s anemic, but the La Bagnole weighs only 772 lbs, so 50 mph is no problem. The 0 to 25 time is four seconds, and the range is between 43 and 87 miles.
The simple, no-frills design utilizes basic geometric shapes that will be easy to manufacture, but also easy to cheaply replace body parts. Those jerrycans in the bed are actually the batteries. Oh, and the name La Bagnole translates roughly to “jalopy.”
How off-road capable could the La Bagnole be?
A galvanized steel double-wishbone suspension attaches to the steel chassis. With the 130/90 R18 tires, the La Bagnole easily offers 15 inches of ground clearance. It can handle tow passengers plus 1,400 lbs of gear and cargo. That’s accommodated partially by the deep-walled pickup box.
Even the crate it comes in has an eye on sustainability. It features an integrated recharging solar system which would be perfect for off-grid travails. Unfortunately, the crate doesn’t break down to bring along.
Who makes the La Bagnole?
Two versions are offered. The L6e has a maximum speed limit of 28 mph, for those wanting to go strictly off-road without a driver’s license. For those planning on using it on city streets, the L7e version can hit 50 mph but requires a driver’s license.
The La Bagnole SUV is the product of Kilow, a division of the Savoy Group of France. Yes, it’s French. It debuted last week at the Paris Motor Show. From what little information is out there, it will have an assortment of bed features including what looks like a small slide-in camper or delivery van enclosure.
Kilow says it can be ordered with refrigeration. Waterproofing is also an option. It will also build in compartments to keep things secure. At current exchange rates, the La Bagnole starts at $9,751. It is ramping up production for deliveries to begin in January of next year, which isn’t too far off.