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Old 03-03-2013, 01:11 PM   #1
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MSN Autos Sportsmobile-Fuso Chassis?

Maybe I missed something but I found this interesting. Thought that Sportsmobile was going to use the new Ford frames but it doesn't sound like it here.

http://t.autos.msn.com/car-tech/extr..._3335#image=13

(That should take you to slide 13. There's also a Sportsmobile as part of slide 11)

Quote:
Sportsmobile's bread-and-butter vehicle, the Ford Econoline van, is ending production soon. And though the company will continue its van business using GM products, it wanted to branch out. So this is the prototype of a new vehicle the company will soon be producing based on the robust Mitsubishi Fuso chassis.

The Fuso runs a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel mated to an automatic transmission and 4WD. The innovative top raises and lowers via torsion bar springs, but production models will use an electric or hydraulic system. The lower portion of the bodywork offers lots of locking storage and 63 gallons of diesel fuel for a 900 mile range. There's an 80-gallon freshwater tank and a 32-gallon graywater tank. Both ends of the truck have custom bumpers with 16,000-pound capacity winches. Sportsmobile says these trucks will sell for $120,000 to $150,000.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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Re: MSN Autos Sportsmobile-Fuso Chassis?

They showed that vehicle at last year's Overland Expo, and I'm sure they've shown it other places to gauge interest. At last year's OE, they were stating that it was a concept vehicle for them, I believe it was in partnership with another company, and there had been no decision whether to move forward with it or not.

SMB (at least Fresno), has been 'experimenting' with a number of vehicles to fill the void of the demise of the E-series Ford.

My pics from OE 2012, are on page 4 on the thread below.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=8452&hilit=expo&start=45


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Old 03-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #3
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Re: MSN Autos Sportsmobile-Fuso Chassis?

That article shows some nice rigs

More down to earth, I was told SMB is planning some sort of E series cutaway that will give slightly more room than our current vans, but smaller trail footprint compared to the Fuso.

BTW that link was kind of screwed up on my end. Maybe my browser? Had to edit it a bit.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:53 PM   #4
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Re: MSN Autos Sportsmobile-Fuso Chassis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
SMB (at least Fresno), has been 'experimenting' with a number of vehicles to fill the void of the demise of the E-series Ford.
Herb
This is what I was afraid of: SMB perhaps giving up on any possible Ford products after Econoline dies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
More down to earth, I was told SMB is planning some sort of E series cutaway that will give slightly more room than our current vans, but smaller trail footprint compared to the Fuso.
Now that you mention it, I did remember reading somewhere on this forum about the Econoline Cutaway. Weren't SMB planning something using Ford F-Series Super Duty platform? The Super Duty Cutaway, perhaps?

On a related note regarding Ford, I'm not sure why SMB is even considering using the upcoming Ford Transit full-size van? It's better than the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in every way (unless some folks like the Sprinter styling better)! It's bigger, has both gas AND turbo-diesel engines, better fuel economy, provide THREE roof heights, lower retail price than the Sprinter, elimination of chicken tax since it's built in the US, and more dealer serviceability with the Transit. I guess it's just me that's puzzled if SMB decides not to do the Transit at all. Especially since Quigley is considering modifying the Transit for 4x4 conversion. The site says they're seeing if it's possible to do the conversion while keeping costs down. If not, I'm sure companies like QuadVan or Ujoint, etc. could do it.


Back on topic, though, I actually like the Fuso and think it could be great, despite awful fuel economy. I just don't like the SMB concept as that type of camper is not my personal type. I do know that it could be a huge hit since nothing like this is sold in the US as an American-'made' product (you have to import them presently).
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:55 PM   #5
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Re: MSN Autos Sportsmobile-Fuso Chassis?

Yeah but the Fuso is a concept vehicle and the production model will be different I'm sure. SMB doesn't like the ladder entrance and had talked about cab access. So who really knows at this point what they will do.
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
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Re: MSN Autos Sportsmobile-Fuso Chassis?

Lots of photos of the SMB/All Terrain Warriors production rig (quite different from the concept discussed above) over on ExPo:

Sportsmobile and All Terrain Warriors team up
Photos begin here.

Sportsmobile Fuso
New photos begin here.


Enjoy.

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Old 10-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #7
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Re: MSN Autos Sportsmobile-Fuso Chassis?

Go to the Expo and see it in person.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:09 AM   #8
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Re: MSN Autos Sportsmobile-Fuso Chassis?

I thought I posted some pics of it but guess I didn't. Here are a couple of pictures of the All Terrain Warrior under construction.






It has awnings on both sides.


The storage has access from both sides and from inside as well.


The tire rack system lowers via the rear winch.


The PH has removable panels in case of damage


The seats are air or shock supported.


The pass through is not a walkable version but somewhat large.


Behind the pass through is a 4 person dinette that doubles as a bed. There is also a PH bed on top of that.


The head has a built in sink and the faucet has a shower wand. The privacy door had not been installed yet


Control center. Above it is a place to charge several items like tablets and phones.


The rear bed is large and has storage under it. The sink to the right is flush mount and a stove can be built in to the large countertop. There are two large storage compartments between the pull out fridge/freezer you can catch a glimpse of in the picture. Next to the control center is a closet. Better pics can be seen on the expo link of the countertop. The LED lights over the countertop are nice and are movable. There is recessed lighting in the top as well.


The shower is in the entryway and drains to a gray water tank. I love that.

The vehicle also has an on board water filter that allows users to draft water from a lake or stream to fill the potable water tank. There is also some other storage on the driver side. Access to the battery banks are accessed through a hatch inside on the floor.

I plan to go back and shoot some video that will be more informative.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:12 PM   #9
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Re: MSN Autos Sportsmobile-Fuso Chassis?

Thanks for the photos. Not sure why I just now noticed that they're posted. The truck is fantastic and I like it better than the original Concept (the one where the upper half of the body rises and tilts backwards). I like it better with a solid monocoque shell with penthouse top. I had concerns about lack of passthrough capability with the Concept but glad to see it included in this one. Sure it is small but at least do-able. I wouldn't be able to fit through cause I'm a lardo with being 6'4" tall and weighing 300 pounds. lol

This truck is too fancy and too much as an off-roader camper for me but I'm glad to see SMB expanding their vehicles for those who are in the market for these things. I see huge success in the future with this. I'm really looking forward to the Econoline Cutaway project as posted in another thread. I was at first disappointed with the fact that the shell as installed on the Cutaway is basically a shell based on the E-Series van except with extra 2" of interior width. But then after thinking about the fact that the van is in its last year, the SMB Cutaway is a way to keep it going as I read somewhere that Ford plans on producing the Cutaway through 2020. I have a feeling that they may actually redesign it and keep making it indefinitely due to the limitations of the Transit Cutaway unibody.

Anyway, back to this thread, I'm glad to see the SMB Fuso turning out the way I had envisioned it to be.
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