The reckless electric utility task vehicle (UTV) was developed by Nikola Motor Company. Image courtesy of Nikola Motor Company.
Reckless UTV is powered by four electric motors. Image courtesy of Nikola Motor Company.
Reckless UTV seats up to four troops. Image courtesy of Nikola Motor Company.

Nikola Reckless is a new electric utility task vehicle (UTV) developed by US-based hybrid truck manufacturer Nikola Motor Company.

Reckless UTV is a militarised version of the Nikola NZT off-road utility vehicle, which was launched in December 2017. The vehicle is intended to serve various mission needs of the land and marine forces. It is suited for combat, reconnaissance and prime mover roles.

The vehicle was unveiled during the Marine West exposition in February 2018 and a prototype was displayed during the International Special Operations Forces Industry Exhibition Conference (SOFIC) 2018, which was held in Tampa, US, in May 2018.

Reckless UTV design, features and accessories

Nikola Reckless UTV is based on a 4×4 chassis and can slip into a 2×4 drive system based on the mission requirement. The vehicle features a modular design with off-road capability. High-grade steel webbing is used in its control arms.

The vehicle is 3.83m-long, 1.57m-wide and 1.87m-high and has a wheelbase of 2.99m and ground clearance of 0.355m.

It can accommodate four crew members, with two in the front and the rest in the rear section. The dry weight of the vehicle is between 1,043kg and 1,996kg, based on the optional equipment, while its payload capacity is 635kg.

A tow hitch is attached to the chassis to tow objects weighing up to 1,361kg. The front and rear-mounted winches can be used to pull objects up to 2,041kg each.

Armament and instruments carried on Nikola Reckless

A remote weapon system with a 12.7mm machine gun is mounted atop the Nikola Reckless UTV to defeat targets such as light armoured vehicles, enemy forces and bases. Weapons such as a 7.62mm machine gun can also be fitted with the remote weapon system.

Automatic grenade launchers can be carried to further increase the crew survivability.

The vehicle is equipped with a number of instruments such as odometer, digital gauge, trip meter, coolant temperature, speedometer, tachometer, volt meter, hour meter, service indicator, fuel gauge, and clock.

The driver’s situational awareness is enhanced by 0.3m and 0.17m display monitors, which display the mission information.

Power train and mobility of Nikola Reckless UTV

The utility task vehicle is powered by 400VAC electric motors, which generate a power output of 555hp and a torque of 490ft/lb. A a 12V lead acid battery is installed in the vehicle to power the onboard systems.

A 4kW DC charger powered by solar energy can be incorporated into the vehicle in the future.

The vehicle is fitted with cast aluminium bead lock wheels sized at 43.1cm. The front and rear tires are reinforced with 83.8cm Kevlar to provide superior mobility and enhance the operational efficiency on rough terrain conditions.

FOX 3.0 Podium internal bypass shocks are provided at the front and rear to improve the vehicle’s ride quality.

Nikola Reckless electric UTV can reach speeds up to 95.6km/h within 3.9 seconds and offers a maximum range of 160km-321km.

Anti-lock braking system (ABS) and anti-roll over protection, including stability control, are provided to ensure safety in off-road conditions. The centre of gravity of the vehicle is kept low to deliver a high degree of control and faster cornering.