When you hear of cars it’s the big manufacturers that usually come to mind. The Toyotas, Mercedes, Mitsubishi Motors and the like. These companies make good cars but very few are tailor made for the African roads.
This is why a British gentleman by the name Joel Jackson decided to start Mobius Motors, a car manufacturing company in Kenya that provides motor vehicles that can withstand the rough African terrain as well as last in long distances.
The company is looking to introduce Mobius II, an affordable robust and classy SUV for the African mass market. The company has started accepting orders. This, their second model, is aiming to be a significant step up of the inaugural car released in 2014.
“Millions of people are having their productivity undermined because of the time it takes to move around and get from place to place, and that problem could be solved with a better type of product,” Jackson said in an interview with CNN.
Mobius Motors hasn’t just got its sights on Kenya, but anywhere with poor quality roads.
“Car companies are still focused on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. Africa is an overlooked market in general, and there is an opportunity to do something different,” he adds.
The entry level model costs 1.3million Kenyan Shillings ($12,500). “The price is roughly the equivalent to a 5 to 6 year old sedan car in Kenya,” says Jackson.
Here is an overview of the machine built in Kenya and designed for Africa.
The core structural element of Mobius II is a robust steel space-frame mounted onto a longitudinal ladder chassis. Combined with a sealed solid rear axle, which lowers the centre of gravity, the construction underpins excellent vehicle handling while still maintaining high ground clearance. The space-frame architecture provides added passenger protection and supports optimal weight balancing across the vehicle.
The proven engine and transmission system is engineered to deliver solid traction, useful for driving on rough roads with heavy loads. The powertrain is specially tested and calibrated around the road and climate conditions in Kenya. This high-efficiency engine combines 16 valves and VVT (Variable Valve Timing) to drive increased torque at lower engine speeds while also delivering top-end power and fuel economy.
The new Mobius infotainment system incorporates GPS navigation, WiFi connectivity, multimedia, USB connection, NFC (Near Field Communication) and Bluetooth® 4.0 for hands-free calling. The high definition 8” touch screen display also offers seamless mirroring of any smartphone via Mirror-Link technology, maximising access to phone data and functionality. This WiFi enabled system brings the car into the connected world.
The new Mobius II is rugged, modern and iconic. Simplified and unified feature lines, strong proportions and stance on the road and an elevated ride height all deliver the unique Mobius aesthetic. The new Mobius II fits perfectly into both the urban metropolitan environment for a comfortable city cruise and more rugged rural environments where durability and reliability is essential.
Simplicity is the core design value at Mobius. Mobius believes the best products bring order to complexity and deliver a frictionless user experience in a beautiful form. The interior design of the new Mobius II reflects this ambition. The simplified dashboard design and interior features focus mindspace on the driving experience, while an optional extra 8″ tablet with Wi-Fi connects seamlessly to the integrated audio system.