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  Zibar-M Mk2 Light Strike Vehicle, first impressions

The latest military vehicle from Israel, Zibar-M is both fast and off-road capable. configurable for any mission, it may be the perfect vehicle for many small units operating in the desert hot-spots of the world - We know it would be perfect for recreational wheeling in the Negev desert, for sure! Exclusive first pictures and details on this Extreme Strike Vehicle.

Story: N.Meller / Photos: A.Katzir / Jeepolog.com 2010





















A couple of years have gone by since wrote of the Zibar-M (in case you missed it). In the passing time, Ido Cohen and his Ido4X4 team in the quiet Israel township of Pardes Hanna have developed the concept into a an improved, mass produced military machine. We like to think of it as an Extreme-Strike-Vehicle, as it seems to fulfill more than the basic requirements of the Light Strike Vehicle. Zibar-M is Intended specifically for small military units operating behind enemy lines, in hostile, mine strewn territories.

While the mainstream trend in military vehicle design is continuing towards ever more armored platforms that can protect troops patrolling the roads of world hotspots like Iraq and Afghanistan against terrorist blasting, another school of thought is gaining more acceptance. Why restrict yourself to roads at all? Zibar-M is intended to surprise the enemy, driving from seemingly impassable flanks. It does so by combining the agility and speed of a desert race car with the off-road prowess of a trials truck. "There and back again" is the motto behind the design.

Zibar-M combines the most reliable, proven parts and concepts from the American off-road after-market, with the vast field experience of Israeli special forces units for which Ido Cohen, Israeli master fabricator and racer, has been building special vehicles for many years. The vehicle was fully realized and engineered using CAD software, a first for Mr. Cohen's team. The chassis was widened and lowered, gaining more ground clearance and maximum articulation from the classic suspension setup, while lowering the center of mass and fine tuning the cars handling. Spicer-Dana 60 and 70 axles, both equipped with ARB air lockers, spin 40 or 42 inch Pit-bull Rocker extreme off-road tires. Power, more than 400 BHP of it, is generated by a GM 6.2 L V8 mated to a 6 speed automatic gearbox and heavy duty part time transfer case - basically a Cadillac Escalade power train.

Coil over shock absorbers and Air shocks, both taken from the desert racing world, control the simple yet well sorted suspension setup, providing a surprisingly pleasant and drivable car. A 2,000 Kg (4,400 pound) payload can easily be brought virtually anywhere in short time, faster than any means not airborne.

The attention to detail and innovative designs born of the desert are apparent. consider the spare tire mount allowing for quick replacement of the heavy wheels with ease. Or the novel location of the heavy duty Air conditioning unit - not a luxury in the extreme operating conditions Zibar was designed and tested for. a specially sealed air filter with quick access for daily cleaning is another must in areas where sand storms may last day.

After a thoroughly enjoyable drive in the woods and ditches, we asked Ido Cohen what his plans are for a civilian version. "all it takes is money" was his reply... we'll wait a few years for a second hand Zibar!

Zibar-M Mk2, Specifications:

Engine: GM 6.2L V8

Gear Box: GM Automatic 6 speed + GM HD transfer case

Axles: Dana 60 front, Dana 70 rear, ARB air locking differentials

Tires: 40/13.5R17 or 42/15.5R17 Pit-bull Rocker

Suspension: 5 link front, 4 link rear, Bilstein 2.5" coil-over-shock + King air shock

Brakes: Ventilated disc brake front and rear

Dimensions: 4,930 mm long, 2,200 mm wide, 1,920 mm tall

Weight: 2,400 Kg curb, 2,000 Kg payload, 4,400 GVW

Ground Clearance: 370 mm minimum, 550 mm under body

Top speed: 190 Km/hr

Range: 950 Km

Ditch crossing: 0.8 m

Climbing: 45 deg

Side slope: 40 deg

Step climbing: 0.75 m

Water crossing: 0.8 m






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