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  ZIBAR-M,  new light reconnaissance vehicle - world exclusive unveiling

Exclusive first pictures of  Zibar-M, a new high performance off-road platform for the border observation and patrol mission.

June 2008 / Story & photo: N. Meller, Jeepolog.com / contact Jeepolog.com





















The Zibar-M (M stands for Military, Zibar... well it sounds fierce!) You see in these pictures are the first full production batch of the Zibar light reconnaissance vehicle from Israel's IDO off-road industries. They are departing these days for un-disclosed customers somewhere around the globe, displaying an impressive array of sensors and electronics atop a 20 foot pneumatic  telescoping mast. The sensor suite is not what interests us motor-heads, nor the customer - the platform is.

It is the latest in a series of Zibar designs. 4X4, tube frame, solid axle buggies Israeli racer/fabricator Ido Cohen started making more than decade ago for dominating rock-racing events (the brutal Israeli version), instilling fear in the competition's modified Jeeps. Cohen has since concentrated on refining the design, and found a ready market for extremely high mobility, fast land transport. Zibars are used by elite forces of the IDF for desert pursuit of smugglers across Israel's southern border; and now they are called  to duty elsewhere.

The vehicles are assembled of the finest hardware the American after-market has to offer. GM crate 383 cid V8 engines, 4L80E transmission, Atlas II transfer cases and Dynatrac 60 axles. Original suspension and tubular space frame chassis designed by Cohen support the observation mast, hydraulic leveling jacks and a crew of 4 soldiers.

Cohen's small team of mechanics and fabricators pride themselves on speed not only off-road but in meeting customer requirements in incredibly short schedules. The version seen here took less than six months to mature to a fully mil-spec, tested and proven product.

Israel has not an automotive industrial infrastructure; in fact it has no automotive industry to speak of except a small  Jeep assembly plant (read about the Storm Mk.2 Jeep). It is small entrepreneurs of which Cohen is the best known who strive to create such an industry despite huge bureaucratic obstacles. The military market is what pays the bills - but Cohen dreams of offering civilian off-road racers and recreational drivers his agile, economic and reliable Zibar cars.





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