In just a short time, electric vehicles have gone from a novelty to the norm. We're all seeing a slew of hybrid vehicles where electric motors and internal combustion engines are paired together and we're also seeing a rise in all-electric vehicles. Case in point: the Stealth Apache 4x4 XR.
The Stealth Apache 4x4 XR electric utility vehicle is manufactured in West Monroe, Louisiana, by Stealth Manufacturing, LLC. They've been manufacturing electric utility vehicles for several years now, well before it became mainstream. This specific model is one of several that Stealth offers. Their lineup includes a two-wheel-drive model as well as a unique "Saltwater Series" model with attached solar panels and special metal treatments that prevent premature corrosion in saltwater environments.
The Stealth's backbone is a laser-cut, high-grade, lightweight aluminum frame made by Metalforms. Metalforms is a subsidiary of Superlift Suspension Systems and they make several components on the machine. The rig is powered by a 48-volt, 16hp electric motor that is coupled directly to the transaxle in the rear. This motor makes 105 lb-ft of torque (peak) and is fed by eight six-volt, high-capacity, deep-cycle Absorbed Glass Mat batteries. Stealth says that these sealed batteries have the most capacity available and deliver 2,000 amp-hours. The batteries are charged via an onboard 25-amp charger/maintainer. A Stealth-designed, 800-amp, 65-volt controller manages the motor, and it's 100-percent waterproof and has an operating range of -13 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Stealth says that the Apache 4x4 XR (XR stands for Extended Range) will travel up to 45 miles on a full charge, depending on conditions. Recharging takes approximately eight hours. Four-wheel drive is "on demand," and a driveshaft sends power to the frontend.
Also underneath the Apache 4x4 XR is a solid rear axle mounted to leaf springs that have an 800-pound rating. Up front is a coilover-shock IFS system with rack-and-pinion steering and CV axles on both the inner and outer axleshafts. The Stealth has 71/2 inches of suspension lift, which creates 93/4 inches of ground clearance and makes room for the big 25-inch Mud Grip tires on 12-inch steel wheels.
The body of the Apache 4x4 XR is molded camouflage with a black roof. It comes standard with a fold-down windshield, front brushguard, front basket, fender flares, head and taillights, heavy-duty fold-down back seat, and a 2-inch receiver hitch. Options include Stealth-coated running boards, floor-mounted gun rack, 2,500-pound winch, and a cab enclosure.
So how does the Apache 4x4 XR actually work? Well, we had a chance to check it out during a recent visit to the Stealth factory, and we have to say it works pretty darn good. Acceleration is brisk, top speed is about 18 mph, and ride quality is superb. All of these positive traits are crowned by the fact that the vehicle is extremely quiet and the only thing you really hear at speed is the hum of the tires. Clearly, the Apache 4x4 XR is perfect for those wanting a quiet vehicle for working around the farm or ranch or for those hunters who want to get to the backcountry without scaring away all the game.
- Vehicle model: 2010 Stealth Apache 4x4 XR
- Base price: $12,099 (base), $12,899 (as shown)
- Color: Camouflage
- Type: 48V 16hp series-wound DC electric motor
- Controller: Stealth 800-amp, 65V
- Batteries: Eight 6V AGM, 2,000-amp hour
- Charger: Onboard, 25-amp
- Transmission: Limited-slip transaxle with selectable front 4WD differential
- Final drive: Rear direct/Front shaft
- Front: Independent, A-arm, McPherson struts
- Rear: Leaf springs
- Front: N/A
- Rear: Mechanical disc
- Front: 25x10-12 ITP Mud Lite/12-in black steel
- Rear: 25x10-12 ITP Mud Lite/12-in black steel
- Weight (lb): 1,550
- Length (in): 106.0 (with basket)
- Width (in): 52.0
- Height (in): 82.0
- Ground Clearance (in): 9.75
- Battery range (mi): 45 (depending on load and conditions)
- Turning radius (in): 130
- Cargo bed capacity (lb): 800
- Passengers: 4