A philanthropist asked a racecar designer to make an all-terrain vehicle suitable for humanitarian missions in Africa. The result was the Ox, “the world’s first flatpack truck” — meaning it can be packed up into a flat box and shipped like Ikea furniture.
The truck is absurdly simple to assemble: its designers claim that three people can break it down into 60 parts in just 12 hours. (Apparently no one involved with the truck's creation has ever tried to put together the Liatorp.) This allows the Ox to be shipped cheaply to developing nations in Africa, where aid workers can use it to transport water, grain, fertilizer, and building materials, the company says. The boxy truck can seat 13 people and carry up to 4,100 pounds of cargo.
The Ox is the brainchild of Torquil Norman, a philanthropist who runs the Global Vehicle Trust, and Gordon Murray, the South African engineer who helped create the McLaren F1.
It’s also reminiscent of the Africar, a lightweight, all-terrain vehicle released in the 1980s that never took off. Norman says that "this project shares some of the aims of that vehicle, but its execution is radically different."
“Ox was just a dream six years ago," he added, "but it is now a realistic prospect for production with working prototypes that have completed a comprehensive testing program.”