Dig this: JCB’s top-secret 4x4

26 Jul, 2006 1:00am Mat Watson

The company that builds the most famous diggers in the world has built its own Hummer-like 4x4, Auto Express can exclusively reveal.

JCB, renowned for its yellow excavation equipment, amazed the world earlier this year with the Dieselmax oil-burning land speed record car. However, these official pictures of its new military-spec 6.7-litre High Mobility Utility Vehicle (HMUV) are the start of an even more amazing project at the firm, based in Uttoxeter, Staffs.

"It's like a Hummer, only better looking," said a spokesman. "It's really rugged and truly is a go-anywhere vehicle."

Earlier this year, JCB recruited former Land Rover managing director Matthew Taylor as its head of sales and marketing. And there are now several other key employees at JCB who originally came from the car industry, inclu­ding leading designers.

Dr Tim Leverton, who was chief engineer on the Rolls-Royce Phan­tom, is in charge of the Dieselmax project. It was conceived to show­case JCB's high-performance 4.4-litre oil-burner. That could be used in a smaller version of the HMUV which is being considered. But the spokesman said there were no plans to make roadgoing vehicles.

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