Sao Paulo, Brazil - In 2007 Ford's South American division bought out Troller, Brazil's top-selling indigenous 4x4 manufacturer. Now, seven years, one concept (the Troller R-X), 53 000 hours of virtual development, 22 000 hours of virtual testing and more than 200 000km of actual get-down-and-dirty off-road testing later, it has come up with the no-nonsense, bad-ass bushbuster you see here: the New Troller T4.
Developed and built entirely in Brazil, it's intended as a workhorse in the tradition of the Nissan Patrol, Land Rover Defender, Ford Bronco and Lada Niva, with a separate chassis, a solid, squared-off body in rust-proof high-precision composite material that really looks the part and few, if any, creature comforts.
The pre-production version you see here is based on the R-X concept first seen at the previous Sao Paulo motor show, and voted 'most beautiful new model' by show visitors - which, for a country that's responsible for such models as Gisele Bundchen, Adriana Lima and Ana Beatriz Barros, is a bit of a stretch - but you can see what they meant, in terms of muscular presence and attention to practical detail.
Very short overhangs at both ends are backed up by integrated bash plates in the bumpers, while the chunky front end and wide doors with sills at floor height are set off by LED tail lights, a rear spoiler with a third brake-light and a two-piece glass roof.
EASY TO CLEAN
The cabin is trimmed with dirt-resistant, easy-to-clean materials, reminiscent of the first-generation Range Rover - which was designed to be washed out with a hose! - and the T4 will be available in a range of colours, but always with the roof, grille, bumpers, running boards and trim elements in dark grey, where most similar vehicles use a natural black finish.
The New Troller has a 3.2-litre diesel driving all four wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, and runs on 17" alloys shod with dual-purpose rubber. It comes complete with a high air-intake (ready for mounting a snorkel) and integrated mounting for a heavy-duty winch.