Howe and Howe are two brothers, Mike and Geoff, who have gained a cult following thanks largely to them hosting their own Discovery Channel series, Black Ops Brothers, where they get to create, design and showcase their wonderful creations.
The Howe brothers can also proudly claim the accolade of being the youngest ever individuals to obtain a military contract, when the US military enquired after a manned and unmanned tracked vehicle that would also be equipped with weapons.
The brothers’ company, Howe and Howe Technologies, create fantastical adult Tonka Toys; the 2-seater Ripsaw EV2 (Extreme Vehicle 2) luxury tank looks like something that Thunderbird 2 might drop off in a desert on a government mission. Yet, despite most of the images looking like radio controlled extreme vehicles, these automobiles are no Gerry Anderson creation, they very much exist full-size in the real world.
You might even have seen the Ripsaw in Mad Max: Fury Road, as the film contained a modified version of the Ripsaw EV1 for the Peacemaker chase vehicle. The Peacemaker had the original spec diesel engine replaced with a supercharged Merlin V8 engine, but problems with sand intake resulted in a smaller Chevrolet 502 unit replacing the Merlin. The most obvious and visual change to the original EV1 Ripsaw design was the addition of the slightly stretched Chrysler Valiant Charger as the main body for the Peacemaker replacing the stock 2-seater.
The EV2 develops the EV1 ideal further and is described by Howe and Howe as a ‘high-end luxury tank’. The EV2 is now also available for purchase and is fully user customisable. Supply is strictly limited though.
The Ripsaw is capable of a surprising turn of speed too, with the vehicle being able to reach speeds of over 60mph powered by the 6.6 litre diesel Duramax engine. The EV2 also has over 12 inches of suspension travel and pushes out 600 horsepower. The vehicle is also capable of zero degree turns and up to 75 per cent angled travel – if you’re brave enough.
The EV2 also has a 40-gallon capacity fuel tank to keep your Ripsaw moving longer than most. The relative lightweight (at 8,000 pounds) and the large ground contact created by the super strength (and super expensive) rubber tracks also gives the tank a massive advantage over soft and loose ground like snow, mud or sand.
Gullwing doors allow entry into the 2-seater cockpit to a surprising array of luxury, from fully powered leather bucket seats to air conditioning and an audio system. A rear view camera aids what might otherwise be tricky reversing. The aircraft-like dashboard is fully digitalised with a steering wheel straight from the design table of some future Batmobile. Amazingly, only a quarter of a turn of the electronic steering either left or right engages full lock making the EV2 a much easier proposition to handle.
Each customised vehicle can take up to 6 months to hand-build and will set back the prospective buyer “100s of thousands (dollars) depending on desired luxury and performance packages”.
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