New Isle of Wight company to bring second wind to Land Rover Discovery

A great start for Rotodama, a new Isle of Wight company that’s giving a second life to Land Rover Discoverys. Disco bodies rot, but their chassis doesn’t – So remove body and turn it into a Super Utility Vehicle.

Rotodama launch pics

After three years of development in their free time, the Rotodama team have unveiled the initial Rediscovery prototype.

The prototype vehicle went on public display at the Land Rover Legends show at Bicester Heritage last weekend, 26-27th May 2018.

From sports utility to super utility
With broad experience of off-road and agricultural vehicles, the Rotodama team realised that a large number of Land Rover Discoverys were being scrapped due to corrosion within the body of the vehicle.

This meant that high value, strong, working drivetrain and chassis underneath were going to the scrapyard with many years of service still in them.

The obvious solution was to develop a replacement body to fit to the rugged Discovery running gear. The simple and easy to service drivetrain is an ideal candidate to be put to work in agricultural and ‘rough service’ environments. What was originally a ‘Sport Utility Vehicle’ can become a Super Utility vehicle, in its second life.

Forward control layout
To make best utility use of the footprint of the Discovery, a ‘forward control’ layout was chosen. This liberates a 1.8m wide, by 3.7m (6’x12’) loadbed, with over 1000kg payload capacity.

Rotodama at Bicester

The cab frame is constructed predominantly of super-strong steel tube. It is largely built to Motor Sport Association rollcage specifications. This offers superior operator safety and protection in rough service environments.

Ensuring longevity
A body panel system has been used, where the panels are inset into the cab, protecting them from knocks and blows, which should ensure longevity in service. They are also easy to replace: old panels can be cut out and new ones bonded in, with ease.

Significant development effort was invested in ensuring a comfortable driving position, with excellent visibility and simple sliding windows. All windows are flat glass, allowing for cheap and easy replacement.

Low ground pressure
With around 1000kg of body replaced with approximately 500kg of cab and loadbed, plus the ability to fit larger tyres, the ground pressure of the vehicle is comparable to side-by-side ATVs.

In addition to this low ground pressure, the Rediscovery delivers better ground clearance, much bigger payload weight carrying and load space, as well as a great choice of low-cost spares availability for the Land Rover drivetrain, at the heart of the vehicle.

Strong, simple and serviceable
This is a strong, simple and serviceable vehicle, able to move loads across rough terrain easily. It will provide excellent service for users likely to include farmers, tree surgeons, shooting estates, quarries and other challenging applications.

rotodama cab

There are a number of enhancements to be made to the initial design, with deliveries of cab kits and whole vehicles expected shortly. After production begins the range will be expanded with a doublecab, people carrier and full-body truck for overland camper conversion to be introduced in due course.

To find out more visit the Rotodama Website

Article by Thomas Cowley, in his own words. Ed

Thursday, 31st May, 2018 5:53pm



Filed under: Business, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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3 Comments on "New Isle of Wight company to bring second wind to Land Rover Discovery"

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Brilliant idea for a business – high added value, green, needs available skills. How long before it realises that both input and output have to pay ferry fares, adding typically £100 to costs?

This is one of our biggest concerns about basing production on the IW. One of our team members travels to the IW to work on this, which typically adds £50+ to the cost of a weekend of developing the project – adding hundreds of £ to the development costs already. Because our vehicle is higher than 2.25m (add another 0.15m), it cannot go on the boat as… Read more »

If that is a “green” vehicle you can keep it!
1. it’s about as fugly as you can get
2. Disco’s are a stinking polluter of our countryside (but you and your “greenlaners” know that Thomas don’t you?)
And this has passed type approval for use on the road?