A brand-new utility-focused SUV is set to cause a stir in the trade, agricultural and sports and leisure markets thanks to a West Yorkshire-based start-up that has created a bespoke vehicle, built to order to answer a demand for such vehicles at an affordable price point.
The Yomper – available in tray back ‘Bergan’ or alloy drop side ‘Commercial’ specifications in 225 or 275 size wheelbases – Yomper’s are based on a Suzuki Jimny but is built upon a specially adapted long wheelbase chassis developed to deliver an unparalleled combination of load space and off-road capability, making it ideal for farm applications, off-road utility or sports and leisure pursuits. It has been engineered to take a payload of 500kg and comes with a 12 month warranty.
The Yomper 4×4 business is the brainchild of Elland-based engineering company, Samson Engineering Ltd, which has an established background and peerless reputation in the design, development and manufacture of bespoke commercial trailers and construction equipment, all developed from blueprints to meet specific requirements.
Giles Walker, Yomper 4×4 CEO, said: “We’ve always worked in an environment where we apply advanced engineering principles to meet the specific demands of a job, so when I heard from a lot of people in my local community – many of whom are farmers – about the lack of a suitable small utility SUV on the market I decided it would be a great opportunity to create one. You can’t buy an inexpensive go-anywhere working vehicle anymore, so I decided to make one.
“As an off-road and trials bike enthusiast myself, I know what makes a good SUV, so the natural choice for the base vehicle was the Suzuki Jimny – cheap, affordable and reliable, yet small enough to go where other off-roaders can’t and with exceptional off-road capabilities, without the issue of a heavy off road ‘tyre print’.”
What followed was a design-by-blueprint exercise in which Giles created a brand new chassis and bespoke alloy body for the Yomper, as well as converting the Jimny bodyshell into a chassis cab, with its own strengthened rear bulkhead. That was the first project.
Next came the Bergan – inspired by the Subaru MV ‘Brat’ pick-up, with integrated pick-up ‘tray back’ bodywork.
“There are other companies who have done Jimny pick-up conversions,” said Giles.
“But none have gone as far as to create a bespoke body and chassis like that of the Yomper, which is essentially a ground-up vehicle that uses the Suzuki running gear and front bodywork more as components to create a full vehicle than as a basis for conversion.
“Those are the key engineering differences, and the fact we can offer both body style variants show the flexibility and bespoke nature of our design.
“The fact all our vehicles attain IVA approval is proof that our design and manufacturing approach is the correct one to take.”
Under the bonnet, the Yomper uses the standard robust Suzuki 1.3-litre 16v petrol engine, as part of the purchase cost the engine and running gear is comprehensively overhauled and rebuilt in-house with many new components and serious upgrades to ensure its ability as a workhorse, making it as close as possible to a brand new vehicle as is reasonably possible.
The conversion cost is negotiable depending on personal specification, but it is possible to have a Yomper, on-the-road, for below £20,000.