Company shows off new Evade ultra-luxury SUV
Oh Canada, the Conquest Knight XV and Evade stand on guard for thee, even if youâ€™ve never heard of these two monstrous trucks.
For those who arenâ€™t familiar with Conquest Vehicles, itâ€™s a company based just outside of Toronto, consisting of about 30 employees, that hand-builds luxury SUVs â€“ both armoured and unarmoured â€“ for high-profile clients around the world.
But if you think Conquest is competing with luxury SUVs such as the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, or Lexus LX 570, youâ€™re not even close.
Think more along the lines of Rolls-Royce, then add even more money and a slew of security features, and youâ€™re getting a lot warmer.
Conquest started operations back in 2008, and the Knight XV was the companyâ€™s first creation. Built on a Ford F-550 chassis, the Knight XV is the kind of vehicle a rich â€“ very rich â€“ person would buy to not only protect themselves, but to be chauffered around in luxury.
The vehicles typically take about 4,000 hours to complete, and are built essentially from the ground up by Conquest â€“ itâ€™s not a matter of upfitting an existing vehicle.
The Evade is the newest model in the Conquest family, and was borne from prospective clients saying they wanted a vehicle with all the bells and whistles found in the Knight XV, but without the armour. Itâ€™s still built on the same chassis and uses the same engines (either a 6.8-litre V10 that runs on gasoline or a 6.7-litre turbodiesel V8) but itâ€™s purchased more for the exclusivity and luxury aspects, as opposed to the protection.
Iâ€™m given the chance recently to be driven in â€“ and to drive â€“ the first completed Evade. In fact, the vehicle is literally less than a week old. The cockpit actually isnâ€™t as luxurious as the passenger compartment, but it gets the point across that even though this isnâ€™t an armoured vehicle, itâ€™s also no pushover. Not by a longshot.
It has dual thermal vision cameras that give the driver a view of the front and rear of the vehicle, thick glass windows, multiple sirens, joystick-controlled searchlights, and tint-on-demand windows and sunroof. It even has an intercom system so you can speak to possible aggressors without having to roll down the ridiculously slow power windows. Itâ€™s also handy if youâ€™re in a real hurry to order a cheeseburger and fries at the drive-thru.
The exterior styling is sleeker and more current than the Knight XV, but Evade still looks the part of a vehicle that belongs in the armed forces. That said, Conquest President William Maizlin makes it clear that buyers of the Knight XV and Evade want something thatâ€™s not only exclusive, but that offers a level of luxury you wonâ€™t find anywhere else on four wheels.
Like any good ultra-luxury vehicle manufacturer, Conquest offers countless bespoke options. Essentially, the company is willing to include just about anything a prospective owner requests, as long as itâ€™s legal. You may wish for the ability to throw up a smoke screen at vehicles that may be shadowing you, or shock unwanted people who grab the vehicleâ€™s door handles, it just isnâ€™t happening.
The Evade comes standard with four limo-style seats (2+2 facing each other) in the back, but the model Iâ€™m driving in has a flat screen television in place of the captainâ€™s chairs that are normally directly behind the front seats. The vehicle also comes equipped with a PlayStation 3, a humidor, a bar, and marble laptop tables. Many functions, meanwhile, are controlled by an integrated iPad (remote controls are so 1990′s).
It is easy to forget about Evadeâ€™s menacing exterior when youâ€™re hanging out inside the swanky passenger area.
Considering this is a Canadian company, I ask Maizlin if any Canadians own the few Conquest models currently on the roads around the world. He says that while there arenâ€™t any currently, he has had a couple of mystery Canadians inquire about Evade. Typical of Canucks to opt for the lighter, smaller, less aggressive model, eh?
Few people will ever own a Conquest vehicle, but Canadians can still be proud of the company that itself is proud to call the Great White North its home. And hey, if we ever get invaded by zombies, killer robots, or worse, an uprising of dolphins, we have a group of people who can create vehicles that will keep a lucky few survivors plenty safe.
A Conquest of Canadian proportions
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