In news that’s sure to rankle some off-roaders and cause a few fans of the brand to stomp around in their chest waders, ARGO has announced its first 100% electric XTV. The ARGO Atlas will be available at end of September.

Now, before you get your knickers in a knot, the introduction of this rig does not spell the immediate end of the brand’s famously powerful internal combustion engine. It is simply another offering in their lineup, just as if they brought out a new seating configuration in the existing Aurora or Frontier series.

This new Atlas will have a 28 kWh battery pack powering a single electric drive motor making 107 lb-ft of torque, plus an independent steering motor to permit ARGO’s famous ability to get itself into (and out of) tight spots. Called the Admiral E-steer, its transmission incorporates steer-by-wire technology for what ARGO claims are ‘seamless and progressive maneuvers.’ Knowing how today’s ARGOs handle, we are eager to test this statement for ourselves.

Total driving range on a full battery is conspicuously absent from the official bumf, though it is generally accepted that 60 miles is in the ballpark for this thing. The Atlas recharges by either Level 1 (regular household outlet) or Level 2 (outlet for a dryer or big welder) in as little as three hours. A 3,000-lb winch is part of the deal, as is the ability to tow 1,800 pounds. How do those functions affect battery range, if you use them? That’s not mentioned either.

The rest of Atlas – save for a dandy 12-inch touchscreen display which is said to provide location and terrain mapping while handling foul weather – reads like other members of the ARGO family. The four-person or 437 lb capacity on land is halved on water, top speed is 3 mph on the latter or 25 mph on dirt, and eight tires are good for about 10 inches of ground clearance. Price? One greenback under fifty grand.

For comparison, an Aurora 800 weighs just 1,540 pounds despite having similar external dimensions as the Atlas. Its land capacity is six people of 1,010 lbs or four humans totalling 810 lbs on the water. However, it is much slower on land and has roughly one-third the torque. Decisions, decisions.

The all-electric Atlas surely won’t be right for everyone – but those to whom it fits are likely to find it to be the ideal rig.

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