Production Callum Skye Revealed, Shows Future Of SUV-Meets-UTV Fun

Ross Ballot
by Ross Ballot

Automotive designer Ian Callum and his team at Callum Designs first previewed their Skye four-by-four last November, and the company has finally unveiled what it will look like and be powered by in production trim. This high-end electric machine claims to have "sportscar performance" mated to "an exhilarating and rewarding driving experience both on- and off-road," the brand's website states. Regardless of how it's being driven, this is a gorgeous vehicle that will help usher in a new realm of bespoke off-roaders, allowing for a new level of luxury above what current UTV manufacturers offer even at their top levels.

The Callum Skye is a purpose-built vehicle laid out in 2+2 configuration packed into a unique coupe-meets-hatchback shape. Sports seats hold the driver and front passenger in place, while the rear seat is a child-friendly bench that can be removed to allow for more cargo space, a la Mini Cooper. Callum says the cargo hold is spacious enough for a long weekend's worth of luggage or "sports, lifestyle and outdoor pursuit equipment." HVAC controls are via rotary dials, and the whole dashboard employs minimalism while still incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into a modern touchscreen.

The all-electric Skye's powertrain is equally interesting. A 42kWh battery should make the range good for 170 miles, and fast charging can be completed in under ten minutes. Thanks to a weight of just over 2,500 pounds, it can run from 0 to 60 MPH in under four seconds. The electric drivetrain should also make the Skye's spirited driving experience one that is responsive, fun, and easy to manipulate.

All of this kit won't come cheap, with the Skye supposedly priced in the $100,000-125,000 range depending on options, and depending on trim (both on and off-road variants will be available).

The Callum Skye is of particular interest in the side-by-side community given the recent increase in availability of high-priced vehicles in this space. While even expensive machines like the Polaris XPEDITION, which starts around $33k and can be optioned to well over $50k, doesn't come anywhere close to the Skye's buy-in price, the appearance of the Skye in the enthusiast's off-roading realm represents another push towards and evidence of the interest in off-road machines. One-hundred grand is a ton of coin for what will be a toy—likely a fifth or even tenth vehicle—for effectively every owner, but this is another example of the evolution of this space.

Given the proliferation of interest in off-roaders, and especially given the price of high-end Jeep Wranglers and Ford F-150 Raptor Rs, it was only a matter of time before something like the Callum Skye arrived. Don't expect to see these being used as hardcore rock crawlers; these will be trailered to the fun spots, driven lightly on weekends, or used on massive ranches owned by the even more wealthy. Still, the intersection of side-by-sides and high-end sports cars like the Lotus models of the world is an interesting proposition, and we hope this ultimately beings the democratization of electric, off-beat UTVs made by manufacturers that are looking for new, interesting spaces to enter or create categories.

The Callum's first in-person showing will be on May 22nd and 23rd at Concours on Savile Row in Mayfair, London.

Ross Ballot
Ross Ballot

Ross hosts The Off the Road Again Podcast. He has been in the off-road world since he was a kid riding in the back of his dad’s YJ Wrangler. He works in marketing by day and in his free time contributes to Hooniverse, AutoGuide, and, and in the past has contributed to UTV Driver, ATV Rider, and Everyday Driver. Ross drives a 2018 Lexus GX460 that is an ongoing build project featured on multiple websites and the podcast and spends his free time working on and riding ATVs.

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