A 4x4 Hybrid is a tourer combined with a Semi
Hardcore setup. Very similar to an Advanced Touring 4x4. This type of 4x4 is
for those who want to tackle the hardcore driving AND spend weeks camping away
Of course, building a 4x4 Hybrid tourer has its
drawbacks. The biggest two being weight, and cost. Essentially you’re combining
everything from the Hardcore
4x4 mods, and the Touring
4x4 lists. That adds up
to a lot of weight, and a lot of cash! This weight will also take its toll on fuel
economy. If the vehicle was using 12 liters per 100km, you might expect it to
guzzle between 14-16 liters once complete.
A balanced Jeep Wrangler, set up for touring and the tougher trails.
Creating the Ultimate 4x4 Hybrid.
Going The Distance
Building the ultimate 4x4 hybrid is all about range
and self-sufficiency. Getting to the most remote areas to drive the toughest
terrain is going to require a lot of fuel, which is why a long range fuel tank
should be high on your list. So too should be plenty of water capacity. You’ll
need good storage to organise your food as well, and that includes a large
fridge with a battery system to power it.
Toyota Hilux on top of ridge.
There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll have
to carry a lot of gear in the 4x4 hybrid tourer. A roof rack will come in handy
for carrying swags, chairs, recovery boards and more. A set of 4wd drawers will
prove useful to keep everything in order too. Not only will you carry camping
equipment and food, you’ll need to find a home for tools, recovery equipment,
spare parts and first aid.
Your 4x4 hybrid build will need a bull bar for
protection (and a winch mounting location) as well as bash plate protection,
sliders, scrub bars and possibly even a steel rear bar where you can carry two
spare wheels or some extra water or fuel.
You want this rig to be fairly puncture resistant,
so an upgrade to light truck tyres is definitely on the cards. As for the tread
pattern, a nice aggressive off road biased all terrain is the bare minimum.
Stepping up to mud tyres will give you ultimate traction for those hardcore 4x4
Choose a size between 32 and 35 inches. Anything
less will be disappointing in the rough stuff, and anything over 35 is overkill
(using much more fuel for very little reward). Even still, with the larger
33-35 inch tyres; your off road gearing and fuel consumption wont be ideal.
Changing your diff ratios will fix this.
Which lift kit?
Having read this far you will understand why heavy-duty
suspension is a must for the 4x4 hybrid build. You’ll want 2-4 inches of lift
to help clear larger tyres and give you clearance off road. Not only that, but
the springs must be of higher weight rating than the factory option to account
for all the extra weight. It’s worth calculating the extra weight you will
carry and considering this in your spring choice.
A set of 4x4 air bags may be a good option for
height adjustment when you’re all loaded up for a big trip.
Engine mods are high on the list for most people
building a 4x4 hybrid for touring. With a now much heavier and less aerodynamic
vehicle you will start to feel the performance losses. The bigger tyres will
sap power and fuel too. Your engine mods should include an exhaust, perhaps an
intercooler upgrade, a tune, and possibly even upgraded turbo. Don’t forget the
snorkel (read more about that HERE) and at the end of this you may even have improved fuel
You’ll want a bit of spot lighting for high touring speeds, some spread
lighting (like a light bar) for the slower stuff, and some flood lights for out
the sides and facing rearwards. These flood lights go great on the roof rack
and are handy not only for exploring tracks at night; but setting up camp in
When it comes to
kicking back at camp, some smaller LED lights are a great idea. They will draw
less power and are easier on the eyes creating a nice ambience.
If you’re really
serious about seeing the end of that tough track, your hybrid 4x4 build has got
to include some lockers! Front and rear would be ideal, but at least one of
these will take you a lot further off road. Not sure which one to choose? READ THIS
It needs to be said
that no 4x4 should be without a basic recovery kit including snatch strap,
bridle, bow shackles, recovery blanket, shovel and a set of traction boards.
The ability for a
4x4 hybrid tourer to self-recover is certainly advantageous. For this, a winch
is a must!
These little extras
will only really find use at camp or a lunch stop, but they make the whole
experience so much nicer. A dual battery system to power a fridge, inverter and
some camp lights is a must. Your roof rack makes a great home for an awning,
roof top tent and even a shower tent if you like! A drawer system can be set up
like a pull-out kitchen to make mealtime easy. And of course those bright flood
lights, so you can clearly see and avoid any bull ant nests when you pull up.
With all these mods you will have one well kitted
out 4 wheel drive, an ultimate 4x4 hybrid machine with all the goodies at arm’s
This vehicle setup will go anywhere and there will
be no terrain this vehicle won't conquer.
The only draw backs are the amount of money required
and the extra weight which will add cost at the fuel stops.