While the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) has become one of, if not the most popular segments in the market, the sad reality is that many of the entries are under-utilized. While most are off-road or all-weather capable at best, the vast majority of these rigs are used simply to ferry their owners in and around the concrete urban jungle.
For those truly capable SUVs, however, one has to wonder, how well-equipped are they to tackle the beaten path? Is horsepower the true measure? Or is torque? Yes, both figures are extremely important, particularly the latter, when it comes to uphill climbs and going over huge rocks. But what about those times when one wants to play in the sand?
For those who are unaware, sheer horsepower and torque are apparently not adequate measures of desert capability, says Nissan Middle East. While both units are fine for most other conditions—highway, back roads, and the like—sand dunes and desert driving requires a bit more from a vehicle. To better measure a rig’s capacity, Nissan Middle East has come wup with a new unit of measurement known as Desert Camel Power.
Yes, you read that right, Camel Power. Desert Camel Power takes into account variables like the vehicle’s weight, its approach speed or velocity, and trajectory (position when beginning its sand dune ascent). Besides these, maneuverability, torque, and driver skill are likewise important considerations. All these come together to determine just how capable a vehicle will be able to tackle the dunes of the dessert, for instance.
If all this sounds a bit too geeky for you, simply think of it as: Desert Camel Power = velocity, x weight x trajectory.
The formula has been backed by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Methodology (ESMA). The entity, along with other off-road experts, believe that it is about time that a unit of measurement be developed to show just how well a vehicle would most likely perform under certain conditions and environments—like the Middle East and its numerous dunes.
While Desert Camel Power will first be applied to vehicles sold in the United Arab Emirates (UaE) (such as the legendary Nissan Patrol), Nissan will eventually include the unit of measurement in its future product literature in global markets. Because even if it ultimately applies to sand dunes, it can show just capable a vehicle would be when tackling most any other off-road condition anywhere in the world.