A TOMCAR® is a type of off-road vehicle designed for commercial or military use. It features high ground clearance, an anti-squat system that prevents the rear end of the vehicle from sagging during acceleration, and a size suitable for fitting in certain types of helicopters. The TOMCAR® is used for various military applications throughout the world, particularly in Israel, as well as along the southern border of the United States. The vehicle is well-suited for the rough terrain of these areas, and it can be driven at high speeds when necessary.
The original TOMCAR® models were produced in the early to mid 1980s, and they were all two-seat models designed to carry two people and a small to moderate amount of gear. Some of the early models were only one-seat vehicles, intended for use by one person only. Newer models also feature two seats, though some models of TOMCAR® now feature four seats to accommodate more passengers. The cars usually feature a canopy or roof to protect passengers from sunlight as well as impact in the event of a rollover, and the back of the vehicle usually features a storage bed or payload for storing gear during transport.
The high ground clearance of the TOMCAR® makes it suitable for off-road driving, especially at high speeds or over extremely rough terrain. The anti-squat feature prevents the rear end from sagging during acceleration, which means the driver will have greater control over the vehicle at higher speeds, and the ground clearance will not be affected as the driver goes faster or slower. TOMCARs®are usually outfitted with a significant amount of suspension, which allows the vehicle to drive easily over rough terrain. Articulated suspension also allows the vehicle to be driven where vehicles with solid axles would not be able to go.
The body of the TOMCAR® is usually made from high-grade steel for durability during off-road use, though the underside of the vehicle is usually protected by an aluminum skid plate. Aluminum is used because it is lightweight and tends to slide over obstacles rather than catch on them or bend as a result of the impact; some models of TOMCAR® feature steel skidplates to keep costs down, however. The engines may run on gasoline or on diesel fuel, depending on the size and function of the vehicle as well as the preference of the owner. The engines are usually fairly small and lightweight.