Andre De Kock
Motorsport Editor
2 minute read
13 Nov 2014
3:00 pm

PGO 600i: pretty, tough and cheap

Andre De Kock

So, you are a serious off-roading fan but age and responsibility have caught up with you.

EASY ON THE EYE. The buggy shows you don't have to be ugly to be a strong off-road fun machine.

Hence, falling off scramblers is no longer an attractive proposition.

Neither are straddling quadbikes, due to their penchant for killing people.

Meanwhile, the expense of owning a Jeep or a Land Cruiser puts that option way out of reach.

What to do? We know a secret.

It is codenamed PGO 600i, and owned by Arthur Sumares, the sales boss of the SportsRide All Terrain Vehicles outfit in Centurion, Pretoria.

The PGO 600i is a two-seater all-terrain buggy, three metres long and 1.6m wide.

It weighs in at under 500kg and is powered by a four-cylinder, water-cooled 558cm3 four-stroke engine, that produces 28kW of power at 6 000rpm, plus 46Nm of torque at 5 500rpm.

The grunt and twist is sent to the rear wheels via a fully automatic CVT-Belt transmission with high or low range, plus a reverse gear.

It rides on 14-inch rims, encased in either road-going or off-roading tyres – and the two-seater vehicle is entirely road legal.

Yup, it has all the required lights, an electric starter, a windscreen and number plate mounting points.

Not that PGO 600i owners would do much highway driving.

Arthur Sumares explains: “This is a toy, designed to be used over rough terrain. The point is you can drive it to the rough terrain if you wish, or tow it behind a car on its own wheels, which eliminates the need for a trailer.”

He invited us to play with the buggy and, after strapping into its proper racing seats, we took to the hills next to Wonderboom Airport.

The area has numerous narrow rock-strewn dirt pathways, liberally endowed with holes and dongas. The buggy loved it. Hook it in high range and you can simulate rally driving by sliding it, tail out, through most of the bends you encounter.

As you get more confident, the need to lift off for deep ruts and the like disappears – the buggy’s high ground clearance and sturdy suspension means simply clumping through irregularities.

Hook it in low range and it will go almost everywhere.

A steep, rocky slope provided no challenge, going up or down, and neither did a journey straight through the bush, ignoring all roads. After which we returned to the SportsRide shop on the public road.

Best of all – the PGO 600i costs only R139 000 with road tyres, or R141 000 with knobbly off-road rubber. It comes with a two-year warranty and SportsRide stock any spares you may require.

  • Contact Arthur on 012-347-7562 or on 076-331-9182