If the Jeep Wrangler seems like a pretty extreme car to you, you’ll have to change your automotive scale by looking at the Militem Ferox. Defining it is not easy, because it is not a simple elaboration but a profound reinterpretation of the American off-road vehicle. The proportions do not change and the shapes only in detail. At the first glance you immediately understand what you are looking at, but at the second glance you begin to notice the distinctive details and the mental search begins. Militem is a very young brand – it has not yet turned five years old – and dedicated to craftsmanship, small series production. The Ferox is the most recent project – after the previous generation Wrangler, the Renegade and the pick-ups – but it is also the most advanced, as it combines classic American mechanics with high-level Italian craftsmanship. But how was Ferox born? The starting point is a Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited, which arrives by ship from the United States, already set up with the specifications requested by Militem.
At this point, each car is subjected for a month to the care of Militem specialized technicians who completely transform it. They are not superficial interventions: the suspensions, for example, are different from those of the original model. Dana axles are installed, with greater travel and more suitable for off-road use, and electronically controlled shock absorbers, to make the Ferox more comfortable in the city or sharper off-road. Then there is the aesthetic customization, which mainly concerns the front with the shape of the headlights and the grille that distances itself from that of the Wrangler. Then there are the retractable electric footrests to facilitate getting in and out of the passenger compartment, where the leathers, Alcantara and quality upholstery that are not usually the prerogative of this kind of cars stand out. They are all materials made in Italy and handmade. In short, exclusivity is not lacking and the price does not leave room for many doubts.
The price list starts at 94,850 euros for the version with the 2.0 272 HP turbofan. We, on the other hand, tried the thrust of the naturally aspirated 3.6 V6, an “old school” engine that expresses its 285 HP at 6,400 rpm, but which also has a towing capacity of 2,500 kg, against the 1,550 of the smallest unit. Curiously, it is the last V6 without turbocharger left on the Italian market, a kind of white fly, especially since on this Ferox it can make its voice heard loud and clear thanks to the sports exhaust system, which also has the by-pass operated from the dashboard with a small button. Opening it releases the noise of the 6-cylinder, which is honey for the ears of all fans, but at that point the chances of going unnoticed drop to zero. Not that in normal mode there are a lot, given that the stage presence of the car is remarkable, also considering the raised suspension, the huge 20-inch wheels and the 35-inch all-terrain tires.
Behind the wheel you sit really high but the dimensions do not scare you because the tetragonal shapes of the bodywork are easy to manage and visibility is also discreet. The suspension absorbs any kind of roughness, while the steering is a bit hollow in the center; the thrust of the engine reaches quite high but is well present. In conclusion, the Ferox can be used in any context and always guarantees a very original style choice, just as the idea from which the Militem brand was born is original. To have it was Hermes Cavarzan, a Lombard entrepreneur active in the automotive sector for over 35 years, who in 1980 founded the Cavauto Group. Finally, it is important to underline that Militem produces its models in small series with a “basic” set-up, after which one can draw on the long list of options and customizations to sew the car to measure, even in terms of colors and upholstery.
Militem Ferox, the card
What is that: a radically modified Jeep Wrangler customized by hand in Italy
Dimensions: length 4.78 meters, width 2.04 m, height 1.95 m, pitch 3.01 m
Trunk: 533 liters
Engines: 3.6 liter V6 petrol aspirated, 285 HP and 363 Nm
Exchange: automatic with 8-speed torque converter with reduction gear
Traction: rear, insertable integral. Lockable center and front differential
Benefits: off-road behavior, style, accessories, sound
Defects: purchase price, comfort
Production: Erba, Italy – Toledo, Ohio
Prices: the Militem Ferox range starts at 94,850 euros