The Elateride, or Click Beetle, was the very first vehicle teased and introduced by the Mars4 team. It is one of the first vehicles built around the concept of exploring the Martian surface in comfort and style. In this regard, the Click Beetle can be considered an iconic Mars4 NFT.
The Click Beetle has no direct terrestrial equivalent but its design draws some conceptual influence from rovers and all-terrain vehicles which lean into its intended exploration theme. An additional influence comes from power generators, vital tools that ensure colonies remain functional. The efforts that went into the Click Beetle’s conceptual design was also a key element in establishing the visual style that would come to be used in other Mars4 vehicles.
A main part of the Click Beetle’s design brief was that it was necessary to introduce a vehicle that would suit the needs of individual players and smaller groups. These small bases and communities would form the basis of larger settlements on Mars4, so an intermediary vehicle was required to help bridge the gaps between individuals and huge groups. In this regard, the Click Beetle answers the call and is intended to operate as a mobile generator that can power several tools or machines as well as provide rapid transportation across the surface.
The chassis’ aesthetic was a deliberate choice to further emphasise this vehicle’s smaller scale and intended purpose as an individual colonist’s tool, whether it be for simple exploration or for small scale settlements. In addition to this, the canopy was smoothed out to give the vehicle the sleek aesthetic that is so commonly associated with near future designs. The production team handled the adjustments required to take the conceptual designs and turn them into a full 3D object. The Click Beetle’s production model also included the final design for the MMRTG or Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator.
It was originally decided that the Click Beetle’s headlights should be mounted on either side of the upper canopy to mimic its namesake’s bioluminescent spots, but these were later positioned below the driver’s canopy to prevent the beams from interfering with visibility to the left and right of the vehicle.
The Elateride is a fast moving, light, single-occupant vehicle designed to give the colonists of Mars4 the freedom to traverse the red planet and the tools to quickly settle and establish their own bases. The Click Beetle is sure to prove its worth to colonists setting foot on Mars.