What would you use a Torsus Praetorian heavy-duty 4×4 wilderness bus for?
It looks like such fun to be able to own and drive this life-sized Tonka toy that it just might be a question worth finding a good answer for. The Torsus Praetorian off-road bus is, the company claim, the world’s first heavy-duty bus of its kind, designed for transporting people and equipment across rough terrain.
Czechoslovakian based Torsus began their journey into off-road heavy-duty vehicles around 2016, when the company – then providing technical aid for international organisations and various governments – received a request for a transportation solution that appeared to logically have as part of the answer, the word ‘bus’ in it. So Torsus began the journey to create one.
The Torsus Praetorian has increased ground clearance to the tune of 389mm and a wading depth of 700mm with the whole thing sitting on a reinforced floor – or at least, that’s what I think ‘resistant to hard exploitation conditions’ means. The bus uses the MAN chassis system, MAN being a highly respected large commercial vehicle manufacturer based in Europe; this is great for those balancing the books, as despite the bus being rather unique, spare parts should be readily available to keep it running.
MAN provide strengthened axles with flexible and light parabolic leaf springs, locking diffs and Michelin XZL TL tyres, which are nearly 400mm wide. The Torsus Praetorian bus gives you 237bhp and 682lb ft of torque powered by a 6-cylinder diesel engine. Inside, the bus can comfortably carry up to 35 passengers all with 3-point seat belts. The yellow colour you see here might remind you of a classic American (old-)school bus, but these are a little more modern – if you get bored of watching your Praetorian battling through its terrain, there is a central DVD screen with speakers incorporated into the luggage racks. Up front, the driver gets an off-road fully pneumatic seat to ease fatigue along with a handy rear view camera. The panels are all fibreglass and the actual glass itself is chip-proof. A Line X coating attempts to resist scratches all round.
The Praetorian has a wheelbase of 4,200mm, weighs in with a maximum permissible weight of 13,500kg and runs off a semi-automatic gearbox. It comes with air conditioning and includes a semi-automatic step to negotiate the increased ground clearance. Each individual gets his or her own air-con deflector and personal courtesy light, as well as adjustable seats. You can of course configure the interior as you wish, depending on your desired purpose. As an example of its flexibility, the Torsus website offers separate brochures for configurations for motorsport, fire truck, mining bus and an ambulance among others.
The Torsus Praetorian has now also won a Red Dot Design Award too. Cost comes in at around £137,800 depending on your configuration. Not a bad price really; it’s almost enough to make you want to change your route and offer anyone going in the same direction a lift to justify buying one.
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