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Uphill Battleplan: A Special Torsus



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The overall concept of a bus has changed very little since it was invented — get lots of people from here to there. But what if here and there ends up being some Tolkien-esque hellhole that barely has running water, much less reliable thoroughfares? Enter Torsus. 

Think of it as a 4×4 with extra seating and cargo capacity. It was built specifically to get groups of people in and out of austere areas. So whether you’re shuttling workers and supplies in and out of remote mining sites, need to evac survivors from disaster areas, or feel a strange urge to rescue stranded Burning Man motorists, you may want to check out this Czech company’s take on the concept of group transport.

Looking closer at the fleet, at current, choices are between the larger Praetorian and more van-like Terrastorm with a variety of configurations available for each model. “The idea was to create the bus that will have the capability of a truck,” says Torsus CEO Vakhtang Dzhukashvili. The parent company, Pulsar Expo, recognized that aside from converted minivans and trucks, there really wasn’t anything out there that satisfied the needs of the company’s international aid involvement. 

Aside from its initial intentions of facilitating said market’s transportation opportunities, they also saw that this vehicle could be practical for tourism, expedition, ambulance, recovery, and recreational applications, among others. Their client list already consists of various NGOs, militaries, United Nations agencies, and law enforcement to name a few.

Torsus felt that MAN diesel 4WD drivetrains and chassis were robust enough for the foundation. However, the steel skeletons, polymer body, flooring, and electric system are all done in-house in the company’s manufacturing facilities in Slovakia, Poland, and Ukraine. Interiors can be set up with different seating upholstery and restraint options on the Praetorian for 34+1 people and 16+1 on the Terrastorm. 

Over 13 inches of ground clearance on the Praetorian with about 10 inches on its smaller brother help it navigate through areas where pavement is a luxury. The Terrastorm bases its design off the VW vans with DAVA/DAWA drivetrains and additional beefed-up suspension components.

A total of 22 predesigned model options currently exist with certain customization available, although ballistic uparmoring isn't one of them. A two-year warranty is offered that doesn’t hinge on mileage amounts. 

A healthy dose of Line-X underneath (with optional application to the exterior) help keep the elements from getting a foothold. Heating, insulation, and A/C systems have been designed to go from desert to arctic with the ability to cool the engine when it’s under heavy load. Torsus is currently working on making its models available in the U.S. after it sorts out the miles of red tape and certifications necessary to do so. Thanks EPA/DOT.

It’s hard to get excited about a bus. Hearing that word usually conjures of images of smelly, creaky forms of school transportation and interstate commerce rarely used in any off-road capacity. But this take on an old concept turns us on. 

There’s an old Muddy Waters song called “Bus Driver” that goes, “My baby run off with a bus driver. And you know that don’t seem right. He used to give her rides in the daytime. Now she gives him rides at night.” We think said driver may have been behind the wheel of a Torsus. 

Torsus Praetorian

  • Width: 8.33 feet
  • Length: 28.54 feet
  • Max. permissible weight: 29,541 pounds
  • Front axle load: Max. 13,889 pounds 
  • Rear axle load: Max. 17,196 pounds

Engine

Type: 6 cylinder in-row Diesel 

Make & Model: MAN D0836 LFLAO 

Emission level: Euro 6d (Euro IV – VI possible) 

Output: 290 hp (213 kw) Torque : 1,150 Nm 

Fuel: Diesel 

Gearbox

Make & Model: MAN 12.12 OD 

MAN Tip-Matic Type: Semi-automatic gearbox 

Transfer Gear

  • Quantity: One 
  • Make & Model: MAN G 102 with on-road and off-road gear 
  • Transfer case lock management: Electronic (VSM) 
  • Front Axle Axle control system: Shock absorbers for high center of gravity with stabilizer 
  • Suspension: Leaf-spring with Differential lock 
  • Rear Axle Axle control system: Shock absorbers for high center of gravity with stabilizer 
  • Suspension: Air Suspended 

Cooling System

  • Passenger compartment: Rooftop A/C 
  • w/air distribution to the luggage racks 
  • Driver cab: Manual or automatic air circulation 

Air Compressor

  • Quantity: 1 Type: One cylinder 238 ccm with economy system 

Tires and Rims

Quantity: 5 

  • Rim: 10 hole 10,00-20 
  • Tire: Michelin XZL 
  • Size: 365/80R20 

Steering Gear

  • Make: ZF 
  • Type: Power steering 

Brake system

  • Electronic: Electronic brake system (EBS) Anti-lock braking system (ABS) 
  • Type: Disc brakes on front and rear axle 
  • Engine braking: MAN EVBec high-performance engine brake 

Capability

  • Ground clearance: 13.78 inches 
  • Fording depth: 26.77 inches
  • Approach angle: 28° 
  • Departure angle: 22° 
  • Break-over angle: 41° 
  • Gradient of slope: 60° 

Torsus Terrastorm

  • Width: 8.69 feet
  • Length: 19.69 feet
  • Max. permissible weight: 11,023 pounds
  • Front axle load, max.: 4,629 pounds 
  • Rear axle load, max.: 4,629 pounds

Engine

  • Type: 4-cylinder diesel bi-turbo 
  • Make & Model: DAVA, DAWA 
  • Emission level: Euro IV-VI(AR) 

Fuel: Diesel 

Gearbox: 6-speed manual/8-speed Automatic 

Front Axle Suspension type: McPherson with heavy-duty JRZ Suspension 

Rear Axle Suspension type: Solid axle with leaf spring and heavy-duty JRZ Suspension 

Air Conditioning System: OEM Climatic/Climatronic A/C or for hot countries additional Webasto roof top A/C unit 

Tires and Rims

Quantity: 5 

Rims: R17 Off-Road Delta Klasik B 

Tires: BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 

Brakes

Front brakes: Disc; Rear brakes: Disc 

Capability

  • Ground clearance: 9.84 inches 
  • Fording depth: 20.47 inches
  • Approach angle: 26 degrees
  • Departure angle: 20 degrees
  • Break-over angle: 26 degrees
  • Gradient of slope: 60 degrees

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