This 4WD Off-Road Bus Could Be the World's Toughest Truck

    What vehicle would be best suited for the apocalypse? The typical answers tend to feature rugged trucks or SUVs. But what if you need to move more people?

    This could be the bus for the end times. Built in Slovakia, the Torsus Praetorian is able to carry up to 35 occupants further into the wilderness than almost anything else thanks to its combination of a bus body with the underpinnings of an off-road truck. Using a heavy-duty MAN chassis, four-wheel drive, and a six-cylinder diesel engine, Torsus claims it can climb a 33 degree incline and wade through water up to three feet in depth.


    Designed to haul personnel through the world’s toughest environments, the Praetorian uses a 6.9-liter MAN D08 turbodiesel engine which makes 286 horsepower and 849 pound-feet of torque and a nine-speed ZF automatic transmission. It can operate in rear-drive mode, or the front axle can be engaged. There is also a front differential lock, although selecting this restricts the front wheels’ steering angle. Torsus claims a 32 degree approach angle, 26 degree departure angle, and minimum ground clearance of 13.4 inches beneath the axles. Fully laden, the Praetorian’s maximum possible weight is a substantial 29,550 pounds—and it also has a standard 62-mph speed limiter. Given the forces involved, that’s probably sensible.

    Torsus is particularly proud of the Praetorian’s air conditioning system, which has been extensively tested in environments as hot as Australia’s Great Sandy desert. The company says it can reduce the temperature in the cabin from 140 Fahrenheit to 85 Fahrenheit in just three minutes, and down to 68 Fahrenheit in under 15 minutes—all while carrying a full load of 35 occupants. The system can also provide addition cooling to the engine in extreme situations, like trying to climb sand dunes. A similarly powerful heating system and the bus’s insulation are designed for Arctic conditions.


    The Torsus Praetorian has been on sale since 2018, but new innovations for 2021 include LED lighting, a power-operated door that incorporates pneumatic footsteps, and an automatic fire suppressant system for the 79 gallon fuel tank and underhood area.

    While designed primarily for industrial and military use, the Praetorian is available in various configurations, from bus to what the Torsus refers at as a “Command Center.” There’s even the chance for adventurous millionaires to buy overland camping versions, or alternatively to commission their own build based on the stripped-out entry level version. Prices start at the equivalent of $185,000 for the bare-bones version and rise to $445,000 for the top-spec Expedition. Sadly, the Praetorian isn’t federalized for sale in the U.S.

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