Featured Vehicle: Torsus Praetorian

Personally, I picture myself white-knuckling the wheel as I smash through a wall of zombies, quickly swerving away from the pavement and bombing down a rutted-out two-track to make my escape into the forest. But to be fair, the Torsus Praetorian was designed to be more than just a post-apocalyptic bug-out vehicle. Its creators have described it as the “world’s first heavy-duty off-road bus.” With at least 15 specialized configurations for industrial and recreational applications (including their ‘Overlander’ model), I’m starting to think that the Praetorian could be the next ultimate off-road rig.

 

Yes, the Praetorian is a BIG Off-road Vehicle

Let me reel myself back in a bit. I’m not necessarily qualified to make a statement like it’s the ultimate off-road rig regarding any vehicle. But one look at the specs of Torsus’ creation, and it certainly appears likely that its performance off-highway will satisfy most overland travelers. At 28.5 feet long, 8.3 feet wide, and 11.8 feet tall, the Praetorian comes in somewhere between an EarthCruiser EXP and an EarthRoamer HD in terms of its footprint. Some of the passenger variants of the Praetorian come outfitted with seating for up to 37 passengers, so I think it’s fair to say that it has ample room for a family of travelers.

 

With performance on uneven terrain being one of the primary design considerations, the approach, departure, and breakover angles are as follows: 32/26/21.6.

 

*According to 15.74 inches of ground clearance (as stated in Torsus’ promotional video and a 165.35-inch wheelbase), I calculated a 21.6-degree breakover angle.

 

Drivetrain, Engine, Wheels, and More

The Praetorian has been developed around a MAN powerplant and drivetrain. Its straight-six diesel engine produces 290 horsepower and an impressive 682 pound-feet of torque. Power transfer is managed by a MAN/ZF 12AS 1210 OD MAN Tip-Matic semi-automatic transmission. MAN G103 gearing with both front and rear differential locks comes standard (on the Overlander model) and ZF power steering is available in either left- or right-side steering configurations. Michelin XZL TL tires in 395/85 R20 come mated to 10-hole 10.00-20 rims. Maximum GVWR of the Praetorian is rated at 13,500 kilograms; that’s 6,300 for the front axle and 7,800 for the rear.

Cabin and Overlanding Specifics

Beyond the above-states specs, there are a few additional interesting claims that pertain to off-highway travel. Torsus says that without any special equipment, the Praetorian will be capable of fording 700 millimeters (27.5 inches) of water. They can also upgrade the fuel tank to a capacity of 300 liters. But beyond these details, I’m left wanting more information. What about the interior and exterior features? For now, here’s what I can see in the renderings:

 

Easily identifiable exterior features pictured include:

  • Multiple awnings
  • Auxiliary lighting
  • Front bull bar and rear lighting protection
  • Front-mounted winch
  • Rear-mounted bicycle racks
  • Roof-mounted solar panels
  • Some sort of roof-mounted satellite communications hardware 
  • Exterior storage compartments
  • An undercarriage-mounted full-sized spare (is anyone else itching to relocate this?)

 

The interior of the cabin appears to be finished with a mix of wood and composite materials. A rigid wall separates the driving area from the cabin with a walk-through door. Overhead storage and additional under-seat and bedroom storage compartments look plentiful. Standalone dining, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom areas are all easily identifiable. As this particular model does not appear to have a finalized design or layout, there is no official spec sheet detailing cabin systems or features available at the time of writing this article.

Is the Overlanding Market Ready?

I certainly think that the Praetorian has good potential in the world of overlanding based on initial pricing. At €153,000 ($181,600) for the empty shell, or €234,000 ($277,740) for the full-up ‘Overlander’ model, it appears to be competitive with EarthCruiser, and practically a bargain compared to the EarthRoamer HD. But will price alone be enough to appeal to consumers?

At the time of publishing, Torsus plans to sell in Africa, Australia, Europe, and South America. The Praetorian will come standard with a 2-year, unlimited mileage warranty, which they say is upgradable to 6 years and 900,000 kilometers with service being performed at any MAN service center worldwide. The exterior body has a lifetime warranty against rust (which seems silly, seeing that it is composite unless I missed something). With multiple design awards from Red Dot, German Innovation, Big See Design, and National Slovak, plus 15+ models depicted, is it fair to say that there is only potential? Time will tell.

 

 

Learn more about the Torsus Praetorian and dig into their 15+ vehicle builds here.


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Matthew Swartz is originally from Connecticut and currently lives in Denver, Colorado where he passionately pursues rock climbing, trail running, and skiing. Matt’s love of travel has inspired him to through-hike the JMT and part of the PCT, bike across the United States, and explore the West coast of South America from Ecuador to Patagonia. Matt and his partner Amanda have also travelled across much of the Western US in their 1964 Clark Cortez RV, which they lived in, on the road for the better part of three years. Matt has worked for the USFS as an Interpretive Ranger and Wildland Firefighter and Matt's photography and writing has been published in Rova Magazine, the Leatherman blog, 'Hit The Road' by Gestalten Publishing, and Forbes.