Slovakian off-road bus maker Torsus has comprehensively re-engineered VW's Crafter minibus to create this, the Terrastorm, a go-anywhere solution that can carry people or cargo deep into the wilderness. Using VW's six-metre-long van as a base and then altering just about everything underneath, the four-wheel drive Terrastorm has a 290mm ground clearance enabling an approach angle of 26- and 20-degrees departure, as well as fording depth of 690mm.
The Terrastorm gets even more rugged with an optional Deep Wave pack, which adds further protection to enable an 820mm wading depth - just 80mm behind the 2020 Defender. And that comes on top of wholesale changes to ensure that the vehicle can traverse just about anything it's likely to face either side of said water source, with suspension alterations that include new Bilstein B6 dampers, said to improve both comfort and off-road ability and ensure a tilt angle maximum of 28.4 degrees.
The minibus's front-axle Macpherson struts are upgraded to suit, while the rear gets new leaf springs combined with Ironman 4x4 Load Plus shocks or - should the buyer specify thank it - higher-spec Profender Dakar shock absorbers with remote auxiliary reservoirs extended axle stroke. Buyers can also adjust the Terrastorm's camber angles, too, with Ironman 4x4 Adjustable camber bolts enabling 1.75 degrees of alteration. It's a serious setup, no doubt about it.
Couple the hardware with BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 tyres wrapped around 17-inch rims, and extensive sections of underbody protection covering all the major components and Torsus's claims for the Terrastorm appear wholly realistic. It comes as standard with that winch, by the way, while the tough, scratch-resistant paint and upgraded body panels are also part of package. Two engines are offered, 140hp or 176hp versions of the same 2.0 -- litre twin-turbo diesel, with a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto the transmission choices.
The biggest opportunity for variation comes with the different bodystyles offered; TT1 Coach and TT2 Nomad are the trim levels, with the latter slightly more rugged than the former (but both getting the aforementioned driveline upgrades), while buyers can choose passenger or cargo versions. The former can carry between nine and 20 people, while the latter provides further customisation possibilities, allowing those wanting to create their own unique off-road vehicle with a proven base to build upon.
As you'd expect for such a vehicle, the interior has been transformed so it can deal with the challenges of off-road life, as well as be easily cleaned with water resistant, insulating and anti-slip materials. For those wanting maximum off-road safety, five-point harnesses can be added, while swivel seats and rail system increase the arrangement adjustability - or create a camper-style layout. Torsus said its vehicle is so versatile that it's as good "on the dunes of the Sahara" as it is at "delivering packages and emergency care work in the mountainous regions".
Vakhtang Dzhukashvili, company founder and CEO, said: "At Torsus we believe that strong, rugged, commercial vehicles aren't only for working hours but can be used for fun as well. The Terrastorm aims to break that tradition as we set new standards in this market. We have taken what we know from Praetorian [Torsus's much larger off-road bus] and translated it to a smaller overall footprint, but the dependability and toughness remain."
If that sounds like your off-road cuppa, orders will be taken from Q3 2020, with prices starting at £52,290.95 in Britain. Which, given the vehicles capabilities, seems like quite a prospect.
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