Home » This Ridiculous Diesel 4×4 Bus Has Differential Locks And Takes On Volcanos With 34 Of Your Friends

This Ridiculous Diesel 4×4 Bus Has Differential Locks And Takes On Volcanos With 34 Of Your Friends

Volcano Van Torsus Ts
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Some manufacturers advertise their off-road vehicles as being able to reach distant locales with ease. We know some of those vehicles don’t quite live up to the hype, but here’s one that does, and it’s patently ridiculous. Torsus loves building insanely rugged and capable buses, yes, buses, and it has just launched its latest bonkers machine. The Torsus Praetorian TG3 is a bus built to go where most trucks will never reach featuring three locking differentials, feet of water fording depth, and an air-conditioner able to get the interior from a blazing 140 degrees to something comfortable in mere minutes. I want one, right now!

If this bus seems familiar to you, it’s because the creations of Torsus have been internet-famous for some time. There’s something special about a bus being built to handle the world’s toughest conditions. We often read and sometimes write about giant expensive rigs said to be able to go anywhere. We all remember the gargantuan 27North 30A Ascender and its failure to handle moderate off-roading, right? The buses from Torsus practically eat lesser vehicles for breakfast.

Vidframe Min Top
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The hilarious part is that the lede is barely scraping the surface of what makes Torsus buses certifiably insane. Now, the buses are entering their third generation, in which Torsus keeps the off-road cred, but makes the buses nicer places to be.

Bus Stuff

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Torsus International is based in the Czech Republic and it has a history of building tough vehicles. The company’s parent is Pulsar Expo, founded by Vakhtang Dzhukashvili and Yuliya Khomych. Pulsar Expo specializes in custom vehicle conversions for governments, VIPs, and more. Pulsar Expo even had some presence in America as it handled passenger vehicle fleet sales before supplying the U.S. Department of State with around 200 vehicles in 2015.

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Eventually, Dzukashvili ran into a problem. A big part of the Pulsar Expo business is sending specialized vehicles to remote and rugged parts of the world. His team would try to modify existing vehicles as they had in the past, but this wouldn’t work. Pulsar Expo’s clients needed something bespoke. Torsus was launched in 2016 as a spin-off of the Pulsar Expo. The Torsus Praetorian – which is the coolest name for a bus – project kicked off in 2017 and the Torsus team had one goal: build the toughest, baddest bus the world has ever seen.

Torsus’ customers aren’t your typical fleet buyers. Torsus builds buses for industries and activities ranging from oil and gas to forestry and mining,  disaster response to expeditions, and any other application for business or adventure that requires moving a lot of people over rugged terrain. Torsus also sees its buses used as mobile command centers, laboratories, ski resort transports, mobile clinics, and the ultimate RVs.

Built For Any Planet, Especially This One

Torsus Praetorian Tg3 Off Road B

Torsus buses are built under a partnership with MAN. The buses ride on a modified MAN truck chassis. That’s part of where the new bus gets its name. The new Praetorian TG3 is getting upgrades in part due to a new generation of MAN TG3 chassis. Attached to that chassis is a carryover selection of engines. The base powerplant is a MAN 6.9-liter turbodiesel straight-six making 240 HP and 682 lb-ft of torque. Should you want it, you can kick power up to 290 HP and 845 lb-ft of torque.

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That power is fed through a twelve-speed Tipmatic ZF AStronic automatic transmission, which drives all four wheels. Off-road gear includes front, center, and rear locking differentials, 46-inch Michelin XZL tires, a central tire inflation system, low-range, and yep, even off-road driving modes. Though, this isn’t like your SUV. The driving modes in a Praetorian TG3 include “Efficiency,” “Emergency,” and “Off Road.” The great thing is that there are videos out there showing that the Praetorian is the real deal, not just a bus in off-road cosplay.

 

I’m still not done with the platform yet, either. Torsus says its new bus has 19.5-inch disc brakes front and rear, it can ford 2.2-foot deep water, and it can climb 65-degree inclines. The company has not yet published ramp angles, but the 2021 update of the bus, considered to be its second generation, could tilt 33.5 degrees, had a 32-degree approach angle, and a 26-degree departure angle. That bus also had a 15.7-inch ground clearance when measured at the bottom of the differentials.

Some of the new parts to the platform include swapping the rear leaf springs for an air suspension in addition to a new air suspension up front that slots in between the chassis and the bus superstructure. There are also now rubber isolators between the bus superstructure and the chassis.

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All of this is supposed to make the bus more comfortable and quieter for its 34 + 1 occupants and to make the vehicle feel less top-heavy as well. The isolation blocks are also designed to allow for greater articulation when the going gets tough. Finally, we round out the chassis features with the new addition of a 12-metric-ton, 30-meter winch.

Amusingly, we are just now getting to the whole “bus” part of the bus. Torsus builds its buses with heavy steel skeletons meant to survive the abuses of rugged terrain.

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New for the Praetorian TG3 is a reconfiguration of the structure’s mounting points under the floor to add rigidity. The superstructure is wrapped up in a composite body for good corrosion protection. Torsus then lines the walls of its Praetorian buses with non-woven Polyester and PE foam.

A bus built for extreme conditions comes with some extreme equipment. Torsus buses have air-conditioning systems developed with Webasto. The second generation buses were advertised as being able to cool a full bus from 140 degrees to 86 degrees in just 3 minutes, or from 140 degrees to 68 degrees in 15 minutes. If the engine gets too hot, the air-conditioner can also chill things down in there, too.

Torsus Praetorian Tg3 Off Road B (1)

Upgrades for the third-generation Praetorian include a new dashboard, new HVAC vents, and upgrades to HVAC efficiency and performance. Sadly Torsus doesn’t say if the aforementioned cooling capability has gotten worse or better. What it does say is that the engine’s cooling loop is now used to warm up the bus interior faster. Previously, that was the job of radiant heat from wall panels and radiators located at each seat. It sounds like the bus will now have winter heating ability to match the overpowered air-conditioner.

Torsus Praetorian Tg3 Off Road B (2)

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Torsus Praetorian Tg3 Off Road B (3)

All of this is packed into a bus measuring 28.5 feet long and with a gross weight rating of about 29,541 pounds. As I noted before, Torsus has practically infinite configurations for the bus from 14-seat layouts to an overland RV to a blank slate to let your imagination run wild.

Sadly, this bus is not available to Americans, at least not directly. For now, Torsus Praetorian TG3 will be sold in Europe for a base price of around $244,000. I’m sure a select few Americans could figure out how to nab one, but you and I will be stuck dreaming about the ultimate bus. That’s a shame because a Torsus Praetorian is a bucket list vehicle for me. Who wouldn’t want to drive something as silly as this at least once?

(Images: Torsus International)

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Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
7 days ago

Wow, these are awesome and incredible! I want to drive one to see a volcano too

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
8 days ago

Ok, but a Fiat Panda 4×4 can climb a volcano, and speaking as a volcano nerd, frankly, I’d rather do it in that. Depends on the volcano of course, but if you get hit by a pyroclastic flow for example, you’re screwed no matter what vehicle you’re in. If I’m dying in a vehicle, I want to die in a Fiat.

StLOrca
StLOrca
8 days ago

What, no solar cells on the roof? FAIL LAMERS

/s

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 days ago

Built For Any Planet? Cool because Venus is calling!

https://www.nasa.gov/general/automaton-rover-for-extreme-environments-aree-2/

Ostronomer
Ostronomer
9 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

The linked report is . . . amazing. +100 for references of antique automata and *strandbeest* concepts for a Venus lander.

Lardo
Lardo
9 days ago

Very cool.I’m more interested in the VW Crafter conversion. Have had a few people think my Transit is one.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
9 days ago

I’ll take a yellow one, please.

Red865
Red865
8 days ago

‘Magic School Bus’ theme would seem appropriate.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
8 days ago
Reply to  Red865

At that price, I assume this thing has the ability to shrink and enter the human bloodstream, so I would agree.

A “Hop on the Magic School Bus!” sound bite for every time the passenger door opened would maybe get old for some, but not for me.

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
9 days ago

That looks similar to the roof units we use in transit for air conditioning. Ours are ThermoKing units.

And yes, they move enough BTUs to pull heat out of the engine.

Transit A/C is about maximum cooling, not efficiency. So the evaporator cores have coolant lines running through them along with the A/C lines. When the interior gets too cold, instead of turning off the compressor, the cores are just fed engine coolant to raise the temp back up.

This would be like your furnace coming on to fight the A/C, instead of just turning it off.

As I said before, they push enough BTUs to pull the engine below operating temp, so we run diesel fired coolant heaters to supplement (at full burn, they’re consuming 0.8Gal/hr). Without the auxiliary heater, the engine drops below operating temp and the A/C can (and does) freeze up.

Anyways, this was a long way to say I believe their cooling ability claims.

Lardo
Lardo
9 days ago

so this sounds stupid. keep compressor runs at all times… why turn it off?…
yeah I know most vehicles have the compressor running all the time, but not like this.

Last edited 9 days ago by Lardo
TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
9 days ago
Reply to  Lardo

When you’re pushing anywhere from 24 to 42lbs of r134a around a system, it takes a while to reach cooling output.

Plus, our largest compressors (6cyl) take 50hp to turn and are a hell of a shock load on the crank when they engage. So once it’s engaged, you tend to keep it engaged.

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