TORSUS, manufacturer of the world’s toughest, heavy-duty off-road buses is set to cause a stir in the commercial vehicle sector with TERRASTORM, a 4×4 off-road minibus. Available to order now, starting from €57,461 (£52,290.95), the first TERRASTORM deliveries will commence in Q3 2020 in both left-hand and right-hand drive.
The 4×4 TORSUS TERRASTORM, based on a Volkswagen Crafter/MAN TGE 4Motion chassis, features a EURO VI D 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine offered in two power guises, 140PS (103kW) and 340Nm or 176PS (130kW) and 410Nm, mated to a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Engineered and manufactured at TORSUS’ production plant in Slovakia, the heart of vehicle manufacturing in Central Europe, the team applied its expert knowledge gained from producing the PRAETORIAN, the world’s first production off-road bus, to design a new ultra-tough 4×4 minibus. Designed to transport people and cargo to some of the world’s most inhospitable places, the TERRASTORM is dependable and pushes the commercial vehicle sector to new limits.
Testing to TORSUS Tough
Ensuring the dependability of a TORSUS product means putting the product through its paces in testing. TERRASTORM has undergone a rigorous test program at multiple test facilities in and around Czech Republic and Slovakia including the iconic Tatra testing ground. This ensures the vehicle can withstand and handle beyond normal off-road usage whilst remaining usable and comfortable on road. TERRASTORM is engineered rugged and is tested to TORSUS tough.
Vakhtang Dzhukashvili, founder and CEO of TORSUS, 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 and translated it to a smaller overall footprint, but the dependability and toughness remain. By working with customers and listening to feedback and hearing their problems, we find solutions to create the ultimate off-road minibus.
“TERRASTORM is a vehicle that will be at home on the dunes of the Sahara to delivering packages and emergency care work in the mountainous regions. The vehicle is versatile in its configurations, it is always able to offer more capability to serve multiple markets and industries.”
TERRASTORM is designed to be valuable for those wanting a vehicle that can do the heavy lifting at work but is also great for the weekends with the family. Specific body trim is crafted to not only protect the lower panels of the vehicle but create solutions to problems – such as an integrated winch and a custom-built skid plate.
The vehicle is offered in two trim levels – TT1 Coach and TT2 Nomad, both of which include an upgraded chassis and off-road suspension, all-wheel drive with a locking rear differential, integrated winch in the TORSUS front bumper capable of towing up to 5,500kg (5.5 tonnes), side steps, durable scratch resistant coating on the lower body panels, and a bespoke Duraluminium skid plate running from the engine and gearbox down to the rear differential and fuel tank to protect from being damaged in inhospitable conditions. TT2 Nomad adds a front metal bull-bar and rear light metal grilles, roof rack with integrated lights, spare tyre rack and rear ladder.
The TORSUS bumper was designed to offer improved off-road capabilities with better approach angles. It hosts the LED high beam, daytime running lights, fog lights and spotlights as well as the integrated winch, which is hidden away only to be dispatched when you really need it. As part of the underside protection, the custom 5mm Duraluminium skid plate protects the engine, radiator, transmission, rear axle, DPF filter, as well as the fuel and AdBlue tanks from any costly damage when off-road.
Off-road suspension has been upgraded to ensure optimum on and off-road capability. Up front, MacPherson struts and Bilstein B6 shock absorbers offer optimum comfort. With the increased ride height, Ironman 4×4 Adjustable Camber bolts are fitted to offer ± 1.75 degrees camber adjustment.
At the rear, the suspension is a combination of leaf springs equipped with Ironman 4×4 Load Plus and optional Profender Dakar shock absorbers with remote auxiliary reservoirs extended axle stroke. The combination of uprated off-road suspension and heavy-duty 17-inch BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 tyres gives the TERRASTORM a ground clearance of 290mm, approach and departure angles of 26 degrees and 20 degrees, and a wading depth of 690mm. Potential buyers have the option to select the ‘Deep Wave’ pack allowing the TERRASTORM to wade through up to 820mm of water.
Inside, the TERRASTORM can accommodate from nine to 20 passengers in high-comfort seats, depending on the variant of minibus, upholstered in fabric and eco leather fitted with three-point seatbelts. Each passenger seat is built on a strong chassis and skeleton consisting of 2-4mm of sheet metal. The driver cockpit includes a new touchscreen control panel above the infotainment system to control all interior heating, lighting, air conditioning and speaker system from the single unit, as well as offering the driver a status overview of all equipment.
For more extreme configurations, TORSUS has created ‘extra active’ seats with 5-point harnesses. Unlike most minibuses, the internal seating configuration on the TERRASTORM can be altered to ‘swivel seats’ with multifunction tables all on the TORSUS seat rail system. This means the rows of seats can be positioned opposite each other making use of the multifunction tables and a customer can easily install modular components to convert a bus into a personal camper.
Above the seats is the innovative TORSUS Air Channel; a top-class luggage rack offering each occupant individual lighting, air conditioning vents and speakers. The passenger cabin is lined with 30mm thermal insulation and the anti-slip floor is 18mm high-density water-resistant board with 2mm PVC floor coverings to ensure it is easy to clean and can withstand the inhospitable environments.
Peter Zaiček, Head of Production, TORSUS, “When producing the TERRASTORM, we continuously monitor and assess the minibus to create the best product we can; leading to multiple iterations of moulds until we have the perfect one that not only aligns with our design language but is safe, rugged and dependable.”