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Rugged Transport

Keywords: Buses

Tags: Torsus

Post Date: November 03, 2020

Torsus is building a name for itself with its range of heavy-duty buses and carriers for off-road applications.

Rugged Transport

While buyers looking for rugged trucks capable of extreme off-road driving are spoilt for choice, when it comes to buses there are hardly any options. Step up Torsus, a Czech bus builder, with its tough buses capable of transporting up to 36 passengers, as well as a range of smaller tough transporters. Its largest model, the Praetorian, is the world’s first heavy-duty 4×4 off-road bus.

Vakhtang Dzhukashvili, Torsus CEO, tells Plant & Equipment that the company is looking for distribution in the Middle East, and has already seen strong interest from end customers. It has a technology partnership with MAN for engines, suspension and other componentry. Dzhukashvili conceived of the need for an offroad bus while carrying out technical aid projects around the globe, realising how poor infrastructure was in certain areas and that special modifications such as rally suspension were needed to allow commercial vehicles to operate there.

Currently, for remote job-sites in construction, mining and petrochemical sectors, 4x4s are often used to transport workers, which can require a large fleet of vehicles. The Praetorian, with a maximum weight of 13,400kg, seats up to 36 passengers plus a driver, equivalent to around 10 pick-ups. The vehicles are highly customisable, notes Dzhukashvili, allowing the customer to add equipment or increase the level of comfort. “The main concepts are comfort, safety and people transportation. So it’s built all around the people inside, and then to this concept we add the off-road capability.”

That vision was rewarded in May this year when the company was awarded a prestigious Red Dot design award for quality of design. The jury praised the bus: “The design is aimed at durability, onroad aerodynamics and off-road efficiency and allows for variable configurations ... The vehicle’s design and robust construction reduce operational disturbances and failures in rough territory.” The Praetorian’s spec sheet shows why Torsus is confident that its vehicle can reach even the most remote work-site. Approach angle is 32° and departure angle is 26°, with 340mm chassis clearance front and rear, and 400mm axle clearance. The body is built with special twisting reduction elements to prevent torsion while driving off-road, while the body exterior has a special protective coating to prevent mechanical damage and protect the body. The base chassis is the MAN TGM.

The maximum passenger numbers reflect the vehicle’s relatively short wheel-base of 4,200mm, which has numerous off-road benefits including a better turning radius. Customers can choose from different transmission systems – manual, automated or fully automatic. But the core specs for off-roading don’t change: the vehicles are built with front differential lock, rear differential lock and inter-axle differential lock, and can only be delivered with high off-road wheels.

The buses also have a central tyre inflating system (CTIS), which allows the driver to lower tyre pressure when driving on sand, then re-inflate to go back on-road – with the press of a button, without needing to stop and use an external pump.

Vakhtang Dzhukashvili, CEO of Torsus.
Vakhtang Dzhukashvili, CEO of Torsus.

And while the Praetorian can be configured for tough work applications like military, civil defence and police, its highly customisable nature means it can also be specified for leisure and tourism, with plush seats and excellent all-round visibility. Dzhukashvili says that despite the pandemic there has been surprisingly strong demand from the tourism sector, across different segments – outdoor tourism, extreme tourism such as rafting and mountain bikes, and customers looking for a family recreational camper. “We’ve been surprised how much demand there is from the tourism sector for our vehicles, and how well our buses are suited to their demands,” he says.

The second vehicle in the range is the Terrastorm, a smaller van based on the Volkswagen Crafter 4Motion/MAN TGE which seats eight plus a driver. It can also be configured to be an ambulance, delivery vehicle or mining bus.

Both vehicles have integrated roll-over protection bars, important for mining and industrial sectors to ensure staff safety, and especially for tourism. Features that should prove attractive in the GCC include positive pressure air-conditioning systems, to prevent dust entering the cabin.

“We consider ourselves as the best of the best of what is available for the Middle East region when it comes to people transporters and cargo,” Dzhukashvili says. “We don’t see any engineering or technology restrictions that would affect the use of our vehicle [in hot dusty conditions], and our prices are at a reasonable level.”

Buyers have a wide variety of options, including a shell vehicle, and Dzhukashvili says the firm can also cater to specific applications such as ambulance, laboratory or service support vehicle, which need a large cargo space and have to be able to travel to remote areas.

The technology partnership with MAN not only ensures customer confidence in the vehicles’ quality, but also has important benefits when it comes to service, including easier sourcing of spare parts. Service and maintenance is easier, with all documentation available and familiar to technicians who have previously worked with MAN.

“I believe that nobody in the world can assemble a vehicle better than MAN. And that’s our great advantage – that MAN know what they’re doing in their field, and we at Torsus know what we’re doing in the field of buses. This cooperation provides a top-quality product.”

Key specs



  • Seats: 36 + 1
  • Engine power: 213kW
  • Torque: 1,150Nm
  • Anti-noise package: 82dB off-road
  • Transmission: ZF 9S-1310 OD (manual/automatic optional)
  • Length: 8,700mm
  • Width: 2,540mm
  • Height: 3,600mm
  • Max. permissible weight: 13,400kg


  • Seats: 8 + 1
  • Engine: 2,0l biTDI, 130kW
  • Torque: 410Nm at 1,500-2,000rpm
  • Transmission: 6 MT, 4x4 (optional: 8 AT Tiptronic, 4x4)
  • Length: 6,000mm
  • Width: 2,065mm
  • Height: 2,880mm
  • Weight: 3,500kg


Post Date: November 03, 2020


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