The Terrastorm hits the road
The new 4x4 heavy-duty minibus from Torsus is a versatile, off-road vehicle designed to transport people and cargo in the world’s harshest environments
Torsus, the Czech-Republic-based manufacturer popular for building heavy-duty, off-road buses, has launched its second commercial vehicle - the Terrastorm 4x4, off-road minibus - following the Praetorian, the world’s first production off-road bus.
The Terrastorm is manufactured at Torsus’ production plant in Slovakia, applying the expertise gained from producing the Praetorian. Having undergone a rigorous test programme at multiple test facilities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, including the Tatra testing ground, the Terrastorm can withstand and handle beyond normal off-road usage whilst remaining usable and comfortable on road, according to the manufacturer.
Vakhtang Dzhukashvili, founder and CEO of Torsus, says: “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 the Praetorian and translated it to a smaller overall footprint, but the dependability and toughness remain. Terrastorm is a vehicle that will be at home on the dunes of the Sahara to delivering packages and emergency care work in mountainous regions.”
Features and specifications
The 4x4 Torsus Terrastorm is based on a Volkswagen Crafter/MAN TGE 4Motion chassis and 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.
The Terrastorm is available in in two trim levels, the 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. The 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 is 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 needed. 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 damage when off-road.
The 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 4x4 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 4x4 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.
- Engine capacity: 177 h.p./130 kW at 3600 rpm
- Engine type: diesel bi-turbo, common rail
- Torque: 410 Nm at 1500-2000 rpm
- Wheelbase: 3,640 mm
- Body length: 6,000 mm
- Body width: 2,065 mm
- Height: 2,880 mm
- Approach angle: 26 degrees
- Departure angle: 20 degrees
- Ground clearance: 290 mm
- Fording depth standard/increased: 690 mm/820 mm
- Fuel tank volume: 75L
- AdBlue fuel tank volume: around 18L
- Max. permissible weight: 3500 kg
- Front axle load: 2100 kg
- Rear axle load: 2100 kg
- Permissible roof load: 150 kg
Inside, the Terrastorm can accommodate from nine to 20 passengers, depending on the seat configuration. 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, which enables a customer to install modular components to convert a bus into a personal camper.
Above the seats is the Torsus ‘air channel’, a 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 inhospitable environments.
The Terrastorm can be configured in a number of ways for applications in tourism, overland, mining, cargo and emergency and special services.
The Medivac Terrastorm is an off-road ambulance that works as either a patient transportation vehicle or a mobile intensive care unit. The Medivac is built according to EU or local regulations with the correct Battenburg markings, LED beacons on the roof, bumpers and mirrors, as well as a siren and external loudspeaker.
Inside, the vehicle is equipped with the necessary noise insulation, floor coverings, ceiling and wall panels as well as the electrical systems and an oxygen supply system. The Medivac can be supplied with stretchers, electrical suction units, defibrillators, syringe pumps and electrocardiograph machines as per specifications.
When delivering parcels or important cargo to remote areas, passenger seats aren’t always needed. The Cargo version is a versatile vehicle that can be commissioned by infrastructure maintenance providers and kitted out to suit those needs.
Sales and distribution
The Terrastorm is available to order, starting from $68,105 (€57,461). The first Terrastorm deliveries will commence in Q3 2020 in both left-hand and right-hand drive models. The minibus will be sold through Torsus’ international dealer network and is supported by Volkswagen and MAN service centres. Each vehicle comes with a two-year global drivetrain warranty and full aftersales support which can be increased up to five year or 500,000km in selected markets.
Torsus is currently distributed in Germany, Poland, Australia, Chile, Peru and Ukraine. The company plans to expand its reach into more territories, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK, US, Argentina, France, Canada, Philippines and Kazakhstan.