Russian off-roader: the Avtoros Shaman 8x8 can conquer any terrain

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A number of vehicles do the job just fine off road. Land Rovers, Jeeps, and Toyotas can go most places where regular vehicles cannot. For the more adventurous set, there exists a class of vehicle that goes above and beyond. One such machine is the massive Avtoros Shaman. With its eight driven wheels and amphibious capability, the world is truly your playground.

"Top Gear" host Matt LeBlanc got to spend some time with a Shaman. He describes as the size of two Range Rovers for the cost of one Range Rover. That would be one very nicely equipped Range Rover, as the starting price for a Shaman is in the neighborhood of $150,000. What you're paying for here, however, isn't luxury but true globe-trotting capability.

The Shaman is a Russian vehicle with an independent suspension for all eight of those wheels, and the ground clearance is nearly 18 inches. You don't need to worry about fording depths, either, because the Shaman (when properly equipped) can simply roll on into a body of water and keep on chugging. One of the options is a propeller, which isn't something you'll find in any Range Rover order guide.

Don't expect to get anywhere quickly, though. Power is provided by an Iveco 3.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel. It produces 146 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. LeBlanc says to expect around 11 mpg, but don't worry about finding a fuel pump because the Shaman holds 70 gallons of fuel. On the road, the top speed is 44 mph and it's just over 3 mph in the water.

If you need to tow anything, the Shaman can handle that quite well, too. The tow rating is in the neighborhood of 12 tons. Furthermore, how's this for a transfer case. It's a two-step setup with a five-way lockable differential boasting connectable bridges for the different axles. It also has a crab mode if you need to walk the Shaman sideways, and a thrust mode to swing the truck through tighter turns.

With a Avtoros Shaman 8x8 you can go anywhere you want...as long as you don't need to get there quickly.

 
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