If you want to transport a lot of people over rough terrain, the Torsus Praetorian is the vehicle for the job. Built in Slovakia, the Praetorian is an off-road bus designed to tackle inhospitable terrain, and it gets a few updates for 2021.
The Praetorian was designed for jobs like safari tours, ferrying mine workers, and shuttling people around ski resorts. A Torsus press release said the company has attracted customers in Africa, Australia, and South America.
With that in mind, Torsus upgraded the air-conditioning system for 2021. The new system can cool a fully loaded bus from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 86 degrees Fahrenheit in three minutes, or drop the temperature from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in 15 minutes, according to the company. It can also help cool the engine if needed, Torsus said.
Other changes include a redesigned passenger door and pneumatic retractable steps, new LED lights, and a fire-suppression system. Torsus also changed the positioning the driver seat, and moved passenger seats to create more space, while adding monitors in the back of each passenger seat. Finally, more insulation aids with climate control.
The Praetorian is based on a chassis from MAN, a German truck manufacturer owned by the Volkswagen Group. It can seat up to 35 people, and is powered by a MAN-sourced 6-cylinder diesel engine, producing 286 hp and 848 lb-ft of torque.
Those specs could describe a normal bus, but the Praetorian also boasts 4-wheel drive with front and rear locking differentials. Torsus quotes 15.7 inches of ground clearance, with approach and departure angles of 32 degrees and 26 degrees, respectively. The bus can also climb a 65-degree incline and ford up to 35.4 inches of water, the company claims.
In Europe, pricing for the updated 2021 Praetorian starts at about $199,000 based on a current exchange rates, but Torsus offers numerous pricier configurations, including ambulance and overlander models. The company hasn't discussed U.S. availability.