All New TORSUS PRAETORIAN
TORSUS has announced the specifications of its all-new 2021 TORSUS PRAETORIAN off-road bus for logistics applications in extreme environments.
Designed to transport personnel and equipment safely across the world’s harshest environments, the PRAETORIAN is a 4×4 off-road bus based on an upgraded, heavy-duty MAN chassis. It is powered by a six-cylinder MAN diesel engine with 286bhp and 1,150Nm of torque, as well as a heavy-duty 4×4 off-road transmission – sufficient for the bus to easily climb a 65 percent incline. The vehicle also features Michelin XZL off-road tyres specifically designed for emergency response and tactical vehicles and military-grade elastomeric coatings which are engineered for maximum durability and impact resistance applied to body parts.
The manufacturer claims the vehicle will master any terrain, “in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world”.
Discuss the upgraded model, TORSUS CEO, Vakhtang Dzhukashvili, says: “We live by and set the highest standards for ourselves and our world-beating 4×4 buses. Our mission is to ensure our 4×4 heavy duty buses conquer the world’s most daunting driving environments, safely transporting people and equipment to locations no other vehicle could ever reach. Achieving this requires rigorous attention to detail coupled with our obsession with delivering nothing but the best. That means we constantly strive to improve our vehicles and make sure they feature the most relevant and beneficial new technology through our ongoing process of product development. By listening to customer feedback, we make certain we are always on-point with our updates and improvements.”
Director of strategy, Yuliya Khomych, adds: “Our engineering and manufacturing teams have helped us to manage the challenges of the past year. The 2021 model year represents the very best of TORSUS. It represents resilience, determination and our desire to succeed in the face of adversity. Like many businesses, the past 12 months have been challenging, but it is testament to our team that we have been able to produce an upgraded product and reach our key strategic targets.”
From darkness to light
TORSUS creates a range of PRAETORIAN 4×4 buses to cope in highly challenging conditions from disaster evacuation to fire fighting and from motorsport to operations command. Optimum lighting is essential in such circumstances, which is why TORSUS’s engineering team has replaced the halogen lights previously found on the PRAETORIAN with highly energy-efficient all-new LED headlights, which provide significantly enhanced illumination. Roof-mounted lights are also offered for even greater levels of visibility and safety.
To develop the PREATORIAN’s new lighting system, TORSUS partnered with WAŚ – one of the most innovative automotive lighting technology companies in the world. WAŚ offers almost 4000 different lamps for automotive applications and supplied TORSUS with its ultimate W149 driving lamps. Both focussed and diffused lighting units are fitted, each providing 4100 lumen, which is more than triple the illumination provided by a halogen high beam car light and perfect for driving safely off-road in darkness. When the PRAETORIAN is stationery, roof and side mounted 991 SIGNAL SL 1000 lumen work lights provide 360-degree illumination for the crew to carry out their tasks quickly and safely in the most demanding situations.
Keeping cool at 50°C
With sales outlets and service and maintenance points across Africa, Australia, Europe and South America, the PRAETORIAN was already comfortably at home in some of the hottest temperatures on the planet. Even so, TORSUS’s engineers have taken the opportunity to further bolster the performance of the vehicle’s air-conditioning system. Working closely with market leader Webasto, the PRAETORIAN’s air-conditioning has been thoroughly upgraded to protect the wellbeing of crew and occupants, whether they are travelling through Australia’s Great Sandy desert or the Sahara in North Africa. Both regions can see outside temperatures rise as high as 50°C and 60°C inside the vehicle, which is within the operating parameter of the air-conditioning system fitted to the PRAETORIAN.
Detailed work was carried out to enhance air distribution to individual luggage rack outlets for more airflow volume and increased nominal air conditioning cooling capacity. The industry-leading 21.52 kW system can cool down a full bus of 35 occupants from 60°C to 30°C in just three minutes, and incredibly, can drop the temperature from 60°C to a comfortable 20°C in under 15 minutes. In fact, so effective is the air-conditioning unit; it can even keep the engine cool should it, for example, become in danger of overheating when climbing sand dunes.
Safer entry and exit
To comply with the latest EU regulations, TORSUS has redesigned the operating system of the PRAETORIAN’s passenger door, facilitating the smooth opening and closing in less than 8 seconds. To ensure optimum safety, the door automatically closes once the vehicle speedometer reaches 3km/h. Incorporated sensors eliminate the risk of passengers or obstacles being trapped in the doorway. All-new pneumatic extending and retracing footsteps and new entrance bars make it more convenient and safer for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle than before. And an updated emergency evacuation system has also been integrated into all doors, which feature both interior and exterior emergency release buttons, and roof hatches.
Another example of TORSUS’s determination to go to any and every length to create the ultimate specification 4×4 off-road bus is the fitment of a highly efficient bus stop brake system. Operated by the touch of a button, it utilises the air service brake equipment of the rear axle with a pressure of 3.5 bar and negates the need for the service brake or parking brake to be applied during frequent stops.
TORSUS is also about to enter production with first vehicle equipped with fully mechanical doors in the middle section and rear swing doors. This will provide an unmatched versatility offering in fields such as leisure, camping, safari and tourism, and enable customers to create a vehicle that meets their needs and desires perfectly.
Protection against any eventuality
The PRAETORIAN is designed to offer its occupants optimum protection in every condition and circumstance, even in the unlikely event of a vehicle fire. A powerful, new, automatic, fast-acting fire suppression system developed by industry leaders in fire protection BlazeCut, has been fitted to the PRAETORIAN. As per mandatory legislative requirements the BlazeCut system automatically actuates in the fuel tank area when a fire occurs, extinguishing the blaze in seconds leaving very minimal damage to the vehicle and keeping occupants safe. However, TORSUS has extended the coverage of the system to other areas of the vehicle, such as the engine compartment, at no additional cost to the customer. Two fire extinguishers are mounted inside the cabin, and new fire-resistant materials and fabrics have also been fitted.
Complete comfort in challenging terrain
The PRAETORIAN’s ability to climb snow-covered mountains, wade rivers and cross rock fields does not come at the expense of occupant comfort. And now, both driver and passenger experience an even more refined travelling experience thanks to an extensive range of upgraded interior features. The positioning of the driver’s seat has been realigned, which improves safety with better side mirror visibility, while passengers now have even more space between seats. The passenger seats have also been upgraded, with the introduction of individual monitors in the back of each seat to facilitate the integration of personal media devices. Additional occupant comfort takes the form of new, efficiency-enhancing insulation materials in the vehicle walls and roof, which provide superior heat retention in cold conditions and help keep the vehicle cool in hot weather. Also, improved mechanisms on the sliding windows efficiently reduce energy consumption.
To enable the PRAETORIAN to cope with extreme cold, whether transporting passengers to a ski-resort or moving crew and equipment around an arctic base for example, TORSUS has equipped the vehicle with a CELLO heating panel. This flat, wall-mounted heating panel essentially generates radiant heat by mitigating cold airflow. Even when the temperature outside drops to -10°C the combination of side wall insulation heating panel raises the temperature inside the vehicle to +20°C, requiring 19 per cent less energy to do so compared with a conventional heating system.
Peter Zaicek, Head of Production, describes the vehicle as the ‘most adaptable and versatile’ 4×4 in its class, adding: “The TORSUS PRAETORIAN is designed and engineered to excel in many different and extremely hostile environments across the globe. Ensuring the vehicle always delivers optimum performance, durability and safety in any location require extensive testing and development – not just of the vehicle but also of the ground-breaking equipment and technology it’s fitted with.”