In the world of Off Road vehicles, 4×4 is the standard. There have been many advancements made to off road vehicles in recent years like hill climb and hill descent controls and increased fjording capabilities. A Russian company has taken off-roading to a whole new level…by adding four more wheels.
Meet the undisputed heavyweight of off-road vehicles, the Avtoros Shaman 8×8.
Let’s get the basics out of the way first.
The Avtoros Shaman 8×8 is a beast that is 6.3 meters long and weighs 4.8 tonnes. Underneath the oversized hood lives a 3.0 litre turbocharged diesel engine that was sourced from a delivery van (the Iveco Van which was also sold as the Fiat Daily)! The engine churns out some 176bhp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It is not the most powerful engine and the Shaman only has a top speed of 50mph. But where the Shaman goes, 50mph is fast enough. Just watch the video to get an idea of what this mother-of-all SUVs can handle.
The Shaman is undoubtedly Russian with its simplicity and robustness. The engine has been paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and an 8×8 drive system. The driver sits up front in a single seat cockpit. There is a panel with buttons that control almost everything in the Shaman. The Shaman has buttons to lock each of the four axles when climbing or descending. It also has 8×8 steering that helps the Shaman navigate tight turns. There is also the crab mode which turns all the wheels sideways probably to make parallel parking this beast much easier.
The ultimate off road party trick of all-time is that it has a propeller out back. Once engaged it can cruise down a river with relative ease at a speed of 7kph. The hull of this 4.8-tonne behemoth is water tight and effectively floats. While it may not be as agile in the water as it is on land, but it floats! How’s that for fjording capability?
Unlikes the smaller Off-road vehicles like the Mercedes G63 or the Land Rover Defender, the Shaman was not made to be a luxury car. The interior is more suited for outdoor adventurers rather than a businessman wearing a three-piece suit. The Shaman was built for hunters, miners and even first aid crew and is much more at home in the off-road than the city. But it would be really cool to drive it down a busy street, much to the horror of supercar owners.
The Avtoros Shaman 8×8 is bargain priced for all the fun you can have with it. The basic unit costs £88,000 which is £22,000 cheaper than a Mercedes G63. There are optional upgrades and customizations for this beast. It should be one of the most fun vehicles to drive around the bush.
And it would be safe to say that where the Shaman goes, it doesn’t need roads!
Photos via Top Gear