Meet the Torsus Terrastorm, the Slovakian makers’ all-new off-road van…and you’ll soon be able to buy one in Australia.
Torsus is well known in Europe as the maker of off-road buses, having released its mental Praetorian already. What you’re looking at here is latest creation, the Terrastorm. This thing starts out as either a Volkswagen Crafter or its twin-under-the-skin MAN TGE with 4Motion chassis and is tweaked and transformed into either a weekend warrior or minibus. The engine is a 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel making 103kW and 340Nm of torque or 130kW and 410Nm depending on the variant, and you can have either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
The fun stuff. The Terrastorm is offered in two trims – 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 (5500kg) in the front bumper, side steps, scratch resistant Raptor 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. TT2 Nomad adds a front metal bull-bar and rear light metal grilles, roof rack with integrated lights, spare tyre rack and rear ladder.
To handle the extra weight, give the thing a lift, and manage the ups and downs of off-roading, the Terrastorm’s suspension has been beefed up with MacPherson struts and Bilstein B6 shock absorbers at the front. To handle the increased height, Ironman 4×4 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 4×4 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. But if that’s not enough, you can get a Deep Wave pack that raises water fording to 820mm.
The interior is just as impressive. Inside, the Terrastorm can accommodate from nine to 20 passengers. 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, as well as offering the driver a status overview of all equipment. For more extreme configurations, Torsus has developed its ‘extra active’ seats with 5-point harnesses.
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
Speaking about the Terrastorm, Vakhtang Dzhukashvili, founder and CEO of Torsus, said: “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 Praetorian and translated it to a smaller overall footprint, but the dependability and toughness remain. By working with customers and listening to feedback and hearing their problems, we find solutions to create the ultimate off-road minibus.
“Terrastorm is a vehicle that will be at home on the dunes of the Sahara to delivering packages and emergency care work in the mountainous regions. The vehicle is versatile in its configurations, it is always able to offer more capability to serve multiple markets and industries.”
As mentioned, Torsus has representation in Australia via Bus4x4 with the larger Praetorian listing for way more than $400,000 by the time you fit it out and get it on the road. But this smaller Terrastorm should be a much cheaper alternative, although local pricing hasn’t been announced yet. In a move that will give buyers peace of mind, the Torsus Terrastorm has the blessing of both VW and MAN and can be serviced by both companies.