Don’t let the yellow paint fool you. The Torsus Praetorian may resemble an amped-up school bus, but it’s well equipped to make mincemeat out of rough, inhospitable terrain. According to the Czech Republic-based automaker, the indomitable Torsus Praetorian was recently awarded the 2020 Red Dot Award in the Product Design category. Designed in partnership with Werkemotion, the Praetorian also happens to be the world’s first 4×4 off-road bus.
Admittedly, the Praetorian is a bit overkill for the school run. But this hardcore off-roader was conceived to ferry up to 35 passengers (and equipment) across the toughest road conditions. It starts with a heavy-duty TGM truck chassis from MAN, allowing the Praetorian to have an impressive 15.7-inch (400mm) ground clearance. The bus is also fitted with front and rear parabolic leaf springs, power steering, and a 66-gallon fuel tank.
The Torsus Praetorian is motivated by a MAN 6.9-liter diesel mill producing 240 horsepower and a gargantuan 629 pound-feet (925 Nm) of torque. Power is transferred to all four wheels courtesy of a MAN semi-automatic gearbox with locking differentials, allowing this monster bus to literally climb over mountains. Equipped with 10-hole off-road wheels and Michelin off-road tires, no other bus can forge over rocks, gravel, snow, and mud like the Praetorian.
Every inch of the Torus Praetorian is built for maximum toughness. The body is built from fiberglass while all exterior surfaces are coated with Line-X ballistic-grade coating to offer maximum protection against scuffs, scratches, and corrosion. And even though it has an all-conquering demeanor, the Praetorian has a homey and comfortable interior.
The driver receives a pneumatic seat and a rear-view camera. Meanwhile, all 35 passenger seats are fitted with 3-point seat belts and personal travel lights. Central air-conditioning is standard along with an automatic door (with automatic steps), tinted windows, a reinforced floor, and a DVD entertainment system. Of course, this bus is highly customizable and can be fitted with almost anything under the sun – yes, including the kitchen sink.
Best of all, the Praetorian is available in a variety of configurations including a mining bus, firetruck, overlander, police vehicle, or a utility version among many others. Torsus failed to disclose pricing, but a little bird told us a standard Praetorian bus starts at around $154,000.