Torsus updates its terrain-devouring Praetorian off-road bus
It's been nearly three years since Torsus introduced the rugged Praetorian off-road bus. This week, it announced some updates to the go-anywhere workforce shuttle, adding in new LEDs capable of lighting up pitch-black job sites, beefing up the air conditioning to keep up with Saharan temperatures, and giving the bus integrated firefighting capabilities for situations in which there's no local firehouse within a day's drive. Long story short, the Praetorian is even more prepared for getting to work and seeing the job through in the world's harshest locations.
Torsus developed this year's slate of updates after carefully reviewing extensive customer feedback, starting things off by moving from halogen to LED lighting. It partners with Polish LED automotive lighting specialist WAŚ, updating the Praetorian's front-end with powerful 4,100-lumen drive light units with both focused and diffused capabilities. It adds on 1,000-lumen work lights around the roof and sides to create a 360-degree stationary lighting system to fully illuminate the graveyard shift.
Torsus turns to Webasto for help in bolstering the AC for use in the world's hottest climates. Designed specifically to perform in extreme high temperatures, the 21.5-kW system can cool down a loaded 35-occupant bus from 60 to 30 ºC (140 to 86 ºF) in just three minutes, continuing down to 20 ºC (68 ºF) in less than 15 minutes. Torsus says the system is even robust enough to provide extra engine cooling in the event the engine approaches overheating.
Speaking of heat, the new BlazeCut automatic fire-suppression system self-extinguishes fires around the fuel system, engine compartment and other critical areas of the vehicle. Added fire-resistant materials and two onboard fire extinguishers further protect against fire incidents.
Torsus also improves passenger-door safety to comply with the latest EU regulations, adding an auto-close system that operates at speeds over 3 km/h (2 mph), safety sensors and emergency release buttons, and other updates. Meanwhile, Torsus adds available mechanical central doors and rear swing-out doors to help pave the way for more functional leisure conversions, including campers and tourist buses.
The Praetorian interior includes more seating space for passengers, headrest-integrated displays for media device connection, and improved insulation for more effective heating.
What hasn't changed is the Praetorian's go-anywhere (and bring the entire crew) demeanour. The built-out heavy-duty MAN chassis brings a 286-hp six-cylinder diesel engine with 848 lb-ft and a heavy-duty 4x4 off-road transmission. The Praetorian climbs inclines up to 65 percent and powers through waters 90 cm (35 in) deep. The big off-roader can be purposely outfitted for innumerable uses, from all-terrain search and rescue and emergency services, to mining, to motorsport support, to cold-weather or safari tourism, to overland camping.
Torsus' announcement does not include pricing information for the newly updated models, but as a reference, current Praetorian listed pricing starts at €153,000 (approx. US$186,000) for an empty bus shell or €166,000 for a basic Transporter variant.