Automotive

Amphibious Sherp ATV's big wheels keep on turning, no matter the terrain

The Sherp ATV is over one tonne of all-terrain ruggedness
The Sherp ATV is over one tonne of all-terrain ruggedness
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The Sherp ATV is designed to travel over dirt, snow, water, sand and more
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The Sherp ATV is designed to travel over dirt, snow, water, sand and more
A key to the Sherp ATV design is the tire-inflation system
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A key to the Sherp ATV design is the tire-inflation system
Riding through the field in the Sherp ATV
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Riding through the field in the Sherp ATV
Sherp ATV tackles the sand
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Sherp ATV tackles the sand
The Sherp ATV is over one tonne of all-terrain ruggedness
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The Sherp ATV is over one tonne of all-terrain ruggedness
Power comes from a 44-hp 1.5-liter turbodiesel engine
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Power comes from a 44-hp 1.5-liter turbodiesel engine
Those ridged tires grab earth and paddle through water
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Those ridged tires grab earth and paddle through water
The standard Sherp comes with a soft top
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The standard Sherp comes with a soft top
The Sherp ATV has halogen headlights
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The Sherp ATV has halogen headlights
Sherp ATV
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Sherp ATV
The Sherp ATV powers through water
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The Sherp ATV powers through water
Starting at $65K
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Starting at $65K
A Sherp-towing trailer is available as an option
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A Sherp-towing trailer is available as an option
The Sherp ATV clears obstacles that would incapacitate smaller 4x4s
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The Sherp ATV clears obstacles that would incapacitate smaller 4x4s
Sherp ATV
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Sherp ATV
The Sherp ATV will be on display at the upcoming Hunting and Fishing in Russia show
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The Sherp ATV will be on display at the upcoming Hunting and Fishing in Russia show

When we initially saw the Sherp ATV rolling its way around the Internet, our first thought was that it must be the work of a designer, not a real vehicle. The compact body tucked between ginormous off-road tires just looked too odd to be real. But the Russian vehicle is indeed real and it's one hell of a way to drive over anything short of a sheer cliff face.

Led by technologist Aleksei Garagashian, the minds behind the Sherp ATV – minds that are almost certainly a little twisted – got together in 2012 to develop a vehicle with supreme terrain navigation capabilities. They finished up the design last year and are now showing the vehicle at expos like the upcoming Hunting and Fishing in Russia show.

The Sherp ATV isn't just an off-roader; it's an off-track vehicle designed to navigate over terrain that hasn't benefited from even the most basic human clearing – through the heart of brush fields, into swamps, over deadfall-strewn forest floors, and up and over talus fields. Its positively massive tires stand 63 in (160 cm) tall and provide the size and traction needed to roll over and through virtually anything in the way.

With nearly two feet (60 cm) of ground clearance, the Sherp underbody glides over obstacles that would eat up lesser vehicles. A tire-inflation system helps the vehicle adjust to the varying demands of the ground below.

The Sherp ATV powers through water
The Sherp ATV powers through water

And the Sherp ATV even swims, with the terrain-grappling ridges on the tires doubling as paddles. Drainage valves shed water after the Sherp ATV gets back on land.

If you think the ultra-rugged, 134 x 99 x 91-in (340 x 252 x 230-cm, L x W x H) Sherp ATV requires some kind of massive engine to shove it forward, you'll be rather shocked to learn that the whole thing is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with just 44 hp (33 kW) on tap. Though massive to the eye, the Sherp ATV weighs as little as 2,866 lb (1,300 kg), and that small engine and the five-speed manual transmission can get it going up to 28 mph (45 km/h) on land and 3.7 mph (6 km/h) in the water.

Sherp drivers also rely on skid steering, whereby the two wheels on each side are locked in synchronization, and can be driven independently of the pair on the opposite side.

The Sherp ATV seats four people inside its steel body and even has two seat belts. It can carry up to 2,200 lb (1,000 kg).

The Sherp ATV clears obstacles that would incapacitate smaller 4x4s
The Sherp ATV clears obstacles that would incapacitate smaller 4x4s

The St. Petersburg-built Sherp ATV soft-top base model starts at US$65,000. Options include an onboard generator and 50-liter (13.2 US gal) in-wheel fuel tanks to augment the 58-liter (15.3-US gal) fuel capacity. The Sherp AV is also available for lease, though what we're really hoping for is day rentals.

Watching the Sherp ATV in action is absolute magic – it speeds through the swamp, pulls itself out of the water onto ice after a swim, and slices through tall brush. After watching the video below, we're already reserving it a spot on our off-road vehicles of the year list for 2016.

SHERP / ATV of Alexey Garagashyan

Source: Sherp ATV

18 comments
rippa700
Can you imagine what a mess our pristine wilderness sights will be after a few of these have ground through them? Horrible. Get out and walk.
Daishi
It's not cheap but I really like the concept.
vblancer
rippa...There has to be one in every comment box. Do you not understand that you could not possibly walk where this thing goes? Given the weigh and foot print it is unlikely to do any permanent damage in most environments. In CA the off road people are required to use the same areas over and over so they get beat up. Russia is so huge and trackless it is unlikely that another vehicle will ever follow this one and with so little damage done in a month you would not even know it had come and gone. As for walking I drove the desert road and trails for about 40 years. Much of it is now in what Diane Feinstein got marked off by the Desert Protection Act. In all those thousands of miles (I ALWAYS stayed on already used dirt roads of which some were 150 years old and used by the Paiute Indians before the gold diggers) I NEVER saw a single person WALK into those places!! Not once! You can not carry enough water to camp out there without a vehicle. Now you can not even ride a horse into those areas. Chances are while I was enjoying the beauty of those desert mountains you were firmly planted on your couch! Many areas just do not lend themselves to walking.In all those years the only people seen walking were hunters and campers like me who had to drive in BEFORE they could walk. Some people can not stand the idea that others are having a little fun and enjoying nature.
Dave Ussery
Amazing what you can accomplish with a little time, a few bucks and some extreme thought.......
Edward Vix
Can you imagine what a mess our pristine wilderness sights will be after a few of these have ground through them? Can't wait!
CharlieSeattle
Double the size of the wheels and the vehicle could run upside down if flipped over as long as the cab is mounted on gyro-stabilized gimbals. Drive by wire Engine and drive train would not be attached to the cab. Cab top, front, rear and wheel hubs must have exploding reactive armor to repel RPG's.
ezeflyer
Reminds me of the old all terrain, amphibious "Rolligon" with huge inner tube like tires that could run over a person without harm. And a bit like my old Toyota Land Cruiser with big tires. Will the chassis and windows take a roll over without damage? Will it right itself?
SuperFool
The big tires look cool but they cost a lot and driving around half inflated will fatigue the side walls. might have to hike back to town for help. Also needs a roll bar, looks like it could flip forward or backwards.
sk8dad
Without any notable suspension travel, how does this thing deal with diagonal approach/departure?
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Should incorporate into "Walking Dead"!