We know all about the classic school bus. It is a trusted vehicle not only in the United States, but around the world. The thing is, the school bus was never really a particularly exciting vehicle. It’s always been a bit… mundane. Not this one, though. Tom Ford van Top gear managed to get a look inside the Torsus Praetorian, — the Mad Max from coaches – that he and Top Gear are driving up an active volcano.
The Torsus Praetorian is no ordinary school bus
Ford and Top Gear take the Praetorian to the side of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano at about 11,000 ft. The Torsus company itself is quite interesting, with its parent company, Pulsar Expo, owned by a husband-and-wife team from Ukraine that specializes in crazy conversions for specific jobs, such as mining.
However, the Praetorian was born from the realization that there was no dedicated off-road bus, meaning off-road expeditions, missions, or whatever, used multiple smaller pickups. The Praetorian could really slim down those convoys. The coach is currently being used in Ukraine to help with the humanitarian crisis in the country.
Exploring the Torsus Praetorian
The Praetorian has a MAN 4×4 truck chassis with a spaceframe parked on it. The body panels themselves are plastic, so they can be easily replaced if necessary, and the material helps to keep the truck as light as possible. In addition, it also means that the Praetorian can become an ambulance, a transport truck, or almost anything.
As for power, the Praetorian has a 6.9-liter six-cylinder in-line diesel engine with 290 horsepower and 848 lb-ft of torque, making it plenty powerful for its size. The Praetorian is right at home on Etna as it is actually used as a tour bus up the volcano.
Riding up the volcano
Driving the Praetorian is just like any other truck or bus as the gears can be split to give more range, and it has modern and useful features like air conditioning, USB charging ports for passengers, making it quite comfortable. Noisy, yes, but it still works well.
The low-ratio gearbox allows you to drive around with peace of mind without worry, and it can handle the terrain it’s on very well. It’s not the most powerful vehicle in the world, nor the most exciting, but the Praetorian is perfect for the job.
Source: Top Gear YouTube Channel