The Torsus Praetorian Is a 4×4 School Bus Made for ‘Mad Max’

There are plenty of ways to turn unconventional vehicles, even supercars, into off-roaders. However, a school bus usually isn’t one of them. Converting one into a camper or an RV, sure. But into an off-roader or overlander? Well, that’s exactly what the Torsus Praetorian is.

The Torsus Praetorian is a genuine off-road school bus

The Torsus Praetorian bills itself as “the world’s first hardcore, 4WD, off-road bus,” Top Gear reports. And while it’s likely not the first school bus to venture off-pavement, it definitely comes better-equipped for the job than the average one.

Underneath, the Torsus Praetorian is built on a MAN truck’s chassis and powertrain, Hagerty reports. That means a 6.9-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder engine with 290 hp and 848 lb-ft with a 9-speed manual transmission, Autoblog reports. Though, if you don’t want to shift yourself, there’s a 12-speed automatic available, The Drive reports. Its top speed is only 62 mph, but its off-road features are such that it can likely do that speed almost anywhere.

Besides 4WD with a transfer case, the Torsus Praetorian has front and rear locking differentials, a 32° approach angle, and a 26° departure angle. And with its Michelin off-road tires, it has 15.3” of ground clearance, New Atlas reports. The Praetorian can also climb a 65% grade and drive along a 33.5° incline. Plus, it can wade into water more than 35” deep, Automobile reports. And if you want a bit of extra comfort, you can swap out the standard leaf springs for pneumatic suspension.

The interior of a Torsus Praetorian with floor-embedded light strips
Torsus Praetorian interior | Torsus

But the Torsus Praetorian can function as an actual school bus. It can seat 36 people besides the driver, the interior has an easy-clean surface, and there’s even an on-board DVD player. Naturally, there’s also a roof exit. Plus, because it’s about 28.5’ long and over 8’ wide, it has a backup camera to help with parking.

There’s more than one Torsus Praetorian trim

A gray Torsus Praetorian climbs an off-road hill
Torsus Praetorian climbing | Torsus

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However, the school bus configuration is just one flavor of Torsus Praetorian available. There’s a bare shell trim that has just 3 standard seats but adds additional lights, front and rear bull bars, and a bike rack. But the Czech Republic-based company has even more trims to choose from.

A snow-camo Torsus Praetorian Expedition
Torsus Praetorian Expedition | Torsus

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The MP trim adds protective metal window mesh as well as a rear-mounted lift and cargo racks. You can turn the Torsus Praetorian into an ambulance, a ski bus complete with snow chains, or a mobile communications center.

Some of the trims offer on-board sleeping quarters, kitchens, and washrooms as well as extra power sockets. There’s even a Praetorian riot bus with a dozer blade attachment.

How can you get one?

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The Torsus Praetorian can be ordered in left- or right-hand-drive configuration. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come cheap. As of this writing, the school bus trim’s pricing hasn’t been announced. But the base version starts at roughly $180,900 before options. And some of the fancier trims cost more than twice that much.

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However, Torsus is establishing a US dealer network. And the Praetorian can be serviced anywhere MAN trucks are. Plus, it comes with a 6-year/560,000-mile powertrain warranty and a life-time exterior corrosion warranty.

I’m just glad this school bus wasn’t around during my school snow days.

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