This Russian 8×8 May Be the Most Capable Off-Roader You Can Buy
If Bruce Wayne built a Batmobile big enough to haul around the entire Justice League, it might look a lot like the Avtoros Shaman. This off-road vehicle puts 4×4s to shame: it has eight wheels, each of which is powered and can steer. This luxury monster truck can navigate nearly any off-road terrain. But what makes the Avtoros Shaman one of the world’s most capable vehicles is that this Russian truck is entirely amphibious.
Is the Avtoros Shaman amphibious?
One of the defining attributes of the Avtoros Shaman is that its body is watertight, its doors seal like bulkheads, and it can float across the surface of water indefinitely. Owners of the base-model truck must gun the engine and use the eight huge tires like inefficient paddle wheels to move through the water. But Avtoros also offers a trailer-hitch-mounted outboard engine plumbed to a hydraulic pump.
When you drive your Avtoros Shaman from land into water, you must first wrestle the outboard engine out of the back of the SUV and slot it into the trailer hitch. Then you connect its hydraulic cables before climbing back inside. If you’re Batman, you just make Robin do this.
To operate in water, you simply drive into the water then switch to the power take off (PTO). That way, when you press the gas the wheels don’t spin, the outboard engine’s propeller spins instead. With a top water speed of 4.3 mph, the Shaman won’t be zipping around like a jetski. But it can certainly handle crossing a river or pond. It does not look especially seaworthy in the open ocean, but the Defence Force of Haiti has already ordered four.
How much horsepower does the Avtoros Shaman have?
The Shaman’s off-road capability comes from a series of locking differentials and steering rear wheels–not its powertrain. It has a simple but effective 3.0-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel that makes 146 horsepower. But it also makes 475 lb-ft of torque. The engine is built for medium-duty trucks by the Italian industrial company, Iveco. It is matched to the ZF six-speed manual transmission.
Is the Avtoros Shaman road legal?
The Russian-based Avtoros claims the size of the Shaman ” allows it to use general roads without creating inconveniences for other drivers.” And while this is technically true of the 8.8-foot-wide truck, Digital Trends reports that the Shaman is not road legal in the U.S.
That said, the Avtoros Shaman drives like a regular, large truck. On-road the driver operates it with standard gas and brake and clutch. The driver does sit at the center of the cab, in a bat-cave-worthy captain’s chair surrounded by cockpit controls.
With the touch of a button, you can activate the rear-steering wheels. With the rear wheels steering, the 20 foot long Shaman will spin around fairly quickly. You can also activate a crab-walk mode, steering all four wheels together and drifting the monster truck sideways.
How much does an Avtoros shaman cost?
The Avtoros website currently lists the Shaman starting at 189 000 € which is about $210,000. This is before you pay for goodies like a winch, thermal imaging gimbal on a mast, or “shooter platform” beneath the hatch.
Avtoros also advertises luxury leather interiors with a sound system, tables, and a partial kitchen. This opulent edition, with everything AND the kitchen sink, can cost $300,000 USD. That might not be much if you own Wayne Enterprises, but we don’t expect to see a Shaman at the local mudding bog anytime soon.
Want to see the Shaman in action? Watch Matt Leblanc preview the big truck for Top Gear here:
You can also see Supercar Blondie take the Shaman for a longer spin on both land and sea in the video below: