► The world's toughest minibus?
► Based on the VW Crafter
► Prices start from £52,291
If you’re apprehensive about what the rest of 2020 has to offer, then off-road specialist Torsus might have just the vehicle you need for our Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic future. The new Terrastorm is its smallest creation yet – it’s a 4x4 minibus based on the Volkswagen Crafter but designed to reach areas of the globe a regular people-mover just can’t handle.
Of course, anybody can put big tyres on a van and call it the world's toughest off-road minibus, but the Terrastorm comes from the same company that brought us the Torsus Praetorian not too long ago - so we're pretty sure it means business.
Torsus Praetorian: Megabus redefined
The Crafter 4Motion chassis – also shared with the MAN TGE – features a twin-turbocharged diesel engine with either 138bhp or 175bhp, and six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions. While it’s an excellent van on its own – our sister site Parkers awarded it Van of the Year for 2020 – Torsus has made a few sympathetic modifications at its Slovakia production plant to ensure the Terrastorm is virtually unstoppable off-road.
So things begin at the bottom with an upgraded chassis, off-road suspension and a locking rear differential. Heavy-duty 17-inch BF Goodrich All Terrain tyres help give the Terrastorm 290mm of ground clearance and a wading depth of 690mm – upgradable to 820mm with the ‘Deep Wave’ pack.
Underside protection keeps the engine, transmission, rear axle, DPF filter and fuel and AdBlue tanks from damage off-road, while the custom front bumper holds new LED high beams, daytime running lights, foglights and spotlights. It also improves the Terrastorm’s approach angle, which is 26 degrees with a departure angle of 20 degrees.
Torsus has also fitted a heavy-duty integrated winch capable of towing up to 5.5 tonnes – easily enough to pull a fully-laden Terrastorm out of a sticky situation.
Two trims are available, named TT1 Coach and TT2 Nomad. The latter includes everything already mentioned but adds a front metal bull bar, metal grilles on the rear lights, a roof rack with integrated spotlights, spare tyre rack and rear ladder. You know, just in case a jacked-up van on off-road tyres wasn’t quite butch enough for you…
What’s it like inside?
For the Terrastorm to be a good off-road minibus, it’s got to be a good minibus, right? Capable of seating from nine to 20 passengers depending on the seating configuration, Torsus installs its own seats to ensure they’re up to the rigours of life off-road. They’re sumptuously upholstered in fabric and ‘eco’ leather, while the cockpit includes a second touchscreen control panel for interior heating, lighting and speaker systems.
For truly extreme configurations it’s possible to specify ‘extra active’ seats – with five-point harnesses and capable of individually swivelling or being swapped out for tables.
Those wanting the executive transport vibe can also specify a roof-mounted luggage rack giving each passenger individual lighting, air-conditioning and speakers. Or, if you prefer, you can dispense with seats altogether and opt for the Terrastorm Cargo – the van variant.
Better yet, ambulance trusts across the country will be clamouring for the Terrastorm Medivac, an off-road ambulance built to EU specifications and able to be fitted out with everything from basic supplies to full intensive care specification.
It probably will be. Prices start from an actually-pretty-reasonable £52,290… but that’s only for the Cargo model. Minibuses begin at £68,938 and prices only go up from there – with most of Volkswagen’s original options list available to specify, as well as Torsus’ own.
Mechanical support can be found at Volkswagen and MAN service centres, though, and there’s the option to increase the Terrastorm’s warranty and aftersales support up to five years or 500,000km (310k miles) for added peace of mind.
Orders can be placed now, with deliveries beginning in Q3 2020.