As kids, many of us played with monster trucks and Tonka bulldozers in the sandbox, pushing our miniature off-road vehicles up steep mounds of dirt and crushing smaller toy cars. These days, we're often relegated to practical commuter cars instead. However, there is one company that has produced a vehicle that brings back this childlike go-anywhere do-anything spirit. It's called the Avtoros Shaman, and it's amazing.

Avtoros Shaman off road truck 2

Avtoros, a Russian company, built this behemoth after ten years of research and development. It's 20 feet long, 10 feet tall, and weighs 5.3 tons. It also has eight wheels, each of which is driven by the engine and capable of hydraulically-actuated steering. This setup allows the Avtoros Shaman to run in three different drive modes:

  • On-road: front four wheels driven and steered
  • Off-road: eight-wheel-drive with opposing rear-wheel steering for tight corners
  • “Crab” mode: all eight wheels steered at the same angle for lateral movement

This beast may not be capable of blistering speed, as its 146-horsepower 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine and manual transmission max out at under 50mph. However, it can easily climb 45-degree grades, while carrying 1.5 tons of cargo and up to 12 people. There's even an optional propeller attachment that permits it to swim across rivers and lakes.

Now, you might be thinking this vehicle is absurdly expensive. Well, yes and no. It costs the Russian equivalent of $137,000. While that's certainly out of reach for many of us, it's not much more than a Mercedes Benz AMG G-Class SUV, and the Mercedes certainly can't carry a dozen people, drive across a lake, or touch an Avtoros Shaman on an off-road course.

Although we don't have the disposable income to afford a Shaman, we can see its use as a vehicle for search and rescue teams, first-aid crews, or hunting groups. For more information on the Avtoros Shaman, visit (site is in Russian, so you may want to use the Google translated version).

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