Test drive all-terrain vehicle Sherpa

I already wrote about this amazing car in my blog. He noted that the all-terrain vehicle was written many times in the foreign press, but in our country few people know about it. Recently I had the opportunity to get to know Sherpa better. It happened on the shore of one of the reservoirs of the Leningrad region, where they organized a presentation of the vehicle and the expedition "To the East!". A full test drive Sherpa did not work, because to control you need to have the rights of the "tractor" category. Nevertheless, we managed to see the car in action. And not only on a more or less level road, but also in the forest, in the swamp, and even in the water! Yes, it is in the water, this is the most interesting feature of Sherpa.
Sherpa rover
Sherp has been working since 2012, when the collaboration with the designer Alexey Garagashyan began. The main goal of the company is to create a car that would not be equal in cross-country ability. After three years of improvements, changes and tests, the company launched this in mass production:
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Sherpa rover
The machine surprises by its appearance alone.Dimensions are very non-standard: width is two and a half meters, height is 2.3 meters, and length is only 3.4 meters. A short and nondescript body without the usual elements like the hood, huge wheels - all this suggests that the car was created for some specific purposes. In this case, to conquer off-road virtually any format.
The most noticeable part of the car, no doubt - is the tire. They have a unique dimension, which is not found anywhere else - 1600 * 600 R25. These tires were designed and manufactured specifically for Sherpa. The clearance of the car is also 600 mm, which is quite a lot. Wheels for these tires have another interesting feature: they can be fitted with additional tanks for water or fuel, each with a capacity of 50 liters. In the photo below they are just embedded:
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Sherpa rover
Tires are remarkable not only for their size, but also for their tread height. Such wide and high protrusions allow the machine to cling to any surface, climb on the slopes with a large slope, and even paddle in the water.
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Sherpa rover
The all-terrain vehicle has no doors in the usual sense of the word. One can get into the cabin from the front and rear through such shutters opening up, down or sideways:
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Sherpa rover
Here, the lower flap opens downwards and is able to bear the weight of an adult:
Sherpa rover
The salon is quite austere, there is a minimum of equipment. Passengers in the rear of the cabin can be located on two side benches (and you can sleep on them) and on the box in the middle in which the engine is located.
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Sherpa rover
In the all-terrain vehicle, the Kubota V1505-t diesel engine is 1.5 liters and just 44 hp. He is hiding in a box in the photo below. From here you can see two front seats: the driver is sitting on the left, the passenger is on the right:
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Sherpa rover
If desired, various additional equipment can be built into the machine: an audio system, a radio station, an air heater, and so on.
Sherpa rover
From this perspective, some of the controls of the machine are visible: the handbrake, the gear lever, the tire pressure adjustment valve and the weight switch:
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Sherpa rover
The gearbox here is the usual manual with five gears. If I'm not mistaken, here is the same box that is installed in modern Frets:
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Sherpa rover
There are only two pedals for driving the car: clutch and gas. There is another pedal next to it, which is responsible for supplying exhaust gases to the tires (instead of air).
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Sherpa rover
Turns and brakes the car with the help of two levers, which are here instead of the steering wheel. Pulling for each of them, the driver can make the car turn in the appropriate direction. Let me remind you that the wheels of an all-terrain vehicle are rigidly fixed and cannot rotate like the front wheels of ordinary cars. A turn occurs due to the unlocking of pairs of side wheels. If you need to turn right, then the driver of the all-terrain vehicle pulls the right lever on itself. At this time, the wheels are unlocked on the starboard side, while the left continue to spin. If you need to turn sharply, then the lever must be pulled too sharply down. Then brake pads that block the right side come into play. Thanks to this mechanism, the turning radius of Sherpa is amazingly low. The machine can, literally, rotate around its axis.
In the photo below you can see a meager set of buttons on the "torpedo":
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Sherpa rover
One of the most interesting features of the all-terrain vehicle is the ability to pump up the wheels and bleed the air out of them at the command of the driver from the cabin. The wheels are pumped not with air, but with exhaust gases from the engine.The driver switches the gas supply to the tires, presses the accelerator pedal, and in just a minute the wheels can be inflated all the way. In the photo below, the instrument panel, where there is a meter hours, engine temperature, fuel level and voltage in the on-board network. And below and on the left just fixed air pressure gauge in the tire system:
Sherpa rover
I knowingly applied the word "system" in relation to tires. The fact is that the suspension in this all-terrain vehicle has nothing to do with the car's suspension. She is pneumo-circulating here, invented personally by Alexei Garagashyan. All tires in the all-terrain vehicle are connected to each other by air channels, the cross section of which can be changed up to full closure. This system allows you to gently pass through obstacles such as large stones. If one wheel hits something big, some of the air from this tire flows into the other, allowing the first to noticeably deform and soften the passage of obstacles.
Sherpa rover
On the test drive, we tried different off-road. And sand, and smooth forest trails, and steep climbs, and swamps:
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Sherpa rover
Here it seems that the car is stuck and will not be able to leave. In fact, the all-terrain vehicle drove through this piece of swamp, practically without stopping:
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Sherpa rover
Then he scrambles up a very steep climb and does it playfully:
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Sherpa rover
But the most spectacular, of course, is when the all-terrain vehicle enters the water:
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Sherpa rover
Sinking into the water from the shore is slow and careful so that nothing is scooped into the cabin. Next, the car keeps afloat due to the air in large tires and rows a wide tread. The maximum speed of the movement in water is 6 kilometers per hour.
Sherpa rover
From other figures and facts:
- fuel consumption - 2-3 liters per hour (exactly, and not in liters per 100 kilometers);
- motion speed on a flat surface - up to 45 km / h;
- The volume of the fuel tank - 58 liters;
- car cost - from 4 million rubles in a basic complete set.
What else can I add to what is already written? The car amazes with its passability. What a forest, what a swamp, what a lake ... It seems that this all-terrain vehicle can only save in front of serious mountains or a high steep wall. Huge wheels with variable pressure in them and massive lugs allow you to row on all types of coatings, including on the water. A low center of gravity provides good stability for large rolls. At some moments, the tilt angle of the body was such that we could not stay in place and flew through the cabin. And the car at the same time behaved quite steadily and stubbornly crawled forward. To go on an all-terrain vehicle into deep water is generally a separate pleasure.
By the way, at the very beginning I mentioned the expedition "To the East!". In the spring of 2017, eight people on several Sherpas will travel from Arkhangelsk to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and on the arctic off-road.
Not all impressions can be conveyed by text and photos. Therefore, we shot for you a half-hour video in the format of a video blog. The presenter of the video is my colleague Yevgeny Sigidin, and I just flicker there and insert small notes :)
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