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4WD Paddlewheel Icebreaker Is a Class of Its Own - for the Price of Two Lincoln Navigators
Ladies and gentlemen adventurers, the wait is over! The all-terrain all-wheel-drive all-you'll-ever-need adrenaline shot machine is on sale. A bunch of hard-core Ukrainian off-roaders got together and decided they needed a bigger, better vehicle for their occasional fun drives; the options were too land-bound, too water-bound, or too tiny to suit the needs of the extreme-seeking gearheads, so they made one. Enter Atlas ATV.

4WD Paddlewheel Icebreaker Is a Class of Its Own - for the Price of Two Lincoln Navigators

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Built from the ground up – very high up, I might add! – the behemoth stands almost 9.2 ft tall (2.8 meters) and nearly as wide (8.3 feet, or 2.5 meters) and starts at $159,000. We asked the creators of this monster for details, and here's what we got: for that amount of money, you can take nine more friends, stack them up in the belly of the beast and drive away. Or sail away, as the rather rectangular-looking all-terrain vehicle can also… err, go (?) on water (as you can see in the first video).

The enormous tires also act as floats, keeping the vehicle high over the waterline, going at an all-ahead-full of just under 3kn (out of respect for the naval capabilities of the Atlas ATV car-vessel, I am using the correct unit of measurement. The terrestrial equivalent is about 3.3 mph or 7 kph). 

Portal axles make possible the 23-inch ground clearance (580 mm), with generous help from the 65-inch massively tall tires. Since we mentioned wheels, all four of them can steer. That halves the regular turning radius of 37 feet (11.2 meters) to 19.3 feet or 5.9 meters. And, in case you parked in a very tight spot, there's a third option of side steering (all four wheels turn in the same direction, and the Atlas-errant goes well, sideways).

 

The driver can deflate the tires to increase traction on rough terrains, such as climbing over boulders or downed poles and logs. It takes just 22 seconds to reinflate the tires from full-flat to normal pressure; the Atlas has a very ingenious solution for this – it uses exhaust gases rather than an air compressor. Also, to overcome difficult obstacles, a pressure transfer system balances the load by pumping more gas into the overhanging wheel. The tires act as hydraulic cylinder dampers; pretty clever, I know.

In the engine department, you get Renault-Nissan's commoner-carrying 1.5-liter four-cylinder Diesel that delivers 90 HP over 162 lb-ft (220 Nm) of torque. Not as impressive as the rest of the car, but the choice has its reasons: ease of maintenance and reduced weight. Then again, the fight in the dog wins the bone. Additionally, since it is an extreme off-roader, track performance is not what you're after here. It takes 18 seconds to reach top speed from a standstill.

And by "top," we mean 31 mph (50kph), albeit limited mechanically. That's right, the cogs in the portal gear lift only allow a specific maximum speed. But Atlas offers three different setups for the gear ratios so that you can have the bison-looking ATV in a 30, 37, or 43 mph (50, 60, and 70 kph) capable variant. Fuel consumption is 1.05-gal (4 liters) per hour, and the 26-gals (100 liters) tank (optionally upgradeable) gives a hefty 500 miles (800 km) of range. Just put fresh engine oil every 200 engine hours and half as often in the portal gearboxes. The heavy-weight-looking Atlas is very light - around 4,800 lbs (2.2 tons), and the payload is 3.300 lbs (1.5 tons).

We did mention the base price of $159K. The full-option version, however, ups that number by a notch. Ready to be cool? A/C is five-and-a-half grand alone, and if you want a winch (because you suddenly decide to climb the Hoover Dam, let's assume), put another $4k down. Furthermore, air heating is $2,000, all-around cameras are $3,000, the towbar is one grand, and two extra seats come for $40. Each. Total that, and you get to buy a whole new car for the six-pack optional extras of the Atlas ATV! Or a lifeboat, for that matter.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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