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Russian Uran SUV Makes Your [Insert Any Vehicle Name] Look Tiny and Weak

Russia is full of hidden automotive gems and they all seem to have some sort of connection with tanks, but I guess when you have thousands of them lying around gathering rust and the people watching over them are easily greased, that's not very surprising.
Uran SUV 9 photos
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But no matter how many weird contraptions you'll find there, I can guarantee they won't be able to hold a candle to the Uran. This SUV took the better part of a decade and a half to build and judging simply by its size, that seems totally reasonable.

It's hard to get a sense of the scale just from a few pictures, but it should probably start and end with this: the behemoth uses a 16-liter (976 cu in) V6 engine. The unit used to power a Soviet armored personnel carrier - the infamous BMP-1 - so even though you can't technically say it has a tank engine, it has a tank engine.

The entire project was supposedly built by hand, which would also explain why it took so damn long to complete it. There are no official power figures, but if the engine was left stock then we're looking at 300 hp and God knows how much torque - probably enough to twist all the lemons in the world all at once.

The V-shaped engine had a 120-degree angle between the cylinder banks, which is why fitting it in a road-going vehicle proved difficult. Not that the Uran (I feel like I should write its name in all-caps for some reason) was a narrow SUV, but even so, some tricks had to be pulled out of a hat. For instance, the winch sits in front of the engine where the radiator normally lies, which meant the cooling parts had to be moved to the sides - see the engine bay pic for a clearer image. Of course, that meant punching a few holes in the hood to feed air for those four large fans.

One figure I bet we would all like to hear is the fuel efficiency. According to Wikipedia, a BMP-1 has a 462 l (122 gallons) fuel tank and an operational range of 600 km (373 miles). Pulling out our calculators we find that the Russian APC drank 0.77 liters every kilometer (0.32 gallons per mile). Which is probably what the crew also drank, if you'll allow the classic vodka joke. The Uran probably had a smaller tank, but also weighed less, so its consumption could have been something similar.

If the vehicle appears dusty in some of the pictures, it's because it sadly was never registered. One story claims that a Russian politician commissioned Gennady Hainov (a man who had expertise both as an engineer and as a designer) to build him an SUV that was capable off-road, but also luxurious. He probably didn't think it would take that long because he allegedly died before the project was completed.

Well, the little we do know for sure is that Hainov is indeed the man behind the Uran, even though the motivation behind the build remains a mystery. Though, to be fair, the fact you're able to build something like this would be all the motivation you'd need, right?


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