Off-road vehicle specialist Torsus has revamped its Praetorian 4×4 bus, with updates including several alterations to its interior and passenger comfort systems.
Working closely with supplier Webasto, the manufacturer has updated the vehicle’s air-conditioning system to improve the well-being of crew and occupants, whether they are traveling through Australia’s Great Sandy Desert or the Sahara in North Africa. In both regions, temperatures can rise as high as 50-60°C inside the vehicle, which is now well within the operating parameters of the air-conditioning system.
According to Torsus, detailed work was carried out to enhance air distribution to individual outlets to improve airflow volume and increase nominal air-conditioning cooling capacity. The company claims the 21.52kW system can cool a full bus of 35 occupants from 60°C to 30°C in just three minutes and can drop the temperature from 60°C to a comfortable 20°C in under 15 minutes. In fact, so effective is the air-conditioning unit that the manufacturer says it can even keep the engine cool should it, for example, be in danger of overheating when climbing sand dunes.
To cope with extreme cold, whether transporting passengers to a ski resort or moving crew and equipment around an Arctic base, for example, the vehicle has been equipped with a Cello heating panel. This flat, wall-mounted heating panel generates radiant heat by mitigating cold airflow. Even when the temperature outside drops to -10°C, the combination of side-wall insulation and the heating panel raises the temperature inside the vehicle to +20°C, requiring 19% less energy to do so compared with a conventional heating system.
Torsus says the Praetorian’s rugged nature does not come at the expense of occupant comfort. In the latest update, the positioning of the driver’s seat has been realigned, which improves safety with better side mirror visibility. Passengers now have even more space between seats, and their seats have been upgraded with the introduction of individual monitors in the back of each one to facilitate the integration of personal media devices. Additional occupant comfort takes the form of new, efficiency-enhancing insulation materials in the vehicle walls and roof, which provide superior heat retention in cold conditions and help keep the vehicle cool in hot weather.
To comply with the latest EU regulations, Torsus says it has also redesigned the operating system of the Praetorian’s passenger door, facilitating smooth opening and closing in less than eight seconds. To ensure optimum safety, the door automatically closes once the vehicle’s speedometer reaches 3km/h. Incorporated sensors eliminate the risk of passengers or obstacles being trapped in the doorway. All-new pneumatic extending and retracting steps and new entrance bars make it more convenient and safer for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle. Furthermore, an updated emergency evacuation system includes roof hatches and interior and exterior emergency release buttons integrated into all doors.