Companies that make off-roaders like to bandy around the term “unstoppable,” but in reality, it’s a pretty drastic exaggeration. Even a diesel-powered Jeep Wrangler Rubicon or Land Rover Defender will find itself stymied by conditions that seem like they shouldn’t present as much trouble as they do — swamps, marshes, deep water, and so forth.
Then there’s the Earth-bound Mars rover of an all-terrain vehicle known as Sherp the Ark. This Ukraine-made off-roader is just about as close to unstoppable as any wheeled vehicle of its size can be.
You thought four-wheel-drive was good? Try 10-wheel-drive. Each and every wheel of this off-roader receives power from the 2.4-liter engine that cranks out 74 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque, routed through a five-speed manual transmission. (You can disengage the power to the front four wheels, if need be.)
While the powerplant may not be impressive, the steering is; the three-axis steering system works like an airplane’s yoke, enabling Sherp the Ark’s front end to rear up or pitch down. That gives it absurd off-road capabilities, like the ability to clamber over a five-foot-tall obstacle; it also offers approach and departure angles of up to 40 degrees, and can inflate and deflate the tires as needed.
Oh, and did we mention this thing is amphibious? Not only is it buoyant enough to stay on top of the water, it also packs pumps in the cabin that keep water from intruding.
Granted, you won’t be going anywhere very quickly no matter where you are. Top speed is just 18.6 miles per hour on land, while it can paddle on top of the water at a pokey 3.7 miles per hour. Blame Sherp the Ark’s mass; in spite of an aluminum body, it weighs in at 5.25 tons without even a drop of fuel in the tank. And it’ll take a lot of drops to fill said tank; Sherp says this rig offers a claimed 82 hours of fuel, enough to knock out more than 1,200 miles of driving.
Now, if this has you thinking that Sherp the Ark (the name just flows better without the definitive article) would be a perfect vehicle to survive just about any apocalyptic scenario — climate change, nuclear war, asteroid impact, the new Cats movie — you’d be right. Sherp stresses the varied capabilities of the back half on its website, showing off configurations that can work as personnel carriers, dump trucks, tanker trucks and ambulances…but the real draw, of course, is the living configuration setup that turns this rig into the be-all-and-end-all overlanding RV. Literally: the overlanding rig to be in at the end-all.