Drive at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour, rock climbing on the Rubicon Trail, and make donuts; of course, these things will make you anxious. However, in my wildest dream, I never thought I would be attracted by something with a wheelbase smaller than Alto and a top speed of 40kph.
Sherp is that car. After 20 years of development, this incredible vehicle was manufactured by a Ukrainian company. The length is less than 4 meters, but the tower is more than 1.8 meters high. Standing next to a wheel taller than me, staring at the cabin that seemed to be on the first floor, I was very excited to give it a try. After all, this is a hard-core machine, seemingly small and compact, but its cabin can accommodate up to 9 people, and it can also be adapted to install rescue equipment or use it as a carrying space. On-road, off-road, no road, snow, sand or water-it is designed to eliminate terrain and plow everything easily.
It has a small footprint, but very high.
After dragging myself up the steps and entering the cabin, I sat side by side in a basic structure with a roll cage and a rescue bed tied to the back. The company’s test driver Alexi invited me to drive a shotgun because it is not a traditional steering device, but a skid steering device. It uses different speeds on the left and right wheels, or brakes on one side or the other to change direction-like a tank. How it is able to open a dime is very incredible. Equally impressive are the huge 70-inch wheels and 610 mm of ground clearance, ensuring that it will never run aground or run aground.
Sitting in the cabin, riding on everything, devouring big rocks, climbing over the edge of a 90-degree trough about one meter high, nothing seemed to stop Sharp. In front of us, there is a steep gradient. Although Sherp seems to have solved it easily, I still stand on one side because we are also at a 30 degree angle (leaning to one side). While my internal organs were adjusting themselves, lexi told me, “Don’t worry, there is a small fuel tank at the engine height to prevent fuel shortage at any angle.” The Sherp engineers seemed to have thought of everything.
The rear can provide various seats and even special-purpose configurations.
Although I walked a bit because the terrain was too uneven, surprisingly, there was no sharpness during the ride. Those tires and integrated pneumatic circulation suspension can make all the rocks, boulders and broken terrain we roll over wet. This is another unique system patented by the creator of Sherp. There are no shock absorbers or struts; the tires are inflated with exhaust gas and connected to each other, allowing the air in one tire to be squeezed into the other tire, which is very convenient when one tire is compressed on the rock and the other is in the air. So the wheel itself is the suspension system. The tire is worth noting. It runs at an ultra-low pressure of 1.5 psi on the road. With the push of a button, you can put down or lift the tire during the journey.
Although our speed did not reach more than 40 km/h, there was a bright smile on my face, because Sherp N 1200 seemed to destroy everything on its path and made me feel so invincible. There are only two levers and two pedals in the cabin. Move the two levers back slightly to release the clutch, and pull them fully back to activate the brake. The left stick is used to turn left and the right stick is used to turn right. Sherp is a chain-driven vehicle. The chains run in a tray filled with oil baths, so they are permanently lubricated.
It is powered by a Doosan D18 1.8-liter three-cylinder diesel engine, which produces 55 horsepower, and is used in conjunction with a 6-speed Renault manual transmission. I’m still thinking about these seemingly trivial numbers because Sherp feels so strong and so indomitable.
The instrument is basic but practical; the cockpit provides a panoramic view.
Although we have easily cleared a lot of obstacles, now there is a big rock on the path in front of us, and I want to know how we squeeze through this small space. I expected Alexis to slow down, but chatting with me, he rushed forward, simply put a wheel on it, and we left. I hope to hear some grinding and rubbing sounds below, but there is nothing. The single-compartment body is located on a flat load frame, so it will never trip over anything. The load frame is hot-dip galvanized to prevent corrosion. It has a pumping system and plugs to drain excess water, which makes it ready to pass anything, I mean literally.
The lake in front of me is getting closer and closer. Although this is an amphibious vehicle, I think it means driving through a flooded road. But this behemoth is floating on the water! Yes, that’s right-before I have time to think, splash! We go straight in. The protruding ridges on the wheels are now like the oars of a ferry boat, stirring the water on both sides as we sail across the lake. The polyurethane coating on Sherp is also waterproof, so it does not require paint work after you swim with it. Alexis is showing off now, using the brakes to swing the “boat” left and right, and stopping the wheel on one side to change direction. When Sherp swayed, my heart was beating wildly, but there was a big smile on my face.
I have seen it all now. N 1200 is exactly what I want. With the addition of import tariffs, the cost of Sherp in India will be between 1.3-1.5 crore-roughly equivalent to the price of a high-end luxury car. So it is a great toy for the rich and famous (Kanye West has more than 10). Although its practical applications will be search and rescue, mining, construction or military, I really want one! If the zombie apocalypse attacks us, I know I will be safe.
Sherp N 1200-the ultimate traveling car!