When a small Russian company decides to build a vehicle you can bet on two things. Firstly that it will look like a life sized version of something 'Action Man' or GI Joe would have driven into battle, and secondly it will have a hilarious couple of paragraphs of poorly translated marketing speak to go along with it.
With that said, we're pretty sure that the SHERP is our new favourite piece of vodka based engineering.
The first paragraph on the sherp.ru website reads:
"Based on develops of Aleksei Garagashian (renowned technologist). It will strike you with its super passing ability. Our engineers determined with confidence that this vehicle could withstand as a leader in ATV world markets."
From this we're pretty sure that this Aleksei Garagashian chap knows what he is doing. He's a renowned technologist after all!
The look of the SHERP certainly is striking, with giant 1.6-metre high tyres immediately giving you the impression that it will go anywhere, and climb anything. They look all the more impressive considering the total length of the ATV is only 3.4-metres.
With the wheels so closely spaced together there's no room for a traditional side door, so to get into the Sherp you enter through the front of the vehicle.
Inside you'll find a total of four seats, two of which even come with safety belts for, you know, safety.
Powering this little beast, which incidentally only weighs 1300kg, is a Kubota V1505-t 1.5 litre 4-cylinder diesel. While torque is unspecified we can only hope it is more than the whimsical 44.3 hp. Top speed is as high as 45 km/h while for the rough stuff it can crawl at 1.5 km/h.
The team behind Sherp say "We have been to places which never set a human foot before. Traveled to the most distant corners of Tundra, Siberian Taiga, mountain of Kola Peninsula and swamps of the Yugra." Looking at the machine they have created we bet that have!
The standard Sherp comes with a rather nice list of features, including:
Automatic interior heating system
Analog dashboard devices and indicators
Hubcaps on wheels
The only problem is the lack of real steering, with the Sherp relying on tank-like skid steering to change direction. Probably not the best then for navigating the local drive through.
We don't really care about that one little problem because this is one of the coolest off-roaders we've seen in years. Now if only we could cobble together the 3.85 million rubles (NZ$73,000) plus shipping to get one we'd never get stuck in the mud again.