Lumbering along on tires that are over five feet in diameter, a Russian 4×4 ATV called the Sherp is a machine that just seems too wild to be real.
Powering this crazy machine is a surprisingly modest 4-cylinder diesel engine that puts out only 44 horsepower. The top speed on land is only 28 miles per hour. It does go 3.7 miles per hour in the water, though, which is a pretty neat trick. This is because the Sherp is also amphibious. The small engine and bare-bones construction make a lot more sense once you know that.
Even though it always looks like its about to do a face-plant into the water, the Sherp does a pretty good job of staying above the surface. There’s no complex engineering magic going on here either. The huge wheels make the Sherp buoyant enough to stay afloat and the paddles that comprise the tread on said wheels provide motion in the water.
Don’t bother trying to turn the tremendous wheels either. The Sherp is controlled via a skid-steer system, similar to how a tank steers. In fact, the Sherp is almost more like a tank than a conventional 4×4. It can scale objects up to 27″ high and can inflate and deflate its own tires to suit the driving surface.
While the design does not lend itself well to off-road driving that requires ground clearance, the Sherp’s capabilities are extremely impressive. On soft dirt, sand, snow, and ice, the Sherp is unstoppable. All of this can be yours for only $65,000. They can really charge whatever they want for one, it’s not like there is a ton of competition. I am gonna bet that the Sherp will corner the market on multi-passenger, four-wheel drive, skid-steer, amphibious, all-terrain vehicles for quite some time.