8 incredible Russian ATVs you can buy today
A look into 8 of the most ludicrious, powerful and immense ATVs to suit your adventuring needs
It doesn’t take a genius to know that some of the most inhospitable, rough and equally gorgeous terrain exists within the 17.1 million square kilometre lands of the Russian Federation. From the Siberian Tundra to the Pontic Steppe to the Ural Mountains, Russia is home to some of the toughest landscapes known to man. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the adventure-seeking nomads amongst us have sought to take on this challenge with open arms and open minds. This begs the question, what’s the best way to traverse the landscape? Sure, perhaps a Toyota Land Cruiser or maybe a Land Rover Defender will do the trick, but even they have their limitations. What do you do when you’re looking for just a bit more? Well, this list should show you what possibilities are out there.
Russia has always had to produce vehicles with all-terrain capabilities, which during the Cold War was primarily aimed at military purposes. However, with the markets opening and the rise of the consumer, manufacturers have experimented (and experimented successfully) in the realms of taking this technology and making it available for any and all people that wish for a vehicle that will take them wherever they desire… for a price of course. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most bombastic, most insane and most amazing ATVs that Russia has to offer, with the hopes of broadening your horizons and maybe even enticing some of you to consider them next time you decide to take a little adventure. Without further ado, let’s get straight into it.
1. Avtoros Shaman
'And lo, the Shaman wept, for there were no more mountains to conquer...'
You might remember this vehicle if you watched the new Top Gear, where Matt LeBlanc drove this thing on a series of tests through the UK. Manufactured by Russian company Avtoros, the Shaman is an 8x8 ATV with a passenger capacity of 8 people, and the ability to travel through anything. Powered by a 3L Iveco inline-4 engine from a van, the low-revving diesel engine produces 176 bhp at 1200 rpm and can churn out 350 N-m of torque, making it a small but sturdy power unit. The drivers position sits in the centre in a ‘captains chair’ configuration, and some of its features include: low pressure tyres, options to allow it to navigate on water, three driving modes to accommodate both on and off-road driving, and a ‘crab’ mode which, get this, allows it to move SIDEWAYS. Yes, SIDEWAYS. At 150,000 euros this isn’t a vehicle for the everyday buyer, but if you need something that will drive you as the crow flies up a mountain and back, this is the vehicle for you.
2. ATV Phantom (Wolverine)
How far can you push a quadbike? Well, with this you'll certainly find out...
Well all like a good quadbike, but when your standard quad just isn’t doing it for you, this is what you need. Designed to handle the rough and near-impassable conditions of the Taiga, this heavy-duty ATV is both light and durable, with the ability to take you anywhere. Weighing only 700 kg (with a load capacity of 300 kg), this thing is the perfect fast-mobility ATV to take you on your adventures. With the ability to handle pretty much any terrain, and the ability to traverse waterways, the 1.5l Toyota engine can produce between 70 to 109 hp, and 93 to 144 N-m of torque dependant on your configuration. This vehicle is born off the chassis of a Suzuki Jimny, which in itself is already a fun and dependable SUV and looks like it will undoubtedly get you where you need to be. Unfortunately, it is currently only available in Russia for 14,000 euros, but I’m personally hoping that they’ll export it sooner rather than later!
Taking glam-ping to a whole new level...
The BigBo may have a cutesy and strange name, but there’s nothing cutesy about this vehicle’s capabilities. Don’t let its proportions fool you either; this vehicle has the capacity for 5 passengers and can be converted to having sleeping areas in the rear of the vehicle, with space for cargo and much more. The is a strong and stout ATV with both comfort and adventure in mind. Despite it’s rugged exterior, the BigBo features full insulation and air conditioning, a JBL audio system and panoramic windows to ensure that you get a full view of your surroundings whilst ploughing through them at speed. Is that all? Of course not! In a mere 10-15 minutes (according to the manufacturer), the roof can be removed and the BigBo can transform into either a pickup configuration or a boat… yeah, a boat. Honestly, if the boat thing doesn’t sell you on this, I really don’t know what will. The BigBo is priced currently at 99,000 euros, but for the capabilities and amenities of this vehicle, I’m truly not mad about the cost.
If only they had this in Zombieland...
Let’s say you want something that looks a bit more like a regular SUV, but can still wade through rivers and conquer mountains like it’s warming up before the heavy weight boxing bout of the century (get it? Like when Rocky ran up that mountain in Rocky 4?). If you are, then the Viking-2992 is just the thing for you. Obviously, its dimensions are preposterously large, but then again it kind of has to be. With a driving range of 780 km maximum, the Viking is in my mind the daddy of all SUVs, despite weighing only 1.4 tonnes (for comparison, the Bugatti Chiron is 1.9 tonnes). The Viking was designed with practicality in mind, with configurations including everything from a multimedia centre to a mobile control room to a living space! At 143,000 euros, the Viking is without doubt a big investment, but with the specifications and the possibilities this car provides, it’s certain to make good on the amount you’re spending.
5. Makar Burlak
Ain't no mountain high enough...
Taking its name from the men who hauled barges and other ships upstream during the times of Imperial Russia, the Burlak is a 6x6 ATV with tremendous capabilities. Powered by an American Cummins engine, this vehicle is built not only to tackle, but to outright destroy any rough terrain that is unlucky enough to find itself in the path of this beast. The Burlak is more of a utilitarian vehicle, designed for industrial usage, cargo freight and expeditions to those areas that just can’t be reached by ordinary vehicles. This vehicle in expedition configuration costs 149,000 euros and includes capacity of 15 passengers with 8 sleeping areas, a propeller to allow the vehicle to become amphibious and most interestingly only delivers 0.12 kg/cm2 of pressure on the ground, so as not to damage the soil. So in theory, you can not only traverse the impassable, but also preserve the land as you do so! Nice to see that the manufactures care so much for the environment (kind of).
6. Avtoros Myl
For when your delivery destination is in the middle of a swamp...
Based on the GAZelle LCV, the MYL takes commercial vehicles to a whole new level. The principle of this vehicle is to combine the simplicity and reliability of the LCV with the all-terrain, rough and ready attitude of the Avtoros company to build this practical swamp crawler that will carry you, 4 of your friends and all of your stuff come hell or high water. Differing from the other vehicles on this list, the interior of the car remains the same as it is in the original vehicle it’s based on, with all the comforts and amenities included. Avtoros simply took the chassis and frame of this car and plonked it on a heavy-duty ATV platform to create an LCV ready for expeditions through anywhere you can think of. Combining the power of a 128 bhp Cummins 2.8L diesel with a carrying weight of up to a tonne, what this vehicle lacks in flair, it makes up for in performance, and at 50,000 euros it stands as one of the cheaper options available on this list.
7. Vehor RX2
It's like a 'my first ATV' but like, way better...
Have all the entries on this list so far been far to expensive for you? Are you still looking for a go-anywhere Russian ATV, but are restricted by the burdens of finance? Well, for 5,000 of your hard-earned euros, you can buy this! One of the smaller entries on this list, the Vehor RX2 is a super-light ATV that still has the capability to tackle snow, sand, swamps, pretty much whatever is in your way. Powered by a 4-stroke 17 hp Lifan engine, what this lacks in comforts and amenities it makes up for in practicality. It’s basically like a snowmobile that you can take anywhere. Interestingly, it is also the only ATV on this list that’s actually tracked instead of wheeled, which immediately ensures better traction on rougher terrain… in theory.
8. Kamaz Arctic
Bask in the vast shadow of its magnificence....
To round of this list, I present to you a mighty beast from the same company that has consistently won the Dakar Rally for the last decade. Kamaz are already known as a heavy truck manufacturer, renowned for their reliability and durability in the harshest of conditions. This mammoth of a vehicle is designed for artic expeditions (in case you hadn’t already figured that one out) and comes equipped incredible features. Aside from the truly massive cargo capacity of 15 to 16 tonnes, the vehicle comes with a fully equipped living module, including a kitchen, operational shower, built-in generator, a clean water reserve and options to include TV and satellite phones. This 30-tonne beast is powered by a 450 hp Kamaz engine, and remarkably can operate in temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius! At an asking price of 7,000,000 rubles (around 80,000 euros) it’s weirdly affordable for such an insane vehicle, though I truly think that this isn’t your standard “lets go camping in Devon for the weekend” vehicle.
Thank you for reading my latest article. There are so many more of these vehicles I wanted to include, so if you enjoyed it leave a bump, a comment and let me know if you’d like to see a part 2! If you’re interested in more content like this, why not give me a follow? I post articles like this and more on the regular! Thanks again, see you next time 😊