Yacht owners often carry onboard complementary vehicles that allow them to maneuver exotic and harsh destinations. Such is the case of amphibious ATVs, personal submarines, and sports cars specially designed to be carried in the holds of super yachts. But none of them offers the extreme off-road capabilities of the new Sherp ATV.
Sherp was introduced in 2012 by designer Aleksei Garagashian. His goal was to provide a machine that was able to drive through the most challenging environments on the planet while—at the same time— offering easy handling, buoyancy, significant autonomy, and the ability to climb over obstacles up to 2,5 feet tall.
Garagashian devised a lightweight vehicle—it only weighs 1,300 kilos (2,870 lbs)—that moves on four giant wheels of variable pressure, capable of overcoming almost any obstacle it might find on its way. The Sherp also provides buoyancy and navigation capability with a maximum speed of 3 knots per hour, making it the most complete amphibious off-road vehicle in the market.
The impressive wheels, 1.6 meters (5.2 feet) high, have a pressure control system that modifies the level of inflation according to the particular needs of the terrain. In fact, it is the low tire pressure and deformation capacity which allows the Sherp to overcome and climb without any problem.
Despite its robust and imposing appearance, the Sherp has a small turbo diesel engine from Kubota— only 1.5 liters and 44 horsepower— which, combined with a 5-speed manual gearbox, can reach a maximum speed of 45 km/h (27 mph), but has enough thrust to drive on any surface.
Another interesting aspect of this state of the arts ATV is that each wheel has an independent traction system and can turn on its own length—which optimizes the traction—distributing independent power to each wheel, according to on the needs of the moment.
With room for six passengers in its closed version and a load capacity of up to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds), the interior of the Sherp is not fancy or luxurious, but rather typical of an industrial machine.
However, seeing it move through swamps, snow, ice, sand, or driving through impassable fields and navigating waters at any depth, will make us understand its extraordinary capabilities.
With a base price of $65,000, Sherp seems to be the perfect vehicle for adventure travelers who like to explore difficult paths. Undoubtedly, it will be even better for those who can carry a Sherp in their yachts. ■