Aton-Impulse’s beefy Viking 2992 amphibian
By Loz Blain
April 22, 2014
This no-nonsense Russian seven-seater looks like a grenade-proof apocalyptic off-roader that happily handles river and lake crossings, but behind its muscular looks hides a surprisingly meek 1,770cc engine. Which makes this an excellent amphibious off-road tank if you’re looking for something ... fuel efficient?
Hailing from the automotive production megaplex of Naberezhnye Chelny in South-West Russia, this gigantic amphibious seven-seater looks every bit like a Tonka monster truck. Surprisingly, though, despite the fact that the Viking 2992 weighs over 3 tonnes (3.3 tons), it’s fitted with a remarkably small 1770cc engine topping out at 82 hp and 98 ft-lb of torque – it's the VAZ-2130 motor also used in the Lada Niva off-roader.
As such, it’s not a speedster. Targeted as an emergency rescue vehicle and heavy industrial getabout, the Viking only goes about 60 km/h (37mph) on the road, and some 15 km/h (9.3 mph) on the water. On the upside, it makes a decent 16 mpg (14.7 L/100km) on the road.
As slow and steady off-roader, it’s capable of negotiating a 38-degree slope, and its chunky shape and low center of mass give it 42 degrees of sideways tilt before you have to start worrying about tipping over.
The Viking rides on giant balloon tires, and the driver can adjust tire pressures at any time from the cabin. Likewise, the suspension is pneumatically adjustable to give you 10 inches (25 cm) more ground clearance when you need it. Aton-Impulse points out that lower tire pressures and bigger contact patches minimize ground pressure and environmental damage.
How about wallet damage? The Viking 2992 goes for US$200,000 in stock form, or you can option it up over $350,000 as a 12-seat 6-wheeler with a self-propelled trailer on the back.
Aton-Impulse has built 20 of these beasts to date, according to CEO Arthur Touktarov, and is tooling up to manufacture 500 a year within the next five years.