Buses are boring, right? They're big, smelly, cramped things that plod down the M40 with improbable antennae instead of mirrors and a host of giggling schoolkids inside.

Bus life is best life

Normally, that's an accurate assessment, but we'd soon change our tune if all buses looked like this. It's called the Torsus Praetorian, and it's designed to take people and equipment to disaster areas in some of the planet's hard-to-reach places, such as deserts, mountains and even Ipswich.

Torsus Praetorian

Billed as the world's first heavy-duty off-road bus, the Praetorian is built around MAN underpinnings. Power - all 240 bhp of it - comes from a 6.9-litre MAN powertrain producing 682 lb-ft of torque. That sends its power to all four wheels, and in combination with the enormous tyres, MAN off-road suspension and 389 mm of ground clearance, it's designed to make the Praetorian a seriously capable 4x4.

Torsus Praetorian

Its credentials are further increased by the Torsus' ability to carry 35 people and their "equipment" through 700 mm of water, which would probably make it the ideal school-run hack for the children of Tewkesbury.

There would certainly be enough on-board technology to keep Gloucestershire's next generation entertained. Each bus comes with a DVD player, as well as personal air vents and adjustable seats. There's also a floor surface that's "resistant to hard exploitation conditions", whatever they may be. Perhaps it would work as a city-centre night bus, too.

Torsus Praetorian

The biggest reason we wish we'd had one of these when we were growing up, though, is not because it was clever or comfortable or even capable (although trips to the Peak District would almost certainly have been more entertaining in one of these). No, we want one because it looks incredible. It's all chunky and apocalypse-y in a way no Plaxton coach can match, and that's what really matters if we're to make public transport cool again.


Gallery: Torsus Praetorian Off-Road Bus