Rough-and-tumble amphibious car conquers any terrain

Credit: Aton-Impulse

Every now and again, it seems as if a car designer wakes up from a horrible apocalyptic nightmare and feverishly draws up something that could survive the horrors of their dreams. For Leonid Khripounov, head of research and development at Russia's Aton-Impulse, that dream must have happened about 10 years ago, because since then he and his team have been designing the ridiculously disaster-proof Viking-2992.

The Viking is a massive seven-seater of an amphibious car, capable of fording both rivers and snow-laden roadways as if they were sleepy country lanes. Designed as a rescue vehicle, Khripounov and his team claim that the Viking is the only vehicle in the world that can ford all 37 types of snow that fall around the globe — including the four or five kinds that can even take down the likes of snowmobiles and reindeer.

To achieve this sort of off-road prowess, the brains at Aton-Impulse did have to make a few sacrifices. On the roadway, the viking is only capable of hitting a top speed of 37 miles per hour. Floating across a river or lake, that speed drops to just over nine miles per hour. Still, as a mobile apocalypse-proof bunker the Viking is pretty impressive. There's even a larger three-axle, twelve-seater version that comes with its own self-propelled cargo trailer.

You'll have to be serious about the end of the world to get one though, as the base model Viking starts at $200,000, with the 12-seater version more in the neighborhood of $350,000.

Aton-Impulse, via Gizmag