Sherp The Ark is the dream we weren't brave enough to have

Jonathon Ramsey



Sometimes what hurts most is realizing your dreams weren't big enough. Here we've been lusting after #VanLife, when we should have been imagining the possibilities for an overlanding Sherp. The Ukrainian go-anywhere 4x4 began trundling over and through everything on 63-inch tubeless tires in 2016, the compact four-seater good for perhaps a few days in the back of beyond. Now its makers have revealed their get-off-the-grid version called Sherp The Ark. This puts an upgraded Sherp on tractor duty, pulling a 15.75-foot trailer that rides on six driven wheels, creating a 10x10 that almost makes us wish for a less-than-total Apocalypse.

Note, this isn't a Sherp simply hooked up to a trailer at will – Sherp The Ark is a complete unit. Whereas the Sherp uses skid steering to turn, like a tank, Sherp The Ark gets three-axis steering like an airplane. That means turning the steering yoke can lift the tractor's front end, and raise and lower the tractor's rear end independently. The technique helps the minidozer climb over five-foot-high obstacles, traverse 6.5-foot-wide ground openings, and up and down 40-degree inclines. That grade angle is five degrees more than can be climbed and descended with the standard Sherp Truck and Sherp Pro. Switches in the cabin permit the driver to disconnect any of the driven wheels on the trailer individually, and to disconnect the four wheels on the tractor so the trailer becomes a push vehicle.

The standard, 8.26-foot-long Sherp is powered by a Kubota 1.5-liter, four-cylinder diesel with 44.3 horsepower and 88 pound-feet of torque, charged with moving 2,866 pounds up to 25 miles per hour on land, 3.7 mph in the water. The 31.6-foot-long Sherp The Ark, with a dry weight of 10,500 pounds, gets a Doosan 2.4-liter four-cylinder diesel with 74 hp and 206 lb-ft, and can run up to 18.6 mph on land and 3.7 mph in the water. The Sherp can hold 76.2 gallons of fuel in five tanks, Sherp The Ark hauls 213 gallons in one tank and ten auxiliary canisters, good for around 82 hours of running. 

There are three trailer units available – a flat load platform, a liquid tanker, and an enclosed box – all with 6,600-pound load capacity. The box unit can be turned into a personnel carrier with up to 21 seats. We are naturally more interested in the Dwelling Module for "long expedition projects in hard-to-reach areas" that is "properly isolated with energy-saving materials." For an example of what looks like, check out this video from last year, which we'll guess was a prototype run for The Ark. Glorious. With two of these in convoy, there'd be no such thing as the end of the Earth. About the only thing that can stop the non-street-legal Sherp The Ark is a paved road.

Sherp hasn't released a price yet, but the $119,999 price for the Sherp Pro gives one a good floor to start looking upward.