In Russia, sales of the Sadko Next mid-sized all-terrain vehicle have begun. The new generation Gazovsky “three-ton” combines high passability, controllability, comfort and functionality, besides it has an attractive price
The new-generation all-wheel drive mid-tonnage debuted in September at the COMTRANS 2019 Moscow exhibition shortly after its production began at the Gorky Automobile Plant. The road to the conveyor was not the fastest due to the general decline in sales of commercial vehicles in Russia. The prototype of a three-ton all-terrain vehicle, leading a pedigree from the famous Shishigi (GAZ-66), was shown as part of the CCT-2014 exhibition of commercial vehicles, and last year at the IAA commercial vehicle exhibition in Hanover, we got acquainted with the pre-production right-hand drive version of Sadko Next, intended for a number of foreign markets. And now, finally, already serial left-hand drive cars began to arrive at the Russian dealerships of the brand.
Stages of the journey
The Sadko Next model is positioned as the successor to the cult bonnet GAZ-3308 Sadko, which, in turn, is based on the modified units and assemblies of the GAZ-66 “beskapotnik” – the legendary two-axle all-terrain vehicle used in the Soviet army and national economy since 1960 ‘s through the 1990s, and is still overly popular among geologists, builders, hunters, fishers, and travelers.
The novelty adopted from its predecessors the excellent cross-country ability provided by a clearance of 315 mm, a torsionally flexible frame, the presence of a reduction gear and differential locks of the front and rear axles, as well as a standard tire inflation system. The main changes affected the handling, comfort and functionality.
In the cab, the new “mid-tonnage” is maximally unified with the GAZon Next family, however, the bumper here is more powerful and mounted higher – with an eye on off-road driving. Salon in the standard version is designed for three people, in a two-row – for seven. In the 7-seater version, the truck can be understaffed with a rear folding sofa, transforming into a wide berth.
Ergonomics of the workplace are familiar from the “GAZelles” of the Next family. The increase in glazing area resulted in improved visibility. The seats received a more developed profile, an expanded range of adjustments and a heating function. Natively offered: sprung driver’s seat, interior heater, audio training, under mirror, wheel inflation, central locking, steering column with height adjustment, power windows, heated outside mirrors and cruise control. Optional – air conditioning, a windshield with electric heating function, a mechanical winch, a tow hitch, a factory snorkel and much more.
The carrying capacity of the “medium truck” increased from 2.5 to 3 tons, the depth of the ford to be overcome was up to 1.2 m (with a branded snorkel). In addition, it became possible to tow a trailer with a gross weight of up to 2.56 tons. The YaMZ-534 diesel engine with a Yaroslavl-made turbocharger and Bosch nozzles provides excellent throttle response from the very bottom, the output of the unit is increased to 149 hp, the torque is up to 490 Nm. The new motor works in conjunction with a 5-speed synchronized “mechanics” created using imported components (oil seals, bearings and synchronizers). The volume of the fuel tank is 95 liters, and for an extra charge an additional capacity of the same volume is installed.
For roads and off-road
During the development of Sadko Next, Nizhny Novgorod engineers strengthened the emphasis on the behavior of the machine on asphalt. To this end, they used the integrated steering with power steering ZF in conjunction with the new small-leaf front suspension. As a result, improved handling, as well as ride and stability, as we were convinced during the test of a new truck on the roads of the Moscow region.
A pleasant surprise was that the transmission of the new 5-speed gearbox engages gently and smoothly, and the lever handle got rid of the vibrations characteristic of its predecessors. The selection of gear ratios in the transmission was successfully correlated with the torque characteristics of the engine. Switching the transfer case to the power take-off is done by pressing a button from the driver’s seat, which is very convenient. The new WABCO pneumatic brake system with ABS not only provides effective braking, but also does not require exerting excessive force on the brake pedal.
On the road, Sadko Next will also give a serious head start to its predecessors. First of all, all manipulations with the drive are now much easier to perform. The front wheels and the reduction gear are connected through a reinforced Part-time transfer case, and not with levers, but, as in advanced crossovers, with keys on the front panel. An optional power take-off is provided on both the mechanical transmission and the transfer case. This solution allows you to simultaneously install a winch and a large number of special superstructures.
At the start of sales, the car will be available as an onboard all-wheel drive truck with a single-row cab and a standard (3770 mm) wheelbase. But already in 2020, it is planned to begin production of modifications with an elongated (4515 mm) base and a 7-seater double-row cabin. Prices start at 2.2 million rubles and are quite affordable for their segment.