The automaker UAZ from Russia is famous for building off-roaders, especially the little 469 SUV, and the company's latest special edition model is something that we are a little jealous that it isn't coming to the United States. The SGR Expedition is a high-riding, four-wheel-drive van that looks ready to haul a bunch of people into the deepest wilderness of Siberia.
Gallery: UAZ Combi Expedition
The SGR Expedition receives heavy-duty bumpers at both ends, and a winch incorporates into the one in front. A tubular, metal skid plate extends underneath the van to protect the vital mechanical components when off-roading. A roof-mounted basket provides lots of extra space for carrying gear, and there's a ladder on the back for easier access up there. A full-sized spare wheel also mounts to the rear. The van rides on 225/75R16 BFGoodrich all-terrain tires.
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Power comes from a 2.7-liter four-cylinder making 111 horsepower (82.5 kilowatts) and 146 pound-feet (198 Newton-meters). To create such a blunt nose, the engine sits under a hump next to the driver. The only available gearbox is a five-speed manual with a two-speed transfer case. During normal driving, the SGR is rear-wheel drive, but if things get slick, there's a part-time four-wheel-drive system. The Expedition packs a locking rear differential and Spicer axles.
Inside, the SGR is spartan with only a small instrument cluster at the center of the dashboard. The Expedition gains amenities like heated front seats to keep warm when the temperatures drop in Russia. The seat fabric is water repellant, which should also help in snowy conditions.
Prices for the SGR Expedition start at 974,900 rubles ($15,432 at current exchange rates). Buyers can select between bright orange paint or olive drab green.
According to our colleagues in Russia, the UAZ SGR has the nickname "loaf" because of the van's resemblance to a loaf of bread. The Expedition must be the whole-grain version, then.