Nice, isn't it? You're looking at GAZ's Sadko medium-duty truck – one of the Russian brand's latest entry in the Philippine market since its official launch last month. We don't know about you but this truck stole our attention at the first day of the 2018 Manila International Auto Show, probably because of its retro look.
Well, if it isn't quite obvious for you at first glance, the Sadko truck served the Russian military since 1997 – hence, the looks of it. Not to mention, the name was inspired by a fictional character in one of Russia's medieval epics. It's an all-wheel-drive butt-kicking military cargo truck that is now available as a civilian hauling machine.
The Sadko measures 6,515 mm in length, 2,700 mm high, and stands 2,595 mm high, with a bonus of an army truck looks. With such dimensions, the truck has a 2-ton carrying capacity, a 315-mm ground clearance, and a 1200-mm wading depth. It is powered by a 4.43-liter Euro 4-compliant engine which gives it 135 hp and 419 Nm of torque. And, with its inter-wheel differential feature, no rocky or muddy terrain is a challenge.
With all these said, we've already imagined the GAZ Sadko serving as a main vehicle for government outreach programs, military transport, evacuation/emergency rescues, as well as small-time and big-time trucking businesses.
Gazelle Motors also launched another truck at the 2018 MIAS, as promised last month. The Gazon Next will accompany the Sadko in the mid-duty truck segment. It offers a more modern exterior design compared to the Sadko. With its modern looks, comes modern technologies like power windows, gearbox with synchronizers, and easy-to-replace headlamp bulbs.
Meanwhile, the Sobol line, which will also be available in the local market, is GAZ's smallest in all the models introduced to the market. It measures almost 2,000-mm shorter than the previously-launched Gazelle Next. One close existing local rival is the Baic Freedom and M20.
The Sadko and Gazon Next, along with the Gazelle Next line of vans and minibuses are displayed at the 2018 Manila International Auto Show at World Trade Center in Pasay City until April 8, 2018.
Sadko army photo courtesy of Vitaly V. Kuzmin.