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It Came from Russia: Combat T-98
Russia Produces Its Own Hummer

Canadian Auto Press
Find yourself feeling depressed when you hear that Mercedes-Benz isn’t quite sure what it’s going to do with its G-Class after 2010? Glum that you can no longer purchase the Hummer H1? Does Lamborghini’s LM002 make your heart flutter? If this is your outlook on the motoring industry, cheer up, because the Russians just might have a little something that’s right down your alley, the Combat T-98.
The T-98 is much like the aforementioned vehicles in terms of its bigness and badness. Like its rather tank-esque name, it looks similar to a mobile gun on tracks, with flat-faced fenders and angled metal plates for bodywork. Combat will offer the T-98 in two body styles, a 5.15 m (202.8-in) long four-door pickup truck that tips the scales at 3,750 kg (8,267 lbs), or an extended, metal-roofed four-door wagon that measures 5.35 m (210.6-in) in length, and weighs 4,150 kilos (9,150 lbs). For the time being, there hasn’t been any word of a soft-top version, or a two-door pickup truck like offered with the H1.
It takes a lot of motor to move a vehicle like this, which is why the T-98 is powered by some of the hardest-working and most durable engines anywhere. Two key engine options on this behemoth are a GM-Sourced Vortec V8-motor that makes 345 horsepower and 454 lb-ft of torque, as well as an absolutely massive 8.1-litre turbodiesel V8 that puts out in excess of 300 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque. Both of these engines permanently drive all four wheels, with gears being automatically shifted via a five-speed transmission.
With almost as much firepower under the hood as could be mounted on the roof, the T-98 is capable of reaching speeds up to 180 km/h (112 mph), making it the fastest vehicle of its type. It also has a 140 litre (37 gal) fuel tank, which is sure to come in handy, given its penchant for drinking (insert Russian Vodka joke here).
Of course, anyone who’s going to be putting down big money on this vehicle is going to want to travel in comfort, so the standard military-grade installments of vehicles typical to this class just won’t do. There’s plenty of leather and wood about the cabin, and the majority of controls have been sourced from General Motors’ sport utility and truck range (what should have happened with Hummer's rudimentary H1). For example, the steering wheel comes from a Trailblazer, while the dash started out life with the intention of being an integral part of a Tahoe/Suburban. Even the seats with their integrated belts are GM sourced.
Exactly how much money the Combat costs is really up to the needs of the customer. Base models with the entry-level gasoline engine start at $138,000 USD ($155,600 CAD), but the window sticker can easily escalate by up to $100,000 ($112,000 CAD) once the options start piling on. What can make a T-98 exorbitantly expensive is the availability of weapons security packages that include measures such as 50 mm (2.0-in) thick, high-velocity, rifle-proof glass, and a passenger cell made from double-thickness steel with ceramic inserts.
Fully loaded, a Combat T-98 is rated up to B7 on the international ballistics scale, meaning it is safe against mines and grenades.
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