You probably haven’t heard of Arquus, a French defense and security vehicle firm, but you likely do know the company that owns it: Sweden’s Volvo Group. And from this subdivision of Volvo comes a new, light army vehicle: it’s called Scarabée, which is French for “beetle.”
The team’s mission at Arquus was to develop an armored military vehicle that is fast, stealthy, and highly maneuverable. Plus, it has two engines (one electric, one diesel), is remotely-controllable, and is able to carry over two tons of equipment, including weapons. It’s even transportable and droppable from a low height, sans parachute, by plane. Scarabée, which is smaller and faster than an American Humvee, is a candidate to replace the French Army’s fleet of 730 light armored vehicles by 2025.
Scarabée is probably a bit of a misnomer. “Crab” may be more appropriate, because it can move like one: sideways. It can not only sharply “sidestep” obstacles on the road, such as mines, but also has a tight turning radius. That’s because its four wheels are all powered, like a 4×4, but also (unlike the 4×4 you may have in your garage) the front and back wheels can all be turned in the same direction, or in opposite ones. So, if the driver wanted to turn the vehicle around on the spot, they would turn the back wheels in one direction and the front ones in another. If the driver wanted the crab effect, then they would turn all the wheels in the same direction.
Arquus is now awaiting the VBAE (Véhicule Blindé d’Aide à l’Engagement) RfP and the attached requirements, to adapt its concept vehicle to French Army needs, while obviously considering the potential export market. And meanwhile you can check best all-terrain vehicles for sale.