BYLINA ABOUT ALL-terrain vehicle

Once upon a time, a trading man named Sadko lived in the city of Novgorod. Once he went on a business trip by water, got into trouble and seemed to be drowned. However, the Novgorod merchandise by the peasant turned out to be grasping, he did things in the underwater world. The king was confused by the head there, his beautiful daughter was scowled and seemed to get out of the water … It was a long time ago, only they remembered Sadko's tale. Until businessmen from another Novgorod - Nizhny did not name their brainchild by the name of an epic hero - an all-wheel drive truck.



The ancestors of the modern "Sadko" were born long ago. Not in the fabulous, of course, dimension, but by technical standards. Almost forty years ago, they began to produce a cargo GAZ-53. Having worked honestly for the good of the Soviet homeland, the old man underwent several modernizations. As a result, having received a modern cabin, the GAZ-3307 began to be called. However, in post-Soviet times, demand for it fell. Today's custom-made production cannot be compared with the old scale.

Ancestors on the other hand are masters of military affairs. It took gentlemen the generals a light off-road truck: to carry personnel, carry mortar guns and so that in the event of an airplane it would be possible to throw an adversary onto his head. I must say that in those days of old, gentlemen … I apologize, comrades generals were in power and with the money. Wanted - got all-wheel drive GAZ-66. The device was distinguished by more than increased cross-country ability and absolutely brutal conditions for the driver to work, who was bridging "on the perch" next to the motor and twisting his arm behind his back in search of another transmission.

In concern for the defense capabilities of the homeland and the personnel, the “sixty-sixth” attempted to modernize. They installed a new diesel engine, redid the cab, moved the ill-fated lever of the box to a familiar place. Everything would be fine, only the military in recent times has lost their wealth. Not like the modernized one - the ordinary GAZ-66 could not afford them. Car production has almost stopped.


Now imagine the position of the plant, which has two models in the program, but not a single one is for sale. Continue to pull both - go broke. To remove both from production - you are forwarded. And if you make one out of two? So there was "Sadko".

The recipe for it is simple. From the "civilian" truck of the 3307 family, a frame and a cab are taken. From the “military” “sixty-sixth” - transmission: transfer case (modernized, from the latest GAZ-66), drive axles. The engine is an old acquaintance: a V-shaped gasoline "eight" or, in the future, a six-cylinder in-line diesel GAZ-562. The box is either an “old woman” four-speed or a more modern five-speed unit, and to it is a clutch with a diaphragm spring.

Remaining trifles remained: to lengthen the driveshaft, adjust the winch, do not forget about regulating the pressure in the tires. Done! It turned out "Sadko", "according to the passport" - GAZ-3308. The asset is unification with a road truck, which means cheaper production, a very modern and not very “militaristic” appearance, worked out components and assemblies familiar to repairmen, and human working conditions for the driver. The passive is the theoretically worst geometric cross-country ability (the base is longer).


We started our acquaintance with Sadko with … GAZ-66. After all, everything is known in comparison, and the author’s army impressions of the "shishigi" pretty dimmed over time. Well, let’s try, as in youth: put one foot on the hub, put the other under the steering column, and bring myself into the seat with the last movement. The wheel rested on the stomach, the pedals are hanging high - I envy those with shorter legs. Sneeze-fuck-fuck-bang, sneeze again! Hand behind the back, find the lever, move it, standing still. To the familiar aching sound of the gas "G8" I'm moving, now the second … Yeah, she's here somewhere. The second time it should work out - and it turns out, however, with an indecent grunt. Do not hurry! He calmly “pulled out” the transmission, took a rest, and gently but persistently “implanted” the next one. And there is nothing to catch air with your right hand - the lever is not here, but at the rear wall of the cab, between the seats. Now "down" with a rebase. What, "doesn’t climb"? The second attempt is already better. Well, that's adapted. I’ll get used to it a bit more - and “to the pampas”.

Yes, on the "sixty-sixth" rough terrain - the device is very serious. Rows in heavy wet snow on the hub, even if henna - just make no mistake with the transfer. The gasoline engine is not accustomed to ride in a pull - losing speed, it immediately stalls. You do not always have time to quickly switch, but if you get up in the snow or sand, try to start again! There is, of course, a winch …

In general, riding this car is a job, and not an easy one. Especially for a driver who is unaccustomed to purely military equipment. Although, they say, a person gets used to everything - crowding, noise, heat from the motor, ergonomic absurdities.

Exercised, remembered youth? Let's get back to our hero.


After “sixty-sixth”, “Sadko” immediately disposes to himself: to feel the difference, it’s enough just to drive. The cabin from the GAZ-3307 may not be a masterpiece of technical art, but, we repeat, everything is known in comparison. High, comfortable fit, normal location of controls, excellent visibility. For the convenience of the driver’s workplace, Sadko went far ahead.

A characteristic grunt came from under the hood: "Sadko" was given to us not a simple one - diesel. As we noted earlier, the Nizhny Novgorod-Austrian diesel engine combines powerful traction with a completely non-weekly liveliness of the response to the gas pedal. Then it was a four-cylinder Gazelle engine. Installed on the "Sadko" "six" is no less temperamental. Steyr’s specialists adapted the engine for a Russian truck: they reduced the maximum speed and optimized the torque characteristic - it reaches a maximum at 1800 rpm and then goes almost flat on the graph. So there is no need to complain about the lack of traction.

The diesel engine allows you to re-build off-road driving tactics. Much less often it is required to include a lowering step in the transfer case. You do not have to constantly maintain increased engine speeds for fear of drowning it at the most inopportune moment. Where GAZ-66 is barely crawling in first gear, Sadko confidently goes to second or even third, albeit with some "strain". When the “shishiga” roars and twitches in low gear, the successor allows you to use the first, and even play traction. A diesel engine will help to gently pull the car standing in the virgin snow, while with a “gasoline” requiring revolutions, one cannot avoid skidding of the wheels, and the car will surely burst.

Yes, the motor is what is needed for a real “rogue”, especially coupled with a fairly successful “sixty-sixth” transmission. Off-road driving has become simpler, one might say, comfortable. It’s only a pity that so far the Sadko with the old gasoline engine is mostly off the assembly line. Such a car, of course, captivates with its cheapness (factory price - from 140 thousand rubles). But alas, he is deprived of a significant part of the qualities that diesel gives him. A new cabin with all its advantages is good. The new five-speed gearbox and clutch with a diaphragm spring are excellent. But fuel consumption (more expensive gasoline) is much higher. And most importantly, there is no unshakable confidence in the car, especially on the roads, which gives a diesel engine with its “tractor” traction. The production of six-cylinder diesel engines is just beginning. This year it is planned to release a batch of a thousand pieces.


Strange as it may seem, the most vivid impressions were not from overcoming the snowy slopes, but from riding the Sadko on a slippery road. Fortunately, the track turned up, adapted for winter racing. The spring sun melted its ice cover, then frost hit, and the loose snow porridge froze again. This is where we climbed "just like that", a ride. We admit, the “ride” was very long: it was difficult to assume that the chest-like all-terrain vehicle could drive in such a light way.

I remember that the venerable racer taught the young journalist: do not spin the wheel again, the car is driven mainly by traction! - and demonstrated what was said on the road. We practiced on the “Subaru” - a very “correct” four-wheel drive car.

That "lecture" was remembered at the wheel of the "Sadko". Easy driving, gas dumping - the truck, slipping with all four wheels and throwing a little "stern", tumbles into a turn. And now add - the skid of the tail stops, "Sadko", still drifting sideways, begins to accelerate. So, I overdid it a bit, carried it out too much. I slightly release the pedal - the car obediently leaves for a smaller radius. Now, smoothly, so as not to disrupt the car, I add … I got into this turn, the short straight line ends - and again the “provocation” by the wheel, the gas discharge, a little add traction, a little reset - you hardly have to turn the steering wheel. And so - turn by turn, circle by circle, until the photographer took the car for shooting.

Yes, "Sadko" is able to ride completely in a passenger way. The reactions to the driver’s actions are clear and unambiguous, and therefore mutual understanding comes very quickly. Of course, the truck is a little thoughtful by passenger standards, but according to the cargo account, Sadko’s character is simply explosive.


A long time ago, a domestic car, in addition to a truck, did not leave such a strong impression on a journalist spoiled by foreign cars. Sadko, especially diesel, is GAZ’s unconditional success. In a country where off-roading is still the norm, such a machine is necessary and many will certainly be interested in it. How many comers can pay for it is another matter. In order to secure a future, Sadko is trying to charm not only private traders, but also geologists, oil workers, gas workers - and, of course, the military. He seemed to like people in uniform, not only Russian ones. There will be orders, production will grow. So far, Sadko is being made in small batches on order.