There are plenty of vehicles that garner attention for their superior fuel efficiency, luxe accommodations, and impeccable safety records. But other vehicles hold themselves to a completely different standard altogether: their audacity to take on hell or high water.
These vehicles are built to face the worst conditions Point A to Point B could throw at them, and still deliver their passengers to the intended destination. We found an array of such vehicles on Quora.com, the question and answer community, where users listed the most indestructible vehicles in the world. Below are some of the best answers we found, and all are vehicles we’d gladly keep in our garage or, airplane hanger, if need be.
Trucks with true grit
If you’re looking to make Hummer owners burn with envy, then consider the Paramount Marauder your new best friend. Quora user Brad Loewen says the Marauder is the, “Single-most indestructible consumer-level street legal vehicle on the planet,” and with good reason.
This South African-built armored vehicle weighs up 28,000-pounds, can be outfitted in either 4x4 or 6x6 variations, and — just in case you need it — can take an 8kg TNT explosion directly under the hull.
For drivers who are looking for something almost as sturdy, but a bit less menacing, then the Toyota HiLux may be just the thing. As Quora user Payam Adlparvar put it, “For land and wheeled vehicles, the Marauder seems to be designed to be the most indestructible vehicle,” but also noted that,“‘Top Gear' claimed the Toyota HiLux truck to be pretty much the most indestructible, and after what they did to it, well… you be the judge.”
Adlparsvar’s referring to when the show drove a HiLux headfirst into a tree, submerged it into the ocean for several hours, had a small RV dropped on top of it and, adding insult to injury, lit it on fire. After each purposeful attack, the HiLux’s resilient engine turned over, and the small pickup drove away with just basic engine tuning and no new parts added.
Eventually, the Toyota was placed on top of an apartment building 240-feet above the ground, which was then imploded. Afterwards, the battery was reconnected, the fuel tank topped off with a bit of diesel, and the monster of a little truck started back up and drove onto the show’s set.
A dauntless limousine
Luxury autos don’t typically exude a sense of impenetrable resilience — unless we’re talking about the President of the United States’ Cadillac One, affectionately referred to as “The Beast.”
While the Secret Service doesn’t exactly publish the details of the President’s limo, there’s enough information out there to place Quora user Himanshu Rai’s suggestion firmly on the most indestructible vehicle list.
The Beast can withstand a scrum involving bullets and bombs due to its 8-inch thick, armor-plated doors and 6-inch thick bulletproof windows. The vehicle also has its own fire suppression system, and its cabin is fully sealed to keep passengers safe from a chemical attack. Cadillac One also sports reinforced Kevlar run-flat tires and has night-vision cameras mounted under the front grille.
The Secret Service builds the limos with help from an R&D team from General Motors, and each of the 12 vehicles in service costs about $1.5 million a piece. But as the Secret Service proved on a trip to the UK a few years ago, The Beast can be a bit of a bear to park.
This plane’s built for much more than turbulence
While land vehicles get most of the attention, a few Quora users highlighted mythically-strong aircraft as well. Colin Baxter said the Fairchild Republic A-10, a plane known as the Warthog, deserves the indestructible designation. “The redundancies in this plane are absurd. Do you think it needs two engines that massive? Ha, nope! Do you think it even needs most of its wing area to get around? Nah,” Baxter wrote.
According to the US Air Force Center for Systems Technology, the A-10 has multiple redundancies in place to keep the plane flying after taking severe hits. The plane has an extra hydraulic system and a backup mechanical system to keep it flying after an attack, has self-sealing fuel cells to protect the fuel tank, and titanium armor protects the pilots and flight controls. All of which has given the A-10 a reputation for talking a beating and still making it back to base.
“There are two ways to go about survivability. Today, the preferred method is the elegant stealth approach. If the enemy can't see you they can't shoot you. The A-10 took another tack: get shot and don't give a damn,” he said.
If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Autos, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.