The Paris air show famously delivers exotic designs that very well may never see the light of day. After all, military contracts and hardware procurement is often full of delays and disappointments. But among the mounds of military hardware paraded at this year’s show in late June, the Arquus Scarabée might just be one of the weirdest.
As a subdivision of Volvo, Arquus is in the business of armored military vehicles. Formerly named Renault Trucks Defense, Arquus’s main business partner is the French military, and its latest creation is the Scarabée (which is French for “beetle”).
At first glance, it’s an already impressive truck. Smaller and lighter than the U.S. Humvee, it comes with a diesel (rated for 620 miles), an additional electric engine, a 12.7-mm machine-gun turret, a 30-mm anti-tank weapon, and an array of radar systems, and it can be air-dropped if needed.
But its “wow” feature is its wheel system. Of course, being a Humvee, the Scarabée comes with all-wheel drive. But unlike your friendly neighborhood Subaru, the Scarabée’s wheels can turn independently of one another, allowing the Humvee to sort of scuttle sideways and in many other directions. You can see the vehicle in action below:
Of course, with this free range of movement, the Scarabée could also complete a 180-degree turn on a dime, allowing the wheels to independently turn in opposite directions. According to Popular Science, the vehicle could replace France’s 730 light armored vehicles as early as 2025.