Not your average Volvo – The Scarabée Arquus

    Formerly known as Renault Trucks Defense, and part of the Volvo Trucks Group, the French company Arquus are working on something a little bit more than your ordinary Volvo station wagon.

    As the French Army is planning to buy a new fleet of light armored vehicles by 2025, the Scarabée is going to be one of the contenders.

    Like most military vehicles, the Scarabée has all-wheel drive, but this one can also turn the back wheels independently of the front wheels.

    This sounds like an idea that would be great when you are parking in tight places like…Paris! But of course, this feature can be used to pass obstacles and perform other maneuvers impossible for other vehicles.

    All-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, sounds like it could work as long as there’s just one driver trying to go in one direction.

    So, is TFB going to review cars now? No, but as the Scarabée is made to carry a roof-mounted M2 Browning (or similar) 12.7mm heavy machine-gun or a 30 mm Autocannon there is more than a little relevance to firearms.

    Since the French Army went to Germany and Heckler & Koch (HK416-F) to replace their old FAMAS rifles I am sure they are eager to keep the production of this kind of vehicle as much within France as possible. However, most of the vehicle and sub-assemblies are developed by Volvo and subcontractors.

    Photo: THEATRUM BELLI – Twitter

    Engine-wise the Scarabée is a hybrid and uses both a 300 hp diesel engine as well as an electric motor rated to just over 100 hp.


    From the release, written by Arquus:

    Arquus’ firstborn, the Scarabée is a light, armored 4×4 vehicle designed for reconnaissance, scouting and support, at the contact of the enemy or behind the lines. Developed by a small team of experts from ARQUUS, the Scarabée was designed in partnership with French SMEs and start-ups (95% French suppliers).

    First natively hybrid military vehicle, the Scarabée changes all standards for mobility and energy. The vehicle’s hybrid drive allows for a “boost” mode which combines the thermal and electrical engines, and an “all electrical” mode. This stealth mode enables a tactical approach without thermal or acoustic signature, or a long, silent watch with all systems on.

    The Scarabée is designed specifically to facilitate the collaborative work. Its interior layout, designed to accommodate four people, is intended to allow optimal communication between crew members, reinforced by the Battlenet vetronics system. Seated in a forward central position, the pilot benefits from a 270° direct vision.

    The Scarabée’s architecture was specifically thought to facilitate the maintenance in operations, with an easily removable power pack and a simple access to all components for all-day operations.

    The Scarabée is equipped with an evolutive, ballistic and mine protection depending on the mission profile. Designed for collaborative combat, the Scarabée is able to carry a wide array of systems such as multi-purpose RCWS, multi-caliber cannon, RGL cameras, MMP (or MILAN) launchers, anti-drone systems, radar…

    The Scarabée is able to operate with two different clearance levels: high, for off-roads mobility, and low, for stand-by or air transport. It is equipped with an independent rear drive, which allows for a minimal steering radius and offers extreme mobility in urban environment, or in combat in cluttered zones. It is capable of moving in “crab” motion, offering several unprecedented tactical options.

    Thanks to its very compact size, equivalent to that of the VB2L, the Scarabée is air transportable (C-130, Chinook, A400M). Air droppable, the Scarabée is compatible with the LTCO12 platform. In this configuration, it can be ready to fight within 15 minutes after the drop, according to operational standards.

    The sliding side doors allow continuity of access during the airlift, enabling to complete the vehicle’s configuration directly inside the aircraft, which increases the speed of projection.

    It is capable of performing air landed assault missions, with personnel on board and weapons ready according to standards, allowing the securing of strategic points. It can thus ensure the capture of advanced positions, and the securing of airstrips, ahead of the airborne or airtransported units. Thanks to its high mobility, it can also guarantee the units’ safety on the rear or the flanks.

    Photo: THEATRUM BELLI – Twitter ‏

    Below you can see the Scarabée in motion: “Scarabee Arquus 4×4 wheeled reconnaissance armored vehicle TechnoDay France French defense industry”

    Twitter source:


    You may remember The Rezvani Tank -Tactical Urban Vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz Gruma Hunter X-Class Truck or the Luxury Hunting SUV called Bentley Bentayga Falconry?

    If you still want the real deal, a Volvo, and not some French semi-tank you can get the new Volvo XC90 Armoured which offers VPAM VR8 ballistic and explosive certification. The Volvo XC90 Armoured is the result of close collaboration with TRASCO Bremen GmbH, a leading armored vehicle supplier.

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too. TCCC Certified medic.