The Story Of Amatoya

Amatoya is a concept reconnaissance and suppression vehicle that gives us a new approach to fire-fighting. This highly advanced and specialized light tanker functions primarily as a reconnaissance vehicle and offers unmatched vehicle and crew safety/survivability. It promises to be the best front line defense during the scene of an emergency. Read on to know more….

Details in Liam’s words:


Currently the role of site reconnaissance is predominantly carried out by light tankers or QAVs (Quick Attack Vehicles), typically these are modified single cabin commercial utility vehicles such as the Toyota Landcruiser. While the off road performance and maneuverability of such a vehicle is sufficient, its ability to actively suppress a fire threat is severely limited by the considerably small water supply (500lt) and distinct lack of survival engineering, fundamentally making it inadequate for its role.


Typically medium and heavy tankers require 5-6 crew members to be operated effectively. AMATOYA requires only 2. More military in its approach, reducing crew numbers per appliance will allow for greater dispersion of resources during a fire response.

Principal concerns when developing a vehicle of any nature are driver position, ingress/egress and vision angles. These elements become even more crucial in a vehicle purpose built for reconnaissance. A central, forward and high driver and ROSCO operator position akin to the Apache assault helicopter with generous down vision will assure functionality.

Access is via two gull wing doors, an optimal solution to accommodate the unconventional bodyside form. The distinct lack of a traditional b-pillar will provide uninterrupted views for the ROSCO operator situated above and behind the driver.


Cabin temperature and vehicle survivability are central to the AMATOYA concept. Existing approaches in survival engineering on fire tankers consistently appears as augmentation rather than integration. Methods are passive, typically reactive and often incapacitate the appliance when in use. A key example is the use of curtain heat shields, while effective, when employed render the appliance out of operation.

To create a homogenous directive towards survivability AMATOYA incorporates state of the art clear aerogel laminated insulation in the windows and bodywork, a dedicated auxiliary water supply to operate a highly efficient, intelligent temperature controlled spray down system, military grade sacrificial thermo ceramic intumescent paints, and a mechanically injected large displacement diesel engine specifically engineered for the unique conditions experienced on the fire ground.

These measures will assure that even in the case of an extremely prolonged and high intensity burnover the vehicle will not only maintain cabin integrity, but opposed to existing appliances AMATOYA will remain fully operational.


A Remotely Operated Suppression Cannon Outfit (ROSCO) coupled with a generous 1800lt + 400lt auxiliary water supply, offers a unique dynamic to vehicle operation. Current suppression techniques require large crew numbers (at least 5 per appliance) to perform through intermittent periods of strenuous labour to have any form of impact on a fire. The ROSCO system utilizing IFEX3000 impulse technology is not only a hugely efficient means of fire suppression, but vitally will eliminate crew members being subjected to the elements and stresses of extended high intensity work on the fire ground, while constantly maintaining vehicle mobility. A highly rated thermal imaging camera along with directional spot lights will assist in ‘hotspot’ location to determine the most effective direction of attack.


AMATOYA represents the pinnacle of specialized performance in the fire appliance design field. Off road capabilities reflect enthusiast 4WD methods, including generous approach, departure and over ramp angles, suspension travel, ground clearance and minimized turn circle.

Central tire inflation (CTI) and run flat tire (RFT) technology coupled with beadlock tires will allow an extensive band of dynamic pressure control to aid in traversing the complex terrain often encountered on the fire ground.


The vehicle adopts many conventional fabrication techniques associated with low production run specialized vehicles. The point of difference which separates this concept from existing appliances is the proposed monocoque steel body, comparable to military MRAP vehicles. A conventional fire tanker is built body-on-frame from a standard cab chassis truck base. While this approach is successful, the lack of integration results in certain performance issues. Body roll due to the on board water supply is an notable problem, however by creating a fully integrated solution, water reservoirs can be strategically located central and low in the vehicle to dramatically improve the centre of gravity.

You can voe for this project @ The James Dyson Awards.

Designer: Liam Ferguson

Amatoya Reconnaissance and Suppression Vehicle by Liam Ferguson

















  • kaywarner says:

    Would rubber tyres be the best idea for this? good idea, but a better one would have been to make it robotic and on 4 individual tracks perhaps? cool sketch though.

  • SuiDepPhaStu says:

    Is there a functional 1:1 scale prototype? No? Then how on Earth could such claims as “nmatched vehicle and crew safety/survivability” even be made?

    Further, how is a pea shooter like this supposed to control and contain fires large enough to mobilize a vehicle like this? The trend is more volume, not less.

    Oh, and I absolutely love how the Ford logo was slapped on to the concept. I’m sure Ford is going to manufacture this glorified dune buggy now that it has their logo on it.

    That’s not even getting into the buzzwords and technobabble.

    • Jack says:

      Clearly, you have no concept of fire suppression techniques. Fire agencies are moving to low-volume, high pressure delivery.

    • travis says:

      its not ment to be a front line attack, it would be mostly used as recon, small enough to get around or over obstacles nd powerful enough to fight a fire while getting people out of the danger zone

  • Boy, people here can be acid… I think it’s a Yanko problem. The title in the home page says “Modern industrial design news”, and, to be honest, that’s rare around here. What we do see around here is a lot of conceptual design, with is great, but has to be treated and seen accordingly. Maybe Yanko should re-think or at least re-state their mission as a news site.

    Some points about the design:

    -Do be careful about the claims… It’s not even a prototype, it’s just a mere concept. You may say “unmatched vehicle and crew safety/survivability” is part of the design’s objectives… But don’t say it IS all that.

    -I work at Ford, and I’m happy to see the blue oval here. Of course it’s probably not going to give anyone a job… but I see no problem in using a real brand logo as inspirational for the style of the vehicle. I do that myself, actually, in my sketches.

  • stephen russell says:

    Other apps:

    Search & Rescue

    Airport crash fires

    Lifeguard rescue: add boogie boards, rope, surf board etc (make Amphib)

    Guntruck for Military use: add quad 20mm, 30mm canon, Minigun or dual MA2 50 cal MG, flame thrower, mortar.

    C3I Truck: Command & Control.

    Bomb Squad Unit.

    Security use- chem plants etc.

    USFS Firefighting units.

    State forest service fire depts.

    City FDs.


  • mif991 says:

    Aesthetically it looks like it works and wouldn’t mind seeing it in my garage as a fun recreational vehicle. Very nice concept that should be studied, modified and brought forth after several consultations with the Fire fighting designers. I think we the critics can tell from a presentation what is good and what is non-sense, nevertheless this is a great example of the goals Yanko is providing to us: a gleaning into the possibilities and let the chips fall where they may. Good job.

  • ryan says:

    its about time someone TRIED to come up with some new millitary designs. Granted, they don’t have to look as cool as this, but they should be effective, like this one looks like it would be.

  • Danny says:

    Nice concept of a glorified dune buggy “SuiDepPhaStu”… although please tell me how this design would incorperate enough water volume to even sustain and control a medium to large fire…

    the designers have blantenly thought what can we make better, and the choice of chosing a fire engine had got the better of them…

    there are reasons why there are 4,6, and even 8 man fire crews and that is down to many factors, not at least to health and saftey.

    perhaps your talents would be better suited else where? try the american army where any fivorlas ideas are taken into consideration.

    my one question, before i sound uncultered and unlearned…. do the designers have any idea of dealing with a fire?

    • SuiDepPhaStu says:

      You think *I* designed this?

      Good grief.

    • joe says:

      just so you know as far as wildland firefighting goes its only 3 men per engine so this one only using 2 isn’t that much of a stretch also its pretty clear that the main concept to be taken away from this (as it is in CONCEPTUAL stages)is the stuff they made it out of because of how heat resistant it is AND as it stated in the bio this model is for recon NOT controlling large fires

      as for your final question i ask you this how much wildland fire fighting have you done?

  • Other Designer says:

    Hey- SuiDepPhaStu- lay off. This is an impressive project by a STUDENT, who was required to fill out their design concept with real world connections, but not to have it rolling and for sale next week. Your comment is abrasive, and stated in an entirely uncalled for tone. Show some respect, and better perception for the things you talk about.

  • Deh says:

    Jesus, grumpy people everywhere. It looks great mate, maybe a little more volume on the sides. What about engine specs ? any ideas ? maybe Diesel v6 engine ?

    Nice concept…

  • Liam says:

    Hi all, I am the designer of the AMATOYA concept. Thanks for the comments, any and all critique is more than welcome.

    Let me clarify, the proposal is most definitely a blue sky concept, the goal of the project was to push convention and introduce a new way of thinking. Disregarding aesthetics and layout, there has been a great deal of advancements in insulative materials and suppression technologies which have not yet been reflected in existing fire appliance design.

    Regarding water capacity and operating crew numbers, as presented in the documentation, the Amatoya concept is not intended to replace conventional tankers, but rather compliment a complete arsenal. Typical light tankers or quick attack vehicles (QAV) used in Australia are simply modified commercial utility vehicles, these offer very limited crew protection and possess water capacities below 1000ltr. The Amatoya concept is targeted towards these inadequacies.

    The ability to arrive promptly at a fire front or property and initiate a defensive line while the larger and slower, high capacity tankers arrive; can have a dramatic effect on the progression of a fire, and the efficiency of a defence.

    Regarding the Ford branding, this was included as a culmination of my time in the Ford Motor Company of Australia design studio, and in recognition of their support during the model build.

    I have personally experienced the ferocity and unpredictability of a major fire event in which over 170 people sadly lost their lives. I do understand the severity of a 600,000 hectare bush fire, and the requirements of the fire appliances involved in any form of defensive strategy. I feel this experience gave me the necessary perspective to approach this project from an informed and sensitive standpoint.

    Thanks once again for the enthusiastic comments, I look forward to any more critique you have to offer,


    • Hi Liam, I think you have done a great job and I would be interested to actually manufacture a prototype. I trying to get more information, please contact me. The least we can do is promote this one to a broader adience and I am sure that fire fighting will never be the same again… Regards Martijn Steur

      • Canastrophy says:

        Your company already produces a Humvee variant, why bother producing the smaller brother for f*cks sake.

        Can I have you job too?

    • Canastrophy says:

      “I have personally experienced the ferocity and unpredictability of a major fire event”

      Then you should know that your design is missing the one crucial thin a firetruck vehicle is supposed to have:


      If you’d shown a firetruck with tank chains and a huge water reservoir, I’d agree. But that skinny buggy won’t stop fire from killing another 170 people.

      Know what, can I have your job?

      • Ogre says:

        As a firefighter in rural PA, USA I can tell you anyone I’ve worked with would give anything to have a vehicle like this. Many fires here in the mountains are not accessible to full size tankers or pumpers, so we fight them from modified pick-ups, quads or on foot with packs. This thing will carry more water over rougher terrain than the pick-ups. AND give protection to the occupant. WAY TO GO Liam, hears hopping to see one at a fire soon.

      • Mike says:

        You have a problem with comprehension. It was all in the text, suplemented by Liam’s reply.

        It isn’t a front-line firefighting vehicle – it is a reconnaissance/Quick Action Vehicle.

        Firefighting in Australia is a dangerous pursuit. Every year we lose firefighters in modified 4WD vehicles.

        This concept is specifically aimed at addressing that problem.

        Perhaps if you spent more time reading and less time shooting off your mouth, you would have saved yourself coming across as a loudmouth know-nothing.

    • Sven Lipinski says:


      I am going to write an article for and an German print-magazine about the “Amatoya”. It would be great, if you would allow me the usage of some pictures – of course the source would be named.

      Furthermore there I some unanswered questions I would like to ask – please contact me: Sven_Lipinski[at]gmx[dot]de

      I am looking forward hearing from you soon!
      Thank you!

      Sven Lipinski

    • Liam,
      We are interested in your concept. Counterfire is about to launch a new fire fighting chemical-BlazeTamer- that works by lowering temperature-fast.
      You worked at Ford hence the 7 litre diesel (now replaced by a better 6 litre Duratorque Diesel)
      1st strike capacity is vital in assessing the ’emergency’ and conducting holding tactics until the (air) cavalry arrive.
      Any chance for further discussion about the Amatoya?
      Keith Hancock

    • YAGO says:

      Hi Liam,

      Brilliant idea.

      We work in Spain trying to integrate systems with fast attack vehicles adapted to the mountain. We have even prepared quads, by hand, and we have very clear that current vehicles are very limited. With the ability to transport water from the vehicle and a simple system to use foam type Portacafs, performance can be impressive.

      What stage is the project?. Thanks,

    • Mike says:

      Fantastic concept, Liam.

      I might still have a house, post Ash Wednesday if we had something like this back in the 80s

      Thanks for your efforts – It would be fantastic to see it made flesh.

  • Liam says:

    Thanks guys, nice to have some supporters. This is a student project, and as such was developed under very tight time constraints so certain areas are bound to have holes.

    Deh> The truck was fully packaged with real world dimensions and volumes. Proposed power plant is a CAT 7.2ltr turbo charged mechanically inject diesel fire fighting engine. As long as there is fuel in the line, these monsters will keep on running…

  • Deh says:

    wow.. Beautiful…. nice work, well done.

  • IdahoDavid says:

    As a former firefighter I can tell you this concept is sound. The ability to deploy faster and to have improved deep-woods access in a wildfire situation would mean a better response and help to keep fires from spreading. The only thing I would change is the paint job. Needs more visibility. Also, it would be a hell of a recreational vehicle.

  • mif991 says:

    Liam. You have addressed a real life situation that most of us would have no clue on. Such gracious replies should disarm all negative detractors. Thanks for such a clear thought out concept and I wish you success in all future endeavors. IdahoDavid is your best endorsement.

  • carboncanyon says:

    My goodness it’s just a design concept. The guy isn’t an engineer.

    I like the styling, although I find it to be more like entertainment design than true transportation design. Good stance and interesting proportions. The details really make it feel more realistic. Maybe a more realistic story would help silence the critics who probably couldn’t do better; Stephen Russell posted some very good ideas.

    Some people just come here to point out the negative and ignore the positive. I personally like this project. Keep up the good work!

  • JohnCan says:

    I was really excited by this design until I realized it’s for fighting fires, not fire-fights. Bwaaaaa! I thought those things were machine guns!

  • Alp says:

    Hi everyone,

    I must say i love the concept design. I think the starter idea is great, it serves a purpose, it looks great and brings NEW into user experience. I understand the comments about others thoughts about claims etc. but personally i think creativity and putting it on a visual has opened mankinds mind into engineering. First you have to think of a bridge before you can engineer it. With all due respect.

    I tried to realise a concept alike myself (google Peugeot Capsule) and on my story the logo was put there because it was intended for the competition. So putting a Ford logo and Ford not making it is still okay since it brings relevance to others minds when they see the concept and makes them feel connected more so than without the logo. Obviously that is more for non designer community and minds. Still, GREAT CONCEPT well done and do more !

  • FF says:

    One of the biggest rules in firefighting. Big fire, big water. Learn it, love it, live it.

  • SheepHunter says:

    Nice design, I’m bush/forest firefighter in Australia, this is type of vehicle has been needed here for a long time.

    Here’s some feedback about how we fight fire here:

    – We use fire to fight fire more than we use water, having pole out to one side to drop burning fuel to start a back burn would be just as important as water. Or a incendiary ball launcher instead of the pole.

    With big fire, water does very little unless it’s dropped from the sky.

    – Water is used more as safety backup, to protect the vehicle and firefighters mostly. Having a system to spray water over vehicle would be good.

    – Needs flashing roof lights. With lots of smoke, flashing red light help fire truck see each other and not crash into each other. Very important at wild fires.

    – A Bull bar. We often have drive over fallen tree, sometimes crash into a locked gate to access a fire.

    – Roll cage. Falling tree take out a few firetrucks every year over here. As well as risks of driving off the road due smoke.

    Know someone needs to just make this beast.

  • AMATOYA the design is just too good. I liked the body structure of it. Really awesome. It would be real fun driving it and getting to use all the accessories.

  • WindsorCastle says:

    Some of these guys are complete tools. They dont understand the meaning of design and have no respect for other peoples talent.

    Awesome design Liam. I bet you are a designer who wears g.Star pants, has a dentist as a girlfriend, probably had dreads when you were younger, and plays zombie games to release stress.

    Keep up the awesome work!

    -Windsor Castle 🙂

  • taodude says:

    Sweet, but how often does anything that cool ever see production?

  • drstein says:

    I don’t see this being too useful for a forest fire, but it’d be great for the grass fires we get in our district. Bumper nozzles would be more useful than the ‘water cannons’ though.
    There are already Kawasaki Mule based rigs for grass fires. It’s difficult to get the KME engine down into a creekbed to put out hotspots, and boy would the Chief be pissed. 😉

    At the very least, something like this would make grass fires a whole lot more fun to get to.

  • AretinaEriphyle says:

    Extremely cool concept vehicle, but as a professional firefighter who has spec’ed quite a few vehicles – this is truly horrific.

    There is a reason fire apparatus is big and square – it fits the maximum amount of space on a chassis. We carry lots of tools and heavy heavy water and foam, so as cool as this little duck butted scout vehicle looks… it doesn’t make the grade.

    Also, if we want intel on a forest fire we use these things called helicopters. They go faster and don’t get burned up by vegetation fires.

    • DivePeak says:

      There are different types of fires in different parts of the world. I don’t know where you are from, but the “CFA” on the tyres is for Country Fire Authority in Victoria, Australia – a place where there can be hundreds of fires running out of control over millions of square kilometers. We just don’t have enough helicopters. A typical rural firestation would have one modified Toyota Landcruiser ute, one big square tanker, and (possibly) a pumper for structural fires. The Toyota’s are great – they get on the scene fast and contain small to medium fires with 32mm hose until the tanker arrives with 64mm gear.

      The problem is wildfires. People die in those Landcruisers trying to defend the lives and property of others, because they are not built to survive fires. If this concept helps to create a vehicle that improves QAV survivability then Liam, while still a student, will have done a hell of a lot more for mankind than most people achieve in a lifetime.

      Liam – good on ya, mate! I really hope this leads to something. I can only agree with the previous remarks about adding a bullbar, and the ability to start a backburn without getting out of the vehicle. Being able to spray the ground immediately around the vehicle will help prevent those tires proving why they are so expensive. And a mist system to reduce the radiant heat in the event of being trapped in a wildfire would go a long way, too.

  • Hamilton Aro Pereira says:

    Greeting! This project is wonderful. I’m cheering on see this vehicle in production. To see the blue
    oval there make me happy. I hope the FORD does it too.
    Congratulations Lian!!!

  • COOL TED says:


  • Wes Carr says:

    Anyone remember the movie Megaforce? This looks like
    a next-gen Fast Attack Vehicle like the ones in the
    movie. I can see plenty of uses for a vehicle like this and hope the concept goes farther.

  • That’s a beautiful vehicle. I’m not sure about the sitting layout, but I would definitely want to have one – just for offroading, I’m not a fireman.

  • andy says:

    So were can I buy one with out the water jet’s ? would make a great toy 🙂

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