Since 1977, tuning house Brabus has been churning out bonkers Mercedes-based cars that have too much power and too many wings. It’s a fantastic company. So, after 45 years of shipping suped-up AMG cars and even a Smart or two, the company needed to celebrate this milestone. And it did so with a bonkers dune buggy.
Dubbed the Brabus Crawler, the latest offering from the German tuning house draws heavily on the Mercedes G-Wagen. But, instead of luxurious trimmings to make life on the road as comfortable as possible, this one strips everything out in pursuit of pure off-road joy.
The frame is a bespoke Brabus offering, which is a first for the company, and those body panels aren’t stripped off a donor G-Wagen. Instead, Brabus has fabricated them in house, drawing heavy influences from Mercedes’ luxury off-roader.
While it might bear a striking resemblance to the G-Wagon, the Crawler doesn’t share quite the same imposing dimensions. At 182” long, it’s shorter than its inspiration, but the massively flared wheel arches and high-rising suspension make it 12” wider and 14” taller than the G-Wagen.
Inside, there’s space for four thanks to a set of full-carbon racing seats, which have been wrapped in fabric taken from Brabus’ marine division. But other than some fancy seats, don’t expect many creature comforts inside. There aren’t even any doors or windows, not even a front windscreen.
But, you don’t buy a Brabus-powered dune buggy for it’s luxuries. You buy it for its insane performance.
So, you’ll be pleased to hear that Brabus has done the honorable thing and given the Crawler a butt load of power.
Under that carbon fibre hood is the Brabus Rocket 900 4.5-litre V8 twin turbo engine. It kicks out 900 horsepower, which is delivered to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission, but there is an option for manual gearshifts.
This beating heart means that the dune racer can accelerate from 0 – 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds. It’ll then power on through to a top speed of 159 km/h, which has been limited because of its dune-racing pedigree.
It’s also because of this 100% focus on off-roading that this new Brabus monster isn’t road legal.
The Brabus Crawler is a pretty formidable looking machine, with the specs to match its menacing appearance. If you’ve got a spot in your garage for one of these creations, you’d better get in line as the firm says it only has plans to build 15.
Brabus will build five this year, five in 2023 and the final five will roll off the line in 2024. Each crawler will be priced from $US928,000 ($1,288,250).