Imagine a Mad Max scenario for the super-rich and you’ll find the perfect setup for the otherworldly off-roader that is the Brabus 900 Crawler, a creation that can also be defined as the extreme sibling of the Mercedes-AMG G63. And Supercar Blondie recently got to take the all-terrain monster for a quick spin.
The Gelandewagen is normally the kind of machine that will dwarf all those around it, if not by sheer size then by its rugged construction, which reflects the 1970s military roots of the SUV.
And if you’re looking for all-out builds based on the G Wagon, German tuner Brabus is probably your best bet. Even so, the company has outdone itself with the super-sized dune buggy that is the Crawler.
The connection to the G63, which involves beefed-up parts that can take the extra muscle of the modded twin-turbo V8 (more on this below), is limited to the oily bits.
That’s because Brabus has gone ahead and built a custom tube chassis, along with carbon fiber panels that only replace a part of the factory units, with much of the body providing an open-air experience.
Brabus has already accustomed us to portal axles and uber-long suspension travel, so it’s only natural for these to be on the list.
They had to limit the torque of the beast
The twin-turbo V8 has been taken from 4.0 to 4.5 liters, which a host of upgrades takes the power all the way to 888 hp (900 PS) and 774 lb-ft (1,050 Nm) of torque. In fact, the motor would be good for 992 lb-ft (1,250 Nm) of twist, but its output has been capped to protect the nine-speed automatic tranny, as Brabus presumes future owners won’t exactly go gentle on the machine as they tear up the terrain.
The said body transformation sees the Crawler tipping the scales at around 4,500 lbs (2,060 kg), which is some 900 lbs (400 kg) below what the G63 weighs.
And if you’ve looked at the proportions of the Crawler (don’t forget the 20-inch wheels wrapped in 40-inch rubber delivering 20.9 inches of ground clearance) and wandered about the center of gravity-related limitations, the velocity numbers might answer your questions.
You see, the beast can play the 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) game in 3.4 seconds, but its top speed is limited to 100 mph (160 km/h), with the off-road profile of the said tires also playing an important part in this.
Brabus is asking €749,000 ($791,000) for the Crawler, with only 15 units set to be built through 2024.
We might see these on the street in certain parts of the world
Sure, the contraption is listed as non-road-legal. But, in the first clip below, Supercar Blondie (on her real name Alexandra Mary Hirschi) talks about a probable street conversion. The vlogger, who is based in Dubai, mentions markets such as the United Arab Emirates, recalling how a Batmobile she recently reviewed came with license plates—the second clip bring official footage, while the same goes for the image gallery.
This reminds me of how the UK’s Lanzante Motorsport, McLaren’s old-time Le Mans partner, used to convert P1 GTR racers to street use last decade, with the changes required by the process being rather limited (e.g., emission control hardware, lights, etc.).
Now, if you happen to prefer a more asphalt-ready machine with a G63 face and a Mercedes-AMG stamp of approval, perhaps the soon-to-be-revealed one-off sportscar imagined by singer will.i.am is more to your liking.