Say what you like about Brabus, but it doesn't tend to do things by halves. Just in the last few months we've had its first motorbike (in partnership with KTM), the 205mph E-Class 900 and the GLE 'Rocket Edition'. And that's just the stuff we've told you about. The firm is endlessly tweaking its silly-money G-Class lineup, when it's not teaming up with Panerai or putting its name on powerboats.
Nevertheless, even for a brand as willing to diversify as Brabus plainly is, the new 900 Crawler is obviously something special. For one thing it was built to mark the company's 45th anniversary. For another, there will only ever be 15 of them, and they sell for 749,000 euros (excluding tax). And, finally, as you can see from the pictures, the not-at-all-road-legal desert dune special is clearly fun with a capital 'eff.
Not for nothing either, but the Crawler is also the first Brabus to feature an in-house developed chassis, forgoing its traditional tie-up with Mercedes (even if it does resemble a certain well-known off-roader with most of its panels and doors removed). As you can see, the chassis in question is custom-built for the sandy stuff, it being a tubular frame made from high-strength steel and painted in look-at-me Brabus red.
Portal axles front and back provide the car with nearly 21-inches of ground clearance (handy for returning to earth post mega-jump), and Brabus itself developed the matching height-adjustable struts with four-way adjustable damping. These provide up to 6.3-inches of spring travel (again, for landing), and are attached to bespoke Monoblock HD forged wheels and stupendously large all-terrain tyres.
The panels underneath are made from aluminium and carbon/Kevlar composite (to protect your underbody) and up top there's a carbon fibre roof (primarily to protect your bald patch from the sun). All four occupants get a Silvertex-upholstered race seat and a four-point harness to go with it, and Brabus will throw in not only helmets but also an intercom system so you can hear everyone's expletives in real-time.
These are likely to be extensive because, as the name suggests, Brabus has chosen to fit the Crawler with its 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 in its all-guns-blazing 900hp format. Elsewhere the engine can deliver 922lb ft of torque from 2,900rpm, although in the Crawler the engineers have opted to limit it to (just) 774lb ft and restrict the top speed to 100mph. Expect to get there pretty quickly: with permanent all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic, the firm reckons you'll get to 62mph in 3.4 seconds without any problem.
Fancy one? Well, obviously you'll be needing the money and ideally a desert to play in, but if you find yourself with access to both, Brabus doesn't suggest that it has found customers for all 15 examples yet (although you'd imagine it has found homes for the first five it says it will deliver this year). Another five Crawlers will follow in 2023, and five more in 2024. Of course by that time Brabus will likely have come up with something even more extreme. An aircraft carrier, perhaps.
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