Off to the desert: Brabus Crawler - sandpit toy for sheikhs

Brabus actually created the crawler for the desert.

Off to the desert: Brabus Crawler - sandpit toy for sheikhs

Brabus actually created the crawler for the desert. Because in addition to a lot of money, you need a lot of space if you really want to enjoy this toy. But even in the Sauerland you can feel like a Saudi in a sandpit at the wheel of this wild buggy for a moment.

Engines, transmissions, chassis and either eye-catching or aerodynamic add-on parts - at Brabus they master all of this inside out. But the largest independent tuner in the world still lacked a completely independent complete vehicle in its portfolio. So far at least. Because head of development Jörn Gander finally wanted to open up the full spectrum, they almost completely abandoned Mercedes in Bottrop for once

And because it quickly became clear that "noise, vibration and harshness" simply didn't matter, they decided on a concept, says Gander with a mischievous grin and directs his gaze to the crawler. An oversized desert buggy without windows, without doors and without a solid body, but with its own carbon chassis and, above all, with 900 hp.

You have to understand that there is always a bit of G class involved, says Gander. After all, the square from Graz is the absolute bestseller for Brabus. And the fact that a large part of the Brabus production has already gone to the Emirates and that no other tuner in the Gulf has such an illustrious name was certainly not a problem for the project. Too bad that Brabus has its development, production and administration in Bottrop and not in Bahrain. That's why the maiden voyage doesn't lead through the desert. For now, a former airport in Sauerland has to suffice, which suddenly awakens from its slumber to the roar of the tuned eight-cylinder engine.

No sooner has the driver swung through the carbon cage like a monkey on a liana into the car and strapped his suspenders into the seat than the location is no longer important. Because the many horsepower, the imagination and maybe also the surprisingly strong sun of this early summer day unfold an almost magical effect and make the Sauerland appear a bit like Saudi Arabia. After all, they are familiar with miracles in the Orient.

Except that you don't need an Aladin or a magic lamp here, but a starter. This awakens the currently most powerful engine in the Brabus portfolio - the AMG eight-cylinder, which has been bored out to 4.5 liters and which they also install in their Rocket models. In the normal G-Class it has up to 585 hp, in the Brabus it comes to 900 hp and generates 1250 Newton meters of maximum torque, which means nothing other than that it literally has an easy time with the colossus. Especially since the crawler is a few centimeters higher than a G, but the air can flow through it almost unhindered. Oh yes, and the crawler is also a modest 500 kilograms lighter.

Accordingly, the perhaps biggest, but definitely the most powerful sandbox toy in the world hangs greedily on the gas and storms off like there's no tomorrow. Just 3.4 seconds are enough for the giant to reach 100 km/h. And the fact that, with regard to the tires and the chassis, it's only 60 km/h later, doesn't spoil the joy in the least: Because never before has 160 km/h felt so fast as in this carbon free seat. And it takes a certain amount of irony or a high standard to call such a car a "crawler".

Above all, however, the crawler lures you away from the asphalt. After all, why else do tires have cleats, each of which is almost the size of a football boot? Why are there almost endless suspension travels? Why does it stay with the three locks of the G-Class? And Brabus didn't install the portal axles with almost half a meter of ground clearance for nothing either.

While in reality you only roll carefully through the meadows so that nothing happens to the first film, the cinema in your head plays the PR film from the desert over and over again. Instead of gravel, it goes through the sand, the ground trembles, the sky disappears behind a wall of dust and the world continues to fall apart with every gas blast, while the crawler jumps through the dunes like a desert flea, as if it wanted to be in front of Alibaba and flee the 40 robbers. Ah, how beautiful is a well-developed imagination.

The appearance as striking as always with Brabus, the engine an unparalleled powerhouse and the chassis surprisingly harmonious and balanced on asphalt as well as on gravel - until then, the crawler is in no way inferior to a G-Class from Bottrop. Naturally, the buggy cannot keep up with the interior. This time, the Brabus upholsterers have dispensed with their elaborate manufactory leather as well as all the other plush that otherwise turns the cars from Bottrop into total works of art, often bordering on good taste.

That doesn't mean the crawler lacks attention to detail, though. The minimalist interior is also kept as elegant as possible. Instead of nobility, there are a few new useful features - from the huge tablet for off-road navigation to the ventilation nozzles in the roof to the intercom with headphones like in a combat helicopter and specially designed goggles to protect against all the dirt.

And there is another discipline in which the crawler is a typical Brabus: the price. Because even without tax, 900,000 euros each will be due for the maximum of 15 crawlers planned within three years. Even if the ticket for the imaginary trip to the Gulf is already included, that's a proud sum for such a toy. But Brabus also has particularly big children in mind, who have correspondingly bulging wallets. And the fact that it is not even street legal will not bother the sheikhs at all. First of all, they usually have sufficiently large latifundia to drive the crawler away from the public traffic area. And secondly, in the Emirates they are usually so high up in the hierarchy that they don't have to follow any rules, but just make their own.

Only in the Sauerland is that not a big help. Just like a fata morgana in the desert, the fun here is over quickly and as soon as the engine is off, reality has you back.

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