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The Crawler features neither doors nor windows, making for a purist open-air experience. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Crawler features neither doors nor windows, making for a purist open-air experience. Picture: SUPPLIED

German tuning firm Brabus has created a mighty off-road desert racer based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

Called the Crawler, the extreme heavy-duty adventure vehicle was conceived as the ultimate dune racer. The G-Class was modified with a high-strength tube frame combined with an open, four-seat body made of high-quality exposed carbon, with a bright red roll cage. The non road-legal Crawler features neither doors nor windows, making for a purist open-air experience.

Widened wheel arches accommodate massive off-road tyres on 20-inch wheels, and the Crawler has a rock-straddling 530mm ground clearance.

Suspension is independent up front with and a beam axle at the rear, with adjustable shocks and up to 160mm of spring travel.

It’s a high-adrenaline ride with its 4.5l twin-turbo V8 engine pushing out 662kW of power and a mighty 1,250Nm of torque, making this dune dueller capable of  0-100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically governed to 160km/h because of the off-road tyres.

Red racing seats and roll cage. Picture: SUPPLIED
Red racing seats and roll cage. Picture: SUPPLIED

A Brabus high-performance exhaust system with sporty matte black tailpipe trims and actively controlled valves ensures the right acoustics and looks for flying over the dunes.

Transmission duty is served by a nine-speed automatic, feeding a four-wheel drive system with locking differentials.

The driver and passengers sit in carbon fibre racing seats with four-point harnesses, and the seats are covered in fade-resistant Silvertex fabric from Brabus-developed high-performance boats.

Interior switches get a red anodised finish to match the seats and roll cage. Also fitted is a helmet intercom system, plus a roof-mounted intake that sends air to the rear seats.

Pricing starts at €749,000 (R12.8m) and only 15 units of the Brabus Crawler will be built.

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