Brabus G-wagen adventure pickup heads off road in good times and bad
It's Geneva Motor Show time ... or it was about to be before the show was canceled on Friday in connection with the coronavirus. Show or no show, it's that time when Brabus reveals one of the weirdest, most extreme new Mercedes-based builds of the year, often a G-Class of imposing stature and specification. Brabus does not disappoint in 2020, debuting the 800 Adventure XLP truck, an AMG G63 on stilts and steroids. The one-of-a-kind truck gets a custom pickup bed, loads more power and torque, portal axles, and an available companion drone for continuing the day's mission through the air.
The AMG G63 is not a humble 4x4 by any means, but it's a 4x4 humbled by Brabus' grand designs. Perhaps feeling too many years had passed since the G63 AMG 6x6 pickup roamed earth and movie screen, or perhaps anticipating the imminent void to be left by the soon-to-be-discontinued X-Class, Brabus reasoned the G-Class could use a pickup bed and used that as the starting point of this year's Adventure truck.
Developing a G pickup wasn't a simple task, much more involved than simply slicing off the rear roof and body and removing the rear seats. Brabus first had to stretch the ladder frame by 27 in (69 cm) and wheelbase by 20 in (50 cm) to support a functional bed. It then tasked its CSP business division with building out the bed structure, including the steel floor, carbon composite sidewalls, steel rear cabin wall with heated window, and side-opening tailgate. The floor gets finished with Flexiteek to bring home the perfect Brabus blend of rugged utility and style, while bed bars and floor tie-down rails help when transporting gear.
The pickup bed is impressive enough to be its own project, but Brabus also throws in heaps of on- and off-road performance, starting with the PowerXtra+ engine tune that cranks the 4.0-liter biturbo V8's available horsepower up to 789 hp, from 577 hp on Mercedes-AMG's own G63. Torque comes in at 737 lb-ft, and the 4x4 clocks a 4.8-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time. Top speed is limited to 130 mph (210 km/h), owing to the high center of gravity and Pirelli Scorpion ATR 325/55 R22 all-terrain tires.
Down below, portal axles, reworked front independent and rear solid-axle suspension components, and 22-in Monoblock HD wheels give the 800 Adventure a ground clearance over 19 in (49 cm). The driver can adjust ride height and tweak suspension settings with a Brabus ride control system tuned around the specific new suspension setup.
Of course, Brabus also showers the 800 Adventure XLP in plenty of jewelry, from the carbon fiber power-bulge hood, through the fender flares and extended-wheelbase running boards, all the way back to the decorative carbon logo panel on the tailgate. The company also adds in front and rear skid plates and offers a front brush guard and 9,900-lb (4,500-kg) winch.
In the world of over-the-top tuner cars, the 800 Adventure XLP is actually a pretty cool package ... who's going to argue with an all-new G-Class pickup, on portal axles no less? But Brabus is gonna Brabus, and apparently a towering 800-hp G-wagen dripping in carbon fiber still needs a gimmick. An optional Wingcopter drone buzzing around the truck and bed-mounted landing pad are this vehicle's gimmick.
The Wingcopter can take off and land vertically, carry up to 13 lb (6 kg), reach speeds up to 150 mph (240 km/h), and travel distances up to 75 miles (120 km/h). Brabus imagines it transporting food, medication and supplies to remote locations unreachable even with a 800-hp 4x4 on portal axles. But we're thinking the average Brabus owner is much more likely to strap on a camera and use the drone to make videos of "epic" adventures, because what good is having something as ostentatious as a Brabus SUV if you can't show off its exploits on social media.
The 800 Adventure XLP starts at €389,831 (approx. US$429,900), but those who simply can't wait to take delivery can pony up €575,630 ($634,800) for a First Edition model with a special leather and Alcantara interior. Optional add-ons like the winch, roof rack and Wingcopter push the price of the pictured First Edition show model up to €666,386 ($734,900). All of those are export prices and exclude VAT. Ouch.