Brabus launches ‘ultimate off-road pickup’

The 800hp Adventure XLP Superblack might just be the pickup for the PHer who has it all…

By Matt Bird / Thursday, January 20, 2022 / Loading comments

If red is the colour for Ferraris and silver the paint for Porsches, Brabuses are black. It plays perfectly to the menacing nature of its cars, be they SUVs or saloons. Of course, Brabus will paint your mad Mercedes any colour you like, but it’s seldom that a Bottrop bruiser – be that in a press release, at a motor show, or for sale – is anything but black. So, when it came to making an anniversary edition, there was only one thing for it.

Behold the Brabus 800 XLP Superblack, built from the current W463A Mercedes-AMG G63 and described as a ‘high performance go-anywhere pickup’. If anyone requires further clarity on the colour scheme, Brabus says the theme is, um, ‘black is the new black’. So hopefully that’s clear.

For once, what lurks under the bonnet might not be the biggest talking point of this Brabus. Obviously it’s worth coming to in time, because it has almost 200hp more than an E63, but the very fact this is a G-Class pickup is probably worth discussing first. Using “a newly designed steel module with bedsides made of carbon”, the Superblack is fully 68.9 centimetres longer than standard, at a whopping 5.31 metres long. The wheelbase has been extended by 50mm, too, ensuring the proportions make sense. Brabus states that “extensive calculations, simulations and tests” were undertaken to get the chassis up to scratch. It also insists that the “high torsional rigidity” of the standard car is retained.

Brabus hasn’t stopped there, however; the G-Class ute has portal axles as well, just like the ‘squared’ models offered by Mercedes, which should ensure peerless off-roading ability – the ground clearance is 49cm, for starters. Up front the Superblack’s portal axle has mandated a whole new front subframe, and the rear end now has a host of uprated aluminium parts to accommodate the new hardware.

Even the Brabus coilover suspension is titanium plated for protection and calibrated for the chunky ground clearance, but still functions through the AMG Dynamic Select switch. The winch is rated to 4.5 tonnes, the roof rails look like a climbing frame and the spotlight would illuminate a football pitch. Probably. Finally, G is equipped for off-roading with suitable wheels and tyres; a mere 22-inch rim is unheard for a Brabus SUV, as are Pirelli Scorpion ATRs. But this isn’t all mouth and no combat trousers – the Superblack is built for adventure.

The Brabus tuned V8 ought to help reach the farthest flung corners of the earth, too. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo engine that’s become an AMG legend over the past few years has been treated to a pair of new Brabus blowers, which are bigger, stronger and boostier than standard. With some ECU fiddling as well, the Adventure Superblack is rated at 800hp and 737lb ft. All 2,936kg of it is said to reach 62mph in just 4.8 seconds, and is limited to 130mph, presumably for the safety of the planet.

Now, we mentioned this G-Class was an anniversary special, and that’s because 2022 marks 45 years since Brabus was founded by Bodo Buschmann. (That’s 1977, for anyone struggling.) So as well as an interior trimmed in the finest black leather, there are those funky ’77’ logos embossed throughout. By Brabus standards it’s pretty subtle, but then the Superblack also has ‘Masterpiece’ badges on the seats and the floormats. Plus a Panerai clock in the centre console – it isn’t exactly modest.

Of course a modest Brabus wouldn’t really be Brabus at all. The Superblack represents everything we’ve come to expect from Bottrop over the past four and a half decades – it’s very fast, very silly, and very black – and therefore quite easy to admire. If rather harder to acquire – Brabus says its 725,900 euros, or very nearly £605,000. But that does include the VAT at least. Whether anyone will do actual adventuring in a Superblack remains to be seen, but they’ll most likely be glad just to get one. Wonder what Brabus will build for its 50th…


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