A Brabus fit to bust

Tun­ing house picks up on the 6WD ute where AMG leaves off

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working Wheels - JAMES STAN­FORD james.stan­ford@news.com.au

THE monster Mercedes ute in­spired by the Aus­tralian De­fence Force is now even meaner.

AMG’s 6x6 G-Wa­gen is pos­si­bly the most ex­treme Mercedes to roll off the Magna Steyr pro­duc­tion line in Aus­tria. It is re­lated to the 6x6 GWa­gens Benz de­vel­oped for the ADF, but the civil­ian ver­sion has a pow­er­ful twin-turbo V8 en­gine and $500,000 price.

Ger­man tun­ing house Brabus, which spe­cialises in over-the-top Mercedes mods, such as a manic V8 Vito van, has turned its at­ten­tion to the GWa­gen to pro­duce some­thing even more ex­treme, and ex­pen­sive, al­though it is not dis­clos­ing prices at this stage.

The AMG ver­sion sends a re­mark­able 400kW through all six wheels, but Brabus went to work on the 5.5-litre V8, lift­ing power to an in­cred­i­ble 515kW (690hp). The en­gi­neers left the en­gine in­ter­nals alone but mod­i­fied the pe­riph­er­als ex­ten­sively.

Of­fer­ing the big­gest gain was the re­design of the tur­bocharger. Brabus re­moved the two AMG tur­bos, re­plac­ing them with its own more force­ful items and wind­ing up the boost pres­sure.

It also over­hauled the in­lets with the aim of re­duc­ing the tem­per­a­ture, and so in­crease the den­sity, of the air the turbo forces into the en­gine.

On the ex­haust side, Brabus in­stalled cat­alytic con­vert­ers with unique down­pipes to re­duce back pres­sure.

The changes have also sent the peak torque fig­ure soar­ing — from a re­spectable 760Nm to a re­mark­able 960Nm. Even bet­ter, it is avail­able from just 2000rpm through to 4500rpm.

Of course, the 6x6 G-Wa­gen crushes the scales at al­most 4000kg, so it is never go­ing to be a sprint star. The ex­tra power en­ables the big beastie to haul off the line and hit 100km/h in 7.4 sec­onds.

In com­mon with the donor ve­hi­cle, the Brabus 6x6 is elec­tron­i­cally limited to just 160km/h be­cause its mas­sive chunky tyres de­signed for churn­ing through sand are not de­signed to run any faster.

It has a bark to match its bite thanks to a dual-mode ex­haust with quad pipes. A but­ter­fly valve muf­fles the ex­haust when set to Com­ing Home mode but folds back for max­i­mum vol­ume in Sport mode.

As you might ex­pect, fuel econ­omy is not a strength — of­fi­cial com­bined fuel econ­omy is 17.0L/100km, with the city fig­ure com­ing in at a dis­turb­ing 22.7L/100km.

It might be tech­ni­cally a ute but Brabus gives lit­tle de­tail on how much the 6x6 G-Wa­gen can haul or its tow­ing ca­pac­ity.

As is the case with the donor AMG 6x6, it car­ries over the handy 460mm of ground clear­ance and can wade through up to a me­tre of wa­ter.

The Brabus 6x6 sends its power through a seven-speed reg­u­lar Benz auto trans­mis­sion.

It drives the front wheels us­ing stan­dard G-Wa­gen drive­shafts. The rear dou­bleaxle drive is shared with the Aus­tralian mil­i­tary 6x6 mod­els.

As with the AMG, the Brabus 6x6 has no less than five dif­fer­en­tial locks. This means the front to rear power dis­tri­bu­tion can be locked, while the wheels on each axle ro­tate at the same rate for ul­ti­mate trac­tion in un­even ter­rain — any wheel that lifts off the ground does not spin faster than the oth­ers.

Brabus also turned its at­ten­tion to the ex­te­rior, adding its own spoiler, car­bon-fi­bre bon­net and wing mir­ror shells and unique xenon and LED head­lights. The in­te­rior can be fit­ted out to the spe­cific taste, or lack thereof, of each cus­tomer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.