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The Insane Brabus Crawler 900 Dune Buggy

With the front end of a Mercedes-AMG G63, the Crawler is taking off-roading to the extreme.

| By Robin Nooy | 6 min read |

In the world of bespoke cars, there’s extreme and there’s EXTREME, in capital letters, to emphasize just how extreme things have got. And famed German-based Mercedes-Benz tuners Brabus have perhaps just released the most extreme car you can think of. Forget Toyota Land-Cruisers or Land-Rover Defenders. Heck, you can even forget about your already intimidating, get-out-of-my-way-NOW Mercedes-AMG G63. This thing, the Brabus Crawler 900 makes all other off-road vehicles look like mundane, boring boxes on wheels! This thing is just, well, insane!

Sure, there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to bonkers cars built for offroad adventures. We’ve previously covered cars like the Morgan Plus Four CX-T, Gemballa Marsien and Apocalypse Hellfire 6×6, perfect examples of toys for boys with deep, deep pockets. The Brabus Crawler 900 picks up where those cars left off and go to extreme lengths. Seriously, there’s nothing subtle about this bonkers machine. Then again, it comes as no surprise as Brabus is never really about subtlety.

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The Brief Brabus Story

For those not familiar with Brabus, it is perhaps best compared to the story of AMG, although AMG has been absorbed by Mercedes-Benz since the early-1990s. Brabus was founded by Bodo Buschmann in 1977, following a desire to customize his own car but not finding anyone who could live up to his desires and requirements. So, in a typical “fine, I’ll do it myself!”, Bodo started his own shop with Klaus Brackmann, a friend of his. With no interest in modifying cars, Klaus Brackmann sold his shares to Bodo. Why start the company in the first place then? Well, German law at that time required two founders to start a company.

Over the course of 45 years, Brabus has devoted itself almost entirely to Mercedes-Benz cars but has modified cars from other manufacturers as well. Customers can buy cars directly from Brabus or go to them with their own car to have it modified. The main focus for Brabus is to significantly enhance the performance of the cars they work on, with sometimes crazy power jumps. I mean, the engine in the Brabus Crawler went from 465bhp to a monstrous 900bhp, just to give you a little hint. Of course, performance is one thing, but people in this market like a little bit of show as well. So, to accommodate those demands, the interior and exterior of cars are often also heavily updated. Pretty much anything you can think of, they can do for you, and more.

Brabus is by far the largest Mercedes-Benz tuner after the intercompany Mercedes-AMG label. It has closely worked with Mercedes-Benz or its parent-company Daimler AG for a number of years now and can even supply complete turn-key crate engines from Mercedes-AMG to be used in project cars. Next to cars, Brabus is also active as a yacht builder, concept vehicle design company, private aircraft customizer, classic car dealer and restorer, and authorized Mercedes-Benz service partner.

The company set a number of records over the years as well, including the record for the world’s fastest sedan. Their 2012 Brabus Rocket 800 (what’s in a name) was powered by an 800 horsepower twin-turbo V12 and achieved a top speed of 230mph (370kph). Shmee150, probably one of the biggest Youtube vloggers on cars, test drove the Brabus Rocket 900 One of Ten last year:

The Brabus Crawler 900

Now, on to the Brabus Crawler 900. From the outside, it’s already a crazy looking thing but if you look at the inside, the performance, and pretty much every little detail, the madness really becomes apparent.

Normally I would mention the power and performance figures towards the end of an article but for now, I’m this time I’m going to start with it. The Crawler 900 comes with the engine and drivetrain of the Mercedes-AMG G63. It’s a twin-turbo 4.0 litre V8 that used to produce an already pretty potent 577bhp, but is now enlarged to 4.5 litres and produces a monstrous 900bhp. It also produces 1,250nm of torque, but this is regulated to a more manageable 1,050nm. With all that power on tap, the 3,200kg beast hits 100kph in 3.4 seconds, and on pretty much any surface. Top speed? Well, a pedantic 99mph (160kph) but that’s more than plenty to have incredible amounts of fun off-road.

And off-road is pretty much where you will be limited to as this does not come with clearance to be used on public roads. It makes perfect sense if you look at it, really. Essentially it’s more of an overgrown dune buggy than a car, and that’s down to the reason it’s more or less built like one from the ground up. It only looks like a road car due to the boxy exterior panels resembling Mercedes-Benz’s G-Wagon. Here’s the little teaser video Brabus has released just days ago:

The completely custom chassis is made from high-strength steel tubing. The suspension set-up gives the Crawler a 21 inch or 53 centimetres of ground clearance, which is insane! In comparison, the new Land Rover Defender has a maximum ground clearance of only 11.5 inches or 29 centimetres. Everything on this car is built to do just one thing, and do it to the extreme, and that’s thrashing about off-road.

The entire frame is finished in bright red paint, a colour Brabus loves to use to spice up its cars. It’s draped in a very minimalistic carbon fibre exterior, as mentioned closely resembling a G-Wagons boxy shape. And don’t go looking for too much creature comfort as it has no windows or doors, so undoubtedly it will be an airy experience.

With four carbon fibre bucket seats with red synthetic upholstery and racing harnesses, there’s room for you and your mates to enjoy the madness this thing will surely be able to provide. The interior also comes with a custom navigation system, and Brabus can map out specific areas for you to thrash around in if desired. It is in front of the passenger though, so make sure you have someone who can read maps seated upfront. Brabus made this in-depth video on the Brabus Crawler 900, for those interested.

Only 15 Brabus Crawler 900’s will be built, all with a starting price of EUR 749,000 excl. taxes. For that, you do get a set of four complementary carbon fibre Brabus racing helmets, so you save a bit of money on that. It’s a ridiculous machine, with a ridiculous sticker price, aimed at a very select group of people for sure, but it sounds like an absolute riot to thrash around in the dunes in something like this. So, Brabus, when can I have a go?

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