Most folks know the roots of the Mercedes-Benz G-class—a.k.a. the Geländewagen, or G-wagen—stretch back to the 1970s, when it was created as a go-absolutely-anywhere off-roader. In the intervening time, roadgoing versions and the fact that its fundamental look has barely changed have made it one of the most iconic vehicles not just in Mercedes-Benz history, but also in the history of all things with wheels and engines. Adding to the mystique, of course, have been a whole pile of obscenely overpowered and, well, simply obscene versions like AMG’s G63 6×6 and Maybach’s G650 Landaulet. And then there are the aftermarket versions, including those turned out by longtime Benz tuner Brabus, which has taken the G to a whole new level with this massively muscular Brabus 900 “One of Ten.”
Named for exactly what it is, the Brabus 900 “One of Ten” will be built in a run of just 10 examples. Not only will it be fast, but it will be extremely rare, too. The 900 is representative of the 900 metric horsepower—that translates to 888 ’Merican horsepower—churned forth by a modified twin-turbocharged V-12 AMG engine that also claims 1106 lb-ft of torque. If these details sound familiar, it’s because this engine can be found in more than just this Brabus version of Benz’s box: It’s also in the firm’s Rocket 900 Cabrio S65, which also is making its debut at the Frankfurt auto show as part of the company’s celebration of 40 years in business.
Brabus made numerous alterations to the engine to extract more power. The first order of business was increasing displacement from 6.0 to 6.3 liters thanks to increasing the cylinder bore. The stock internals were replaced with a billet-steel crankshaft, forged pistons, and billet-steel connecting rods for improved strength and durability, and the intake and exhaust systems were redone to optimize airflow.
Air is sucked into the carbon-fiber hood scoop on the creased custom hood and works its way through a cooling filter. A pair of beefier Brabus turbochargers with bigger compressors than stock stuff oxygen into the engine with increased boost pressure. It gets modified exhaust manifolds, larger-diameter downpipes, and high-flow catalytic converters, and a new stainless-steel performance exhaust handles spent-air disposal duties, while active flaps give the twin side-exiting pipes special aural notes.
All of this combines for a claimed zero-to-62-mph time of 3.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 168 mph, enough to claim the title of the fastest V-12 off-roader. Of course, this might be the only modern V-12 off-roader, and that top-speed record is one we wouldn’t be particularly enthusiastic about confirming more than a couple of times, given the boxy G’s wayward dynamics at speed and susceptibility to crosswinds.
But power is only part of the reason this bad boy costs the equivalent of about $797,000. In addition to that brutish custom hood, the One of Ten also has a Brabus Widestar wide-body kit with fender flares, a front spoiler, an extra carbon panel under the grille, black-painted chrome bits, and a roof spoiler. It rides on the buyer’s choice of two 23-inch monoblock wheel designs, each wearing Yokohama Advan Sport 305/35 tires. Behind the front wheels are 16.2-inch vented and cross-drilled brake rotors with eight-piston aluminum calipers.
The first of these specialty supertrucks will be on display at the Frankfurt auto show, but all 10 will be sold to people with distinctive visions of how to spend three-quarters of a million bucks.