Can anyone remember how exactly the Mercedes G-Wagen became the darling of the aftermarket tuning scene? It’s difficult to comprehend a vehicle less suitable for mega-power mods than a four-decade old, ex-military, body-on-frame off-roader which weighs 2.5 tonnes and offers the aerodynamic properties of a parachute.
Perhaps its AMG’s own fault. It produces a 5.5-litre, bi-turbo V8 G63 version. Complete with raucous side-exit exhausts, it actually outsells the slightly more sensible diesel version. And then every tuning outfit from here to Moscow opens the toolbox and sets about over-doing it.
This is Brabus’s latest take on it. Now last year, to inject some zest into the G63 lineup (as if that was needed), Mercedes released some ‘Crazy Colour’ Editions. They’re painted lurid shades of green, orange, purple, or yellow, as seen here. Actually, that’s ‘Solar Beam’ to you, and the paint alone will set you back the cost of a VW Up.
To this box of custard powder on wheels (23-inch forged wheels, naturally), Brabus has applied its ‘Widestar’ kit, which adds a vented carbon fibre bonnet, extra LEDs in the bumper, a roof spoiler, and that most critical of workaday off-roader components – the illuminated door sills. Farmers love those. More practical is the equivalent of half a steel farm gate being welded to the front, masquerading as a set of bull bars. Who needs parking sensors?
And the horsepower? Yes, there are 700 of them to be precise, which is a ludicrous rise of around 230bhp from the standard twin-turbo V8’s output. Physics-permitting, you’ll get from 0-62mph in a claimed 4.9 seconds. Yes, the effect of adding a whole Golf GTI’s worth of poke to the G63 is scratching half a second from the 0-62 benchmark. It’s not enough for the Brabus to require AMG’s usual 155mph limiter, however: the whopping drag means it runs out of puff at 149mph. Still, if you were a little underwhelmed by yesterday’s 122bhp, turbodiesel Kahn Defender, perhaps this SpongeBob gangster-mobile is a little more up your street?