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Brabus G500 4x4x2 – Bigfoot!

This latest G-Wagon variant is no myth!

Date Published: 27 Oct 2016
Brabus G500 4x4x2

Brabus, the world’s largest tuner, was born and raised in the town of Bottrop. Having just added a fifth building to its complex, it is the biggest company here by far, and the street where its buildings are located has been renamed Brabus-Allee.

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The local inhabitants are certainly used to weird and wonderful machinery driving around on their streets, and generally take no notice of a Brabus-tuned Mercedes. But the big, black G500 4x4x2 we are driving today is the first of its kind to leave captivity, and eagle eyed car spotters have definitely noticed that a new model is on the prowl. Heads swivel and fingers point as we pass.

Even in its homeland, the Mercedes G-Wagon is a legend and an icon. Launched in 1979 as a military vehicle, it has been progressively developed for civilian customers to the point where the cabin of the latest versions is as plush as any conventional Mercedes.

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So why does Mercedes continue to develop the oldest standing model in its range? This is a customer demand driven phenomenon, plus the fact that the car still has some development life left in it.

Despite the continuous proliferation of new SUVs of all shapes and sizes, the strong affection for the iconic Land Rover Defender and Mercedes G-Wagon held by customers all over the world shows no signs of waning.

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Although the Defender finally ended its glorious 68-year run at the end of January 2016 when its crash safety and emissions ticket ran out, Mercedes’ state-of-the-art EU 6 compliant petrol and diesel engines allows their 30-year younger and tough-as-nails G-Wagon to continue enjoying a healthy lease on life.

If anything its popularity has never been higher, with around 13,000 of the five-door version being sold per annum in the last couple of years. And while that may not sound like a large number of cars, the fact that the tooling costs for the major parts of this premium-priced model were amortised years ago means that the revenue stream for Mercedes is a very healthy one.

Following the commercial success of the limited edition G63 AMG 6×6, which wealthy customers cannot seem to get enough of, Mercedes launched the less extreme G500 4x4x2, which sells for around half the price.

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And just as Brabus has delivered personalised versions of the 6×6, and indeed went to the trouble of homologating this extreme vehicle for their US customers, they immediately set about customising the 4x4x2 to meet rising demand.

The portal axles, wider track and massive 22-inch diameter wheels and off-road rubber that give the 4x4x2 its ‘Bigfoot’ look boost the 4x4x2’s ground clearance at least six inches over a normal G500. So it is no exaggeration to say that the powered, remote control operated, LED illuminated Brabus steps that descend from below the running boards to make up the difference are a practical necessity.

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cabin

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You have a proper climb ahead of you before you can gain entry to the 4x4x2’s cabin. But once you reach the threshold you have to be quite blasé if you do not pause to take in an appreciative look at the plush interior Brabus created for their Geneva Show car.

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  • Writer / Photographer Dr. Ian Kuah Dr. Ian Kuah
  • Text by:

  • Credits: Jo, Ji, Pa, Ch & Ro