Brabus’ apocalypse-ready Adventure 4×4² tries to one-up Mercedes itself

When it comes to insane SUVs, the Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4² sits pretty close to the top of lunacy mountain. It’s a military vehicle turned into a luxury cruiser, and then augmented with some of the most serious off-road hardware available. But sometimes too much still isn’t enough.

Germany’s Brabus is one of the most prolific Mercedes tuners, and it decided to take a crack at the G550 4×4². Its 550 Adventure 4×4² debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show with amped-up styling as well as some mechanical upgrades. It’s hard to see how anyone could have made the G550 4×4² more extreme, but Brabus seems to have pulled it off.

The makeover starts with more aggressive styling. Brabus added a beefy new front bumper guard that accommodates a winch, plus wire mesh to protect the headlights and turn signals from getting smashed on the trail. As with all Brabus creations, the Mercedes three-pointed star is replaced by Brabus’ own “B” logo, and the 550 Adventure 4×4² gets a carbon fiber hood scoop, for good measure.

An LED light bar and spot lights were installed on the roof, which also features a storage rack to take full advantage of that massive expanse of flat space. At the back is a custom spare tire carrier made from carbon fiber, and a beefier rear bumper.

Under the skin, Brabus installed an adjustable suspension system that allows the driver to alter the ride height at each axle, and choose from four damper firmness settings. The tuner also managed to extract another 128 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque from the 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, bringing output to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft. That will get this hulking SUV from 0 to 62 mph in a respectable 6.7 seconds. Top speed is limited to 130 mph, because of the off-road tires.

With its extroverted exterior and more powerful engine, the Brabus Adventure 550 4×4² is appreciably more mental than the vehicle it’s based on, but it still may not be the most extreme G-Class. In another corner of the Geneva show, Mercedes unveiled the Maybach G650 Landaulet, a semi-convertible model spruced up by the automaker’s Maybach ultra-luxury division. There’s also the limited-edition, six-wheel G63 AMG 6×6, which lent some of its off-road hardware to the G550 4×4².

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