The Most Ridiculous Mercedes

2017 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 6, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Mercedes-Benz built a six-wheeled version of their iconic G-Class a few years ago. It was pretty intense and easily one of the most over-the-top cars money could buy. And it sold out quickly. So in 2017, Mercedes, with their bizarre new marque structure where luxury models lose the “Benz” and get appended with the halfway resurrected “Maybach” name, decided to try and one-up themselves in the ridiculousness category: they built an extended-wheelbase Landaulet version of one of the world’s most capable off-roaders.

The current generation of the G-Class dates to 1990, though the exterior has been tweaked over the years to give every buyer that true “Russian Mob” feeling. The G650 Landaulet gets the AMG treatment under the hood (I guess luxuriousness trumps power when it comes to the car’s name). It’s powered by a 621 horsepower, 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12. That’s almost as much power as a McLaren F1.

That tan part of the roof at the back folds down to give the rear passengers the open-air experience while fording rivers – which it can do because this car is also equipped with portal axles lifted from the super-macho 4×4² version of the G-Class. Oh, and those rear passengers are coddled in the same seats from the near-limo Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. This convertible luxury truck is basically the ultimate Daimler Parts Bin Special.

And it is being sold by Daimler. It’s a zero-owner car whose proceeds will benefit charity. Only 99 of these have been/will be built and they will all sell – mostly, I’d guess, to wealthy Middle Eastern oil barons. No estimate has been published, but the base price for one of these is supposed to be around $550,000. We’ll see what this one brings. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,404,840.

Pajero Evo

1997 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 30, 2016

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Paris-Dakar Rally is one of the premier off-road racing events in the world. It’s one that has, for a long time, seen major manufacturer entries and participation. Mitsubishi, long a competitor in rally competition, was one of those manufacturers.

Homologation rules are in effect for a variety of series worldwide and Dakar is no different. Manufacturers, in order to maximize their chances, will build a race car and then build a “road car” variant (that is usually extreme in looks and performance… not to mention price) so that they can say to the event organizers: “Hey, we are entering the production class because our race car is obviously based on a road car.” It’s a little backwards, but this practice is responsible for some awesome road cars.

In 1997, Mitsubishi sold about 2,500 Pajero Evolution models to the public. They were essentially a Pajero SUV with a wild body kit and a 260 horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. The interior is by Recaro. This is a pretty sporty SUV, considering it was built in 1997 and “sporty SUVs” weren’t really yet a thing. At any rate, it’s really cool – and a little bizarre. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $15,776.

Top 10 – Best-Looking SUVs

Sport utility vehicles (and their half-breed cousins, crossovers) are known for their functionality and not necessarily their looks. But sometimes looks and functionality can cross and create a good-looking SUV. So here we have our Top 10 Best-Looking SUVs of all time (according to us – but please tell us why we’re wrong). Honorable mention goes to the 2004-2007 Buick Rainier, 2008-Present Buick Enclave, 2004-2006 BMW X5 4.8is, and 2012 Jeep Liberty Limited Jet. Here we go:

#10 – 2015-Present Volvo XC90

2015_Volvo_XC90_Front

Just introduced, the new XC90 is squarish in the most Swedish way. Which is a good thing. It’s Volvo’s biggest vehicle and power comes from a range of turbo’d 2.0-liter straight-fours. It’s the first all-new Volvo since being taken over by the Chinese and it should do Sweden proud.

#9 – 2011-Present Dodge Durango

2011_Dodge_Durango_Citadel_--_06-16-2011

The Dodge Durango was always sort of odd looking (hideous second-generation especially). So they took 2010 off to regroup and came back with what really is a nice-looking three-row SUV. While it’s still a tall vehicle, the greenhouse is much shorter than previous versions, giving it a sleeker look. Plus, you can get them fairly decked out. Power comes in the form of either a 3.6-liter V-6 or a 5.7-liter V-8 good for 290 and 360 horsepower respectively.

#8 – 2007-2013 BMW X5

x5

The BMW X5 has always been kind of sporty. It was BMW’s first foray into the land of off-roaders and this second-generation model is more muscular than the first gen model and not quite as creased as the one that they sell now. Honestly, the six-cylinder and V-8 models look better than the “sporty” M variant, which has ridiculous-looking air inlets below the headlights.

#7 – 2010-Present Lincoln MKT

mkt

This wagon can be somewhat polarizing. Lincoln has this sort of waterfall-grille thing going on across its model line, but these can actually be head-turners if you’re sitting in traffic. They looks especially good in black and that little kink in the glass at the back of the rear doors is a nice touch. Power comes from a 3.7-liter V-6 or the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, which is good for 355 horsepower.

 #6 – 2001-2006 GMC Yukon XL Denali

yukon

Anything GMC-related that has the word “Denali” appended to the end is going to be a nice ride. The GMT800 line of GM SUVs were better looking than their more recent counterparts because they just aren’t as over-the-top rap-star looking. These were really nice Suburbans, essentially, and the newer ones just seem like dumbed-down Escalades.

#5 – 1980-1989 Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota_Land_Cruiser

This big boxy truck from Toyota goes a little farther back than everything else on our list thus far. Toyota has been in the SUV game a long time – going back to the 1951 BJ (there was a Toyopet SUV before that, too). The J60 Land Crusier went from supreme off-roader to on-roader with off-roading capability. But doesn’t it just look like it wants to play in the sand? Engine choices were a variety of straight-sixes.

#4 – 1992-1993 GMC Typhoon

92typhoon

No doubt the rarest SUV on this list with just 4,697 produced, the GMC Typhoon (and its sister car, the GMC Syclone pickup) were factory hot rod versions on more mundane trucks. It invented the sporty-SUV segment. It’s powered by a turbocharged 4.3-liter V-6 making 280 horsepower. Car & Driver compared the performance of this truck to that of the Ferrari 348. And it looks pretty good too.

#3 – 1990-Present Mercedes-Benz G-Class

g63

At 25 years old, the current G-Class might be most familiar to you as the choice ride for Russian mobsters and all-around European bad guys. Available in a huge range of versions since its introduction, the Geländewagen can sometimes look quite nice, although the hot rod G63 AMG version above is a little overwrought with add-on bits. But the G63 is intense: 537 horsepower from a twin turbo 5.5-liter V-8. And it’s only the second-most powerful version!

#2 – 1990-2015 Land Rover Defender

defender

As old as the G-Wagen above, the similarly-styled Land Rover Defender is one of the more serious SUVs money can buy. As posh as Land Rovers have become, they are still the most capable vehicles on earth. This truck is available in three different wheelbases and we particularly like the long-wheelbase versions, like the one above. Don’t even ask about powertrain options.

#1 – 1984-1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Photo - Christopher Ziemnowicz

Photo – Christopher Ziemnowicz

AMC-era Jeeps (Wrangler not included) are some of Jeep’s best-ever looking products. The wood-grain panels on the side really set this apart. Woodie wagons sort of stopped being cool in the 1950s and everything that came after about 1951 was a sort of dorky station wagon driven embarrassingly by your parents. Except for this. This is the only acceptable wood-paneled car produced after 1955. And it will likely become one of the most collectible SUVs ever built.

Monteverdi Safari

1978 Monteverdi Safari 5700

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie Toffen | Toffen, Switzerland | November 29, 2014

Photo - Oldtimer Galerie Toffen

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie Toffen

Peter Monteverdi founded one of Switzerland’s few automobile companies. He began it in 1967 and it went out of business in 1984. They built some serious luxury supercars in the early years but by 1976 the cars were history and the company looked way into the future: luxury SUVs.

The Monteverdi Safari was their second SUV, behind the Sahara. It was a re-styled International Scout designed by Carrozzeria Fissore. Three engines were offered: a 5.7-liter International V-8 (165hp) or the choice between two Chrysler V-8s, a 7.2-liter (305hp) or a 5.2-liter (152hp). This one has the 5.7-liter International engine with 165 horsepower.

The Safari was built between 1976 and 1982 and sold well in Europe and the Middle East. About 1,000 SUVs were built in total between the base Sahara and the upscale Safari. The price probably won’t be that outrageous compared to when it was new. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.