These days, the closest most SUVs come to going off-road is your driveway. With that in mind, a whole generation of vehicles have been designed just as much for their lavish in-car experience as their all-terrain ability. Read on for five of the most gratuitously OTT SUVs on the market.
What was once the domain of farmers, soldiers and laborers went mainstream a long time ago. It’s no wonder that SUVs are so popular these days: they provide a commanding view of the road, allow you to bring a few friends wherever you roam, are versatile enough to go nearly anywhere (even if you do only cruise the ave), and cut a commanding presence in a sea of tiny hatchbacks.
But some people demand a bit more. For some, it’s not enough to be able to ford rivers or bound over mountains from the safety of their driver's seat. They’d like to be able to do it with all the home comforts of their living room. too. For those discerning individuals, a few select manufacturers build some incredibly plush and luxurious rides that can still get serious in the sand dunes.
So if you’re in the market for an ostentatious new ride, check out these five super-stylish, go-anywhere SUVs you can buy right now. And one you can’t... at least not yet.
5. Mercedes-Benz G-Class
To make this list, a leather interior, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a full info-tainment system is a minimum. And you know that if the G-wagen is at the bottom of the list, there are some heavy hitters ahead. That's not to say you should discount Mercedes-Benz’s big SUV though.
Besides its gorgeous interior with Piano Black trim and standard 80-gigabyte onboard hard drive, its drivetrain features two transfer case speeds, a seven-speed automatic transmission (which in combination allow the most gear ratios of any production SUV) and three locking differentials. Not to mention Mercedes-Benz’s 4-wheel Electronic Traction System that automatically directs power to wheels that have traction. What does this mean? You’ll probably never get stuck. Which is probably the biggest luxury you could ask for halfway up a mountain.
Yours from: $115,400
4. Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography
Land Rover essentially invented the European SUV, and their tradition of market-leading continues with their special edition Range Rover SVAutobiography. It was engineered by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations group, which is known for their bespoke one-offs, and luxury and performance special editions.
Available only in long-wheelbase form, and packing Land Rover’s most potent engine (a 550hp, supercharged V8), the list of custom luxury details is impressive: gorgeous knurled metal details and touch points, electrically deployable rear-seat tables, a retractable aluminum and veneer rear load floor (so your butler doesn’t have to stretch into the back to load your gear), massaging and reclining rear seats, and two 10.2-inch rear seat screens. What's more, it includes a 29-speaker, 1700W Meridian sound system, making it a veritable moving concert hall. Something tells us that part wasn't intended for tearing up the Serengeti.
Yours from: $199,495
3. Lamborghini LM002
OK, we’ll admit that compared to today’s crop of SUVs, this Lamborghini doesn’t quite match up in terms of opulence. But you’ve got to remember that this monster debuted about 30 years ago, and its list of owners include the Sultan of Brunei, who commissioned the only Lamborghini “estate” station wagon ever built, based on the LM002. Of course, it sports a full leather interior, air conditioning, a premium sound system, and room for four (not including the optional jumpseats in the rear).
Unlike many of the trucks on this list though, the Lamborghini isn’t all about its interior. True to its brand, it’s all about performance - it was equipped with a 5.2L V12 that produced over 400hp. And, if that wasn’t enough, Lamborghini also had an optional 7.2L V12 that was intended for use in boats, but could be shoehorned in, which made even more power. Want something like this, but new? Lamborghini hears you and is currently working on an all-new SUV project reportedly named the Urus...
Yours from: approx $100,000
2. Mercedes-Benz 6x6
This is the big brother to Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class. Think about that for a moment - the all-conquering G-class is its little brother. That should tell you something about its status. That, and the fact their production run is over and they’re 100% sold out. We can only imagine that the 6x6 began life as a late-night “what if?”, but let's all give thanks for the fact someone decided to make it happen.
In terms of luxury, it’s pretty much on par with the G63 AMG, with its sumptuous, quilted diamond-stitched Designo interior and amenities. However, the build begins with an Austrian military-grade G-wagen and borrows the three-axle chassis, most of the cab, and transfer case (retuned, of course). The engine and transmission are sourced from AMG, as are the luxury details.
But what else does the outrageous price tag buy? A central inflating/deflating tire control system (to maximize traction), 37-inch tires mounted on 18-inch rims with beadlockers, and full custom axles that were designed especially for the car. If you don’t understand what that means, suffice it to say that the 6x6 is very, very well-engineered. And, to a greater degree than the regular G-class, the 6x6 can cross most terrain short of a volcanic eruption with ease.
Yours from: approx $625,000
1. Dartz Prombron’
Much like the apostrophe that decorates the end of its name, the Prombron’ is absurd. It’s built in Latvia and their website lists people with titles such as "Face of Opulence" and "Minister of Propaganda and Agriculture." If you search hard enough there’s probably a page on their site with miniature giraffes for sale. Oh, and Kanye bought one to protect Kim and North’s travels, because of course he did.
But that’s beside the point. It’s not designed to be a true off-roader; rather, it's built to protect its passengers from any reasonable threat. Thus, the Prombron’ is fully armored and, depending on the threat protection you desire, can potentially withstand RPGs and land mines. But all that doesn't come without a dash of luxury, and the Prombron’ Red Diamond includes white gold and ruby embedded badges as well as gold-plated, bullet-proof windows, an exhaust system made out of tungsten, diamond and ruby encrusted gauges, a Kevlar exterior coating, and – in its concept phases, at least – leather made out of whale penises. Thankfully, this last feature didn’t make it to production.
Still, despite this absence, this is without doubt the most luxurious sports utility vehicle you can currently get.
Yours from: approx $1.25 million (Kanye spent $2.4 million on his)
Coming soon – Rolls Royce SUV
That’s right, soon a few of the world's wealthiest individuals will be able to trek off-road in a genuine Roller. Of course, most of these will probably never leave the safety of city tarmac, but with Rolls-Royce’s signature Starry Ceiling, deep pile carpeting, wood paneling, that ridiculous rear fin and an obligatory umbrella (of course), this one might find itself occupying the top spot when it's finally released in a couple of years from now.
Yours from: let's just say "a lot"
Written by Yoav Gilad for Highsnobiety.com