Mercedes-Benz already makes expensive cars that can go just about anywhere but Brabus is a company that specialises in something altogether different. Armoured vehicles, for people with enough money that they really, really want to remain safe while driving. And their Brabus Invicto, which is built using the Mercedes-Benz G-Class as a base, is now available in South Africa.
Taking the Brabus
If you want one of these, it’s not as simple as popping down to the Merc dealership. Sure, it’s a G-Wagon but it’s got more than a few aftermarket parts. If you want one locally you’ll have to get hold of SVI Engineering, a local company that specialises in making armoured vehicles. They’re acting as distributors for Brabus Automotive here in South Africa
There are three vehicles available, with the cheapest running you around R5.4 million. That’s the Brabus Invicto Pure. The other two, the Invicto Luxury and the Invicto Mission, starts at R5.4 million (before extras are added) for the Luxury or R6.2 million, in the case of the Mission.
Go hard or go home
All three vehicles conform to Brabus’ VR6+ ERV standard of protection, which basically means that your vehicle will survive being shot at or exploded. The Pure variant conceals the company’s Invicto Shelter Cell armour underneath a largely stock skin. You’re already a target in a G-Wagon but at least this particular target is bulletproof.
The Brabus Invicto Luxury is more of the same, only with a custom Alcantara or leather interior, so you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. The armoured vehicle also comes with a collection of performance upgrades, so your definitely-well-trained driver can get you out of danger quickly.
The Invicto Mission… is another piece of hardware entirely. That one’s designed with special forces in mind and if you’re considering buying on then we really, really want to know what you do for a living. It features heavy-duty 20in run-flat tyres, seats designed with protective vests in mind, an intercom, roof rail system and upgraded panels throughout. Plus, you know, all the other luxury features the other models bring to the table.
It’s the sort of vehicle you’d parachute into a small country you and your friends are set to overthrow for the weekend… we guess? But you’re probably better off protecting yourself in the more unobtrusive Pure or Luxury models — which are still pretty eye-catching on their own.