Matthew Jones07 May 2014

Meet the Brabus Widestar Convertible

This short-wheelbase über-tuned G-wagen has 456bhp and a kinky interior

There are several reasons why you'd want to dig out the discontinued G-wagen convertible. To assemble a militia, for example. Or roam the planes of an oil-starved dystopia, scavenging for fuel and cans of dog food.

But not to create a dubiously-detailed alfresco dungeon. But that seems to be exactly what Brabus has done with the G500 Widestar 6.1. The lights have been shaded, its brightwork's been painted, and the inside's fitted with so much perforated leather, diamond stitching and piano-black woodwork, that you really ought to establish a "safe word" before taking it for a drive.

Which we predict you'll scream with some frequency, because the Widestar (seriously?) has 456bhp and 454lb ft of torque. That's 63lb ft and 74bhp more than the ‘basic' G500, which we would generously describe as 'overfunded' in the power stakes.

Then there's the handling. Merc's copper-bottomed, weapons-grade off-roader was never an exemplar of fine cornering, which won't be helped by the vast 22-inch rims hiding under those plastic awnings.

This, the fixed-head iBusiness, or, er, the bus?

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