Behold the $2.5m Karlmann King: the world's most expensive SUV
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Just when you think the world of super-SUVs can't get any more preposterous, along comes this, the $2.5 million Karlmann King.
It is billed as a "ground stealth fighter" and an "unprecedented visual feast" thanks to its striking looks inspired by the United States Air Force's Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter.
With a list price starting from US$1.85 million, it is claimed to be the most expensive SUV thus far. To put that into perspective, you could buy no fewer than eight Bentley Bentaygas for the same sum.
It is described on the company's website as a "high end custom-made SUV" and is created by "a top design team from Europe, combining with the top vehicle craftsmen in Europe".
As well as being "an unprecedented visual feast", the driving experience is also described as "unprecedented".
This show car is finished in matt black with stealth bomber-style angular surfaces and is said to be constructed from a blend of high-strength steel and carbon-fibre.
We can't help thinking that it has been created to satisfy those who may have been disappointed by the Lamborghini Urus SUV's appearance, in that it's not distinctive enough.
Inside it is as luxurious as you'd expect from the hefty price tag. No pictures exist, but the company's website shows a number of computer renderings demonstrating some of the myriad possibilities.
As ever with bespoke luxury vehicles, it all depends on the size of the buyer's wallet and extent of his taste.
Equipment includes a retractable HDTV wired to an Apple TV and PlayStation 4, a mini fridge (complete with a bottle of champagne and two crystal glasses) and a Nespresso coffee machine.
The interior lighting can be adjusted to suit the mood. According to the brand's website, you can control features such as the lights, air-conditioning, seats and something called the SOS Emergency via a mobile phone app.
The bodyshell features four doors. The show car features two airline-style seats in the back for the ultimate in luxury, although another door (presumably a hatchback tailgate) and extra seating are optional.
The creators, IAT Automobile Technology, based in Beijing, aims to manufacture "around nine" examples of the Karlmann King.
It was first unveiled at the 2016 Beijing motor show. Details are still scarce - the company has not yet responded to our request for further information - but it is believed that underneath the angular looks lie the chassis and running gear of a top-specification Ford F-series, the world's biggest-selling pick-up.
That means the King has a 6.8-litre V10 petrol engine developing 270kW and a mighty 620Nm ft of torque. It will need that sort of heft, as the massive bodywork and luxury appointments won't be light - a press release accompanying the photos claims an all-up weight of 5.44 tonnes.
The power is transmitted to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. The maximum speed is rumoured to be about 140km/h - another hint that this is a seriously hefty vehicle.
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