This is about as extreme as an SUV gets.
For fans of Chinese astrology, Dartz - the Latvian manufacturer of high-performance armored vehicles - has introduced a special model of its Black Alligator MMXX, dubbed the Black Tiger Lunar Year Edition. The obscure manufacturer gained notoriety when one of its creations was used in the 2012 comedy, The Dictator.
Infamous for outlandish creations, the armoring specialists have come up with something rather special to celebrate the Year of The Tiger - an interesting choice, as tigers are considered offensive to the God of Age, bringing bad luck. According to the company, its latest creation is based on the ultra-luxurious Mercedes Maybach GLS600 and, despite the hefty armoring, the Black Tiger has approximately the same curb weight as the 5,919-lbs donor car.
Dartz says with more horsepower than the GLS600, the Black Tiger is ideal for quick getaways, allowing you "to escape villains before they can test your armor." No specific power increase is mentioned, with the Latvian company noting it has an additional "100-300 horsepower" over the Mercedes-Maybach.
Decked out in the sort of futuristic armor plating that wouldn't look out of place in Cyberpunk 2077, the Black Tiger Lunar Year Edition goes against the armored car virtues of discretion. Turbine alloy wheels hide the orange-painted brake calipers, coated in a sheen repeated on parts of the bodywork. The orange and black color scheme was, of course, selected to portray the unmistakable hues of a tiger.
Determined to go against the grain, Dartz has equipped the Tiger-inspired Prombron with Sapphire glass sourced from the Bohemia region. Apparently, it's twice as thin as contemporary glass but offers the same protection. A civilian version will also be offered, with Dartz noting it will be faster than the GLS600 donor vehicle.
Not to be outdone by the conspicuous exterior, the cabin of the Black Tiger Lunar Year Edition pays tribute to the first bit of its lengthy model name, Black Alligator MMXX. Teaser images show an instrument binnacle trimmed in, what has to be alligator skin. The dials themselves - which read to a rather ambitious 320 km/h (199 mph) - are decorated in a distressed Gold finish.
So, who is buying this rather ostentatious display of wealth? Well, Dartz says it's not only tycoons from Myannmar who "collect all Dartz models" but K-pop stars, too, who are looking to Dartz "as all other cars become boring and [don't surprise] fans enough." We sincerely doubt the Black Tiger Lunar Year Edition will ever be described as boring.