Look closely: 292 diamonds will stare back at you.
When Dartz first revealed it was working on a new Prombron SUV – the Black Shark – earlier this year, we reached out to Leonard Yanekelovich, comfortably the maddest guy working in the carmaking industry. We asked Leo what to expect of the Black Shark. His response was immediate. And brilliant. “We go hard. All Rolls-Royce opulence will be f****d.” We’ve been dying to see what that would look like, and the wait is almost over: the car is set to be unveiled next month.
Dartz has also been working on another car alongside the Black Shark, dubbed the Black Alligator. Leo told us “the cars have to be ready in four weeks,” before which we'll be test driving them ourselves, and checking out the Dartz factory in Riga, Latvia, to see where its extreme SUVs are created. Drinking $400,000 vodka is also on the agenda.
But, we've been told, don't call them SUVs. According to Leo, “Not SUV, Dartz makes BOND.” Which stands for Bespoke, Opulent, Noble, Drive.” BSC or Bat Shit Crazy would be more apt, but we can live with BOND. The cars are amed after Soviet attack helicopters (“not Russian, I was born in USSR”) the KA-50 aka “Black Shark” and KA-52 aka “Alligator.” Leo mentioned some dubious connection to Igor Sikorsky – designer of the world’s first mass-produced helicopter – who worked in the Dartz factory back in the early 1900s when it was called RBVZ. The flight helmet wearing skull on the badge is a nod to the BONDs' heritage.
The new Prombrons will be based on the Mercedes GLS AMG 63 uprated to as much as 760 horsepower if buyers so wish. There will be five Black Sharks and 25 Black Alligators exclusively for China, and the same amount of each for the rest of the world. Orders have already been taken for monied mentalists in Holland, UAE, Italy, Czech Republic and the USA. Where Rolls-Royces feature open-pore wood paneling and starlight headliners, around 20 Mississippi alligator skins are used for the interior of the Black Alligator, as well as Stingray, pure gold and nappa leather. Gator and gold is how Dartz does opulence.
And then there’s the steering wheel. “The person who ordered this," revealed Leo, “he loves diamonds.” Sourced from Brabus, two leather artists and three jewelers spent six weeks wrapping it in the skin of a 32-cm wide alligator and one polished stingray, adding ten 14-carat gold buttons (no bullshit gold-plated silver here), and a white gold badge encrusted with 292 black diamonds and two rubies. Personal cost to Leo: 30,000 Euros. And what about the orange key box, you ask? This was modeled after a helicopter black box, and can be bought (stuffed with caviar upon request) as part of the Dartz line of apparel that includes a stylish alligator bracelet with white gold pilot skull and that is set to expand with items made from “natural and exotic skins.”
After whale foreskin, stingray and alligator, the mind boggles at what that might be. Just know that whatever Dartz uses, there'll be someone wanting to buy it. And you know you'll want to see it, because deep down, as much as it pains you to admit it, you absolutely love this shit.