Karlmann King Is the World's Most Expensive and Outrageous SUV, Makes No Sense Whatsoever

1 month ago - 20 March 2024, autoevolution
Karlmann King Is the World's Most Expensive and Outrageous SUV, Makes No Sense Whatsoever
Karlmann wanted to build an SUV that everyone would be talking about. Something outrageous, something that would be exclusive and unaffordable, and everything in between. So, here is the King, the world's most expensive and outrageous SUV.

However, Karlmann did not check all the boxes set out. It is not exactly the most popular SUV out there that they built. A company founded in 2016 by two entrepreneurs, Karl Mann and King Wang, two entrepreneurs, rolled out the King in 2018 as the world's most expensive SUV. To this day, no carmaker managed to beat that.

However, financed by the Beijing-based International Automotive Technologies, the Karlmann King hasn't managed to show up on the radar of the industry either. Price should not be an issue for the super-rich. Just think of how fast exclusive models or variants from Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Rolls-Royce usually sell even before the vehicle is officially unveiled.

What they thought would be aces up their sleeves turned out to be real setbacks. Who would pay millions for an SUV that makes no sense whatsoever?

It defies every design rule out there. It is all sharp edges and angles where there shouldn't be, it's every inch a geometry test impossible to pass. Not even the hood is straight, going up and down in triangles in pyramids in what the designer calls "a diamond design." The SUV has two doors on one side and just one on the other.

The Karlmann King blows up conventions
Everything about it blows up conventions and shatters limits. You probably wouldn't like to see it in your rearview mirror, inching closer, eating up the tarmac, and acting like it could swallow your crossover like a pill and destroy some city while at it.

Don't tell us you haven't seen movies with similar scripts. Isn't the apocalypse one of Hollywood's blockbusters' main themes?

Why the extravagant asymmetrical design, looking as if it just drove through the screen, escaping Christopher Nolan's Batman movie? That is a good question, but there is no good answer that would explain the cyberpunk looks. We can just "blame" Italian designer Luciano D'Ambrosio for everything and call it a day.

It is probably just in the name of some impossible-to-understand aesthetics because it surely doesn't serve any protection purpose. The model is optionally bulletproof for all those willing to pay an extra $300,000.

The body is made from a combination of carbon fiber and steel. No matter how much effort the team put into constructing a lightweight structure, that just didn't work.

That is why it weighs over six tons (13,230 pounds), and it's got an engine to match all that weight. It is powered by a 6.8-liter V10 engine that pumps out 398 horsepower. But pulling all that weight does not allow the mighty power plant to push it very fast.

The needle of the odometer of the armored SUV goes only as far as 87 mph (140 kph). The vehicle is way too heavy for more. So scrap that 'see it inching closer in your rearview mirror.' It couldn't keep up with you even if you drove a first-generation Prius. Things are different if there is no bulletproofing involved because the King can run as fast as 136 mph (220 kph).

The King is built by hand and takes 15 months to complete
According to Karlmann, there are 1,800 people working on the vehicle, all trained to roll the King out with majestic quality, and it takes them approximately 15 months to complete an example. Every model is built by hand upon request, according to the customer's preferences. The team builds it around the chassis of a Ford F-550.

There is virtually no limitation to customization. That is probably why the brand's motto is "Don't be the first. Be the only one." Everything that goes through the mind of the one paying a fortune to take it home can be done.

There is a private safe on board because once you pay a fortune for the insane SUV, of course, you've got precious jewelry to drive around. A starry roof mimics the ambiance on board a Rolls-Royce luxury sedan, while gold trimming is also available, making the Karlmann's King a rolling treasure.

Satellite phones and TV are on the menu. A fridge keeps the champagne cold or everything else included in the bar that can equip the vehicle. Coffee cups and champagne flutes are also there. A partition wall divides the driver's compartment and the area where the owner is pampered.

Not exactly selling like hotcakes
According to Karlmann's sales director, quoted by CNBC, a customer from Africa ordered a $3.5 million King, and there are three customers from the United States who showed interest in the model.

One thing is for sure. If this thing goes out in the street, it will surely turn viral on the internet. So, we can safely assume that if there isn't any online, it means there aren't any setting wheels on American soil either. This is not a car that could keep a low profile out there.

The vehicle is made in both Italy and the United States, starts at a ridiculous $1.85 million and goes as far as $3.8 million. You could buy four range-topping Rolls-Royce Cullinans or nine Bentley Bentaygas for the money you'd pay for the base Karlmann King.

The Cullinan starts at $453,250, while the most affordable Bentayga is a $205,925 affair. Bulletproofing adds $300,000 to the price of the outrageous King. At the end of the day, rolling out an absurdly expensive, flashy, and scandalously looking SUV might not have been a good idea after all. 

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