By Bruce Brown

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karlmann king 03 exterior

Is there something magical about limited runs-of-nine custom vehicles?Bandit9 Motors limits its artistic motorcycle creations to nine per design. Likewise, only nine examples of the Karlmann King, the world’s most expensive SUV, will ever see the light of day, the Huffington Post reports. The vast difference in price between these custom rides may make a statement about motorcycle art for its own sake, versus automotive design as a display of power and wealth.

Typical Bandit9 limited edition motorcycles sell for about $11,000, including shipping anywhere in the world. Conversely, if you show restraint and don’t add options, acarbon fiber polygon-coveredKarlmannKing SUV might not exceed its $3.8 million list price. That price doesn’t include title, tags, registration, and taxes, or a hefty gas hog tax if you intend to drive it in the United States (and if it were legal to do so). Shipping costs for a 5- to 6-ton vehicle are likely to add up quickly also.

On the other hand, using the word “restraint” and the Karlmann King in the same sentence doesn’t work, so why not go for it? If money is no object, chances are you’ll want the bulletproof version, even though it adds another 4,300 pounds in weight. Without bulletproofing, the SUV weighs in just short of five tons, at 9,900 pounds — we don’t know if that’s with or without fuel, but who would really care when you’re already limited from traveling on some country bridges.

It might not be too hard to order your Karlmann King in a U.S. street-legal form. Each model starts with a Ford F-550 four-wheel drive chassis powered by a 6.8L V10 gasoline engine that pumps out 398-horsepower. Standard mechanicals include a 6-speed automatic transmission,electronic throttle, hydraulic power steering, and ventilated disc brakes.

The SUV’s top speed is rated at 87 miles per hour, although it’s not clear whether the rating is with or without bulletproofing. No fuel economy ratings are available, likely for good reason. The fuel tank holds 40 gallons of premium-grade gas, so no savings with regular octane fuel, either.

The KK’s exterior measurements give you a sense of its scale. The SUV is 236 inches long and measures 98 inches both wide and high. Compared to a 2018 Ford Expedition Max, the Karlmann King is 14 inches longer, 14 inches wider, and a walloping 22 inches taller. The 145-inch wheelbase helps maintain a smooth ride on standard 40-inch tires.With an 11.8-inch ground clearance, the Karlmann King’s approach and departure angles are both 30 degrees.

karlmann king 12 interior

Your imagination can run wild with the Karlmann King’s interior. The gallery below shows a range of color schemes and styles. Four seats are standard, with two in front and two in the rear. Optional configurations are available with seats for five, six, or seven passengers.

Even if you don’t option up the King, standard equipment includes a 40-inch 4K TV with a PlayStation 4, satellite navigation system, mood lighting, refrigerator, and a coffee machine. Passengers get to choose who holds the remote that controls the interior amenities. They won’t break a sweat over the task, however, because the independent front and rear air conditioners keep everything cool.

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An unidentified European custom design automotive team assembles the Karlmann King. Huffington Post reports the vehicle was designed in China. According to a company statement, more than 1,800 skill workers are involved at various stages of building the one-at-a-time, one-of-a-kind behemoth.

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