The Karlmann King is the world’s most expensive SUV

These days, premium car manufacturers are falling over each other to make the most luxurious and most expensive SUV. Porsche, Maserati, Bentley, Lamborghini and even Rolls-Royce are all in the mix. However, Chinese brand IAT might have them all beaten.

Built by a team in Europe, the Karlmann King is not only the most expensive SUV but one of the most expensive cars of any kind. With a price in excess of £1.5m, only the very wealthy need apply.

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It's based on the US-market Ford F-550 truck, a vehicle more commonly seen as a commercial van with a variety of body styles behind the cab. The King goes for the full SUV look, with a body that seems to be part Volvo XC90 and part B2 Spirit stealth bomber. In total it's over six metres long and more than 2.5 metres wide.

That gives a lot of interior room, especially as the King only appears to have two seats in the back – although a six-seat version is also reportedly available. It doesn't seem to be about how many people you can carry, but how extravagant their conditions are. There's luxury, reclining leather seats in a variety of colour finishes, along with high-quality leather and wood trim throughout. For additional ambiance, there's neon lighting and a starlight headlining. Each seat has individual air conditioning, there's electric tables, a fridge, a coffee machine, satellite television, and a PlayStation 4.

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As you can imagine, this does little for the King's weight. The regular car comes in at 4.5 tonnes, but you can specify bulletproofing – which is a bit of a clue who the intended market for the car is – which brings it up to over six tonnes.

To compensate for the bulk, the Karlmann King uses a massive 6.8-litre Triton V10 petrol engine. This too comes from the Ford F-550, but rather than the weedy 288hp it produces in the original application, it delivers 395hp in the King.

This drives a six-speed automatic, powering all four wheels. Even so, that's only good enough to propel the King to 87mph. The 0-60mph time isn't available, but the regular F-550 takes more than 20 seconds. The V10 Ford also manages around 8mpg, and the King is unlikely to beat either figure.

IAT will reportedly only build nine examples of the Karlmann King.

By Andrew Evans

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