Friday, March 25, 2011

Mongolian Hunters Turn A Big Benz Into Xanadu On (Six) Wheels

Mongolian Hunters Turn A Big Benz Into Xanadu On (Six) Wheels: "

Even the least educated in Asian affairs know that Mongolia is full of exotic, wild animals and was once home to Xanadu, the archetype for opulence.

Now, a pair of super-rich modern-day Kublai Khans have built their own pleasure domes out of a pair of Mercedes-Benz Zetros, a six-wheeled military-spec vehicle that’s even bigger and badder than the already monstrous Unimog. Their customized rigs don’t just have an off-road ratio of 1.69, but they also feature bidets in the marble-floored bathrooms. And yes, we know the actual city of “Xanadu” is called Shangdu, which is now part of China, but we hope those who paid attention during geography class will forgive us for the sake of an extended metaphor.

One of the pair maid his tögrögs as a shareholder in coal and copper mines, while the other owns a brewery. Despite their wealth, according to Daimler, they’re just a couple of average guys. Said the maker of the Zetros, “The two friends use their unique jumbo off-roaders for multi-day excursions into the Altai mountains, for example, where they hunt for wolves with an eagle.”

Hunting wolves with an eagle. At least that explains the bizarre paintjob that features an outline of an eagle on the rear of the rig.

And here we thought a good day of hunting involved a duck blind, an orange vest and a spill-proof coffee mug on the dash of a ‘79 F-150.

Previously, the two friends had to use horses to get to remote areas. With a 326 hp 7.2 liter inline-six that manages 959 pound-feet of torque between 1200 and 1600 RPM, three differential locks and a hydraulic 9-speed transmission, the Zetros is truly go-anywhere.

The extravagance doesn’t stop with the drivetrain, however. With a custom body and interior, the Zetros gained front and rear spotlights, 132 gallons worth of diesel tanks, Bluetooth and a backup camera. One of the vehicles can even hold an ATV in a rear cargo bay.

Inside, the living area is screened with double-glazed glass, netting and enough security to keep out a Person from Porlock.

A bedroom is at the rear, a leather seating group has room for six and the bathroom features heated marble floors and a bidet. Within the living quarters is a safe, 46″ and a 40″ flatscreen televisions, a powered table that automatically folds into the floor for more space, and a Bose surround sound system connected to a Mac Mini. The kitchen has hot and cold water, a ceramic burner, a microwave and a refrigerator/freezer.

Unfortunately, Daimler couldn’t provide photos of the interior, but if it’s as magnificent as it sounds, we’re sure someone will get hopped up on opium and describe it in a poem a few hundred years from now.

Photo: Daimler


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