Celebrity vehicle ownership can be a mixed bag, especially with high-end SUVs and trucks. On the one hand, some celebrities are trained drivers, both for movies and racing. Others, like San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, are content to stay humble with their SUVs. Or, like Jay Leno’s Bronco, they go for well-kept classic style. Some SUVs are even stars in their own right. However, inevitably, some go for flash and bling. And they take it to an extreme level. GQ sat down with Manhattan Classic Car Club’s Michael Prichinello to take a look at some tricked-out celebrity SUVs and trucks.
Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulets are popular
The Kardashian family may not have introduced the Mercedes G-Wagen to celebrity culture, but the off-road luxury SUV is fantastically popular in LA and Hollywood. And even without portal axles or 6 wheels, the G-Class is a truly capable rock-crawler. But with so many G-Wagons running around, celebrities have to do something to stand out.
Enter the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet, examples of which are found in Drake’s and Travis Scott’s garages. Know how Doug Demuro’s G500 Cabriolet is like a Land Rover Defender, only more luxurious and better-built? The Landaulet is a newer, 4-door, even luxurious-er and over-the-top version of the Cabriolet.
Instead of a V8, Mercedes fitted the G650 Landaulet with the twin-turbo V12 from the out-going AMG G-Class. The Landaulet also comes with the 4×4 Squared’s portal axles and has the rear ‘executive’ seats from an S-Class. That, plus 22” wheels and 3 locking differentials, meant off-roading in serious luxury. And that fabric roof meant the rear passengers could enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of their surroundings unfiltered. But the cupholders kept drinks either warm or cold, because what are we? Savages?
Car and Driver reported a 0-60 time of under 6 seconds, and only 99 were ever made. New, they cost $550,000. But with custom options, like Travis Scott’s chocolate brown exterior paint–which I, as a former automotive paint engineer, actually find pretty cool–that number could easily stretch into $1 million or more. Those custom options, though, usually make owners too nervous to actually take them off-roading.
And it’s a shame so few of them get to use their awesome capabilities beyond intimidating people on Rodeo Drive.
Kanye West has some shared Lamborghini love
Kendall Jenner appears to have spread her appreciation for Lamborghini’s SUV to Kanye West. Kanye, like Jenner also owns a Lamborghini Urus. Only his SUV appears to have both a custom wrap and wheels.
Prichinello does note the wheels aren’t to his taste, but that vehicle personalization is just: personal. Prichinello does, however, appreciate how aspects of the Urus’ design echo past Lamborghinis. Speaking critically, the wheels’ design and size, along with how thin the tires’ sidewalls are, would limit Kanye’s Urus’ off-road capability. Which is a bit of a shame.
The Urus, powered by a 4.0-liter V8 making 641 hp, is a genuinely fun experience both on- and off-road, according to Car and Driver and Automobile. And despite sharing parts with the Audi Q7 and Q8, it’s very much its own animal. The Urus has also been amazingly popular. In fact, according to Motor1, half the total Lamborghini sales in 2019 came for the year. Lamborghini is actually planning on limiting production going forward, to maintain the brand’s “exclusivity.”
Post Malone’s custom rides
Rapper Post Malone’s SUVs are a bit more interesting than the rest on this list.
As Acura’s restomod SLX demonstrates, the 80s and 90s are coming back in a big way. And Post’s 1992 Ford Explorer fits in with the spirit of that time quite well. On the one hand, it can seem almost like a Pimp My Ride caricature: scissor doors, 26” chrome wheels, ice-cream paint job. But Prichinello notes the ’92 Explorer’s clean, simple, boxy styling has been retained, and it’s clearly been specced to Post’s personal taste.
However, Post also has a pickup truck, a 1968 Chevrolet C10. At first glance, it may seem more than a little careworn. After all, isn’t the point of truck ownership to prevent rust? But in this case, Post has taken a page from Icon’s Derelict series.
As Automobile described, what some owners are doing is carefully preserving a vehicle’s patina. Yes, it’s hard work keeping a truck from rusting, but it’s just as hard to deliberate stop and preserve a specific state of rust. But when done properly, it’s actually quite charming. Post has also taken a rat-rod approach to his C10, dropping it low. It’s a nice break from so many lifted trucks and other celebrity SUVs.