Mercedes-Benz promoted its new G-Class SUV in Detroit last month by encasing an older version in a giant block of amber resin. Now, gearheads in central Russia have created a drivable replica G-Wagen made of 6 tons of Siberian ice.
The news comes courtesy of English-language website The Siberian Times (yes, you read that right), a website that also runs stories about swimsuit parades on skis, "Hunger Games"-style reality shows set on bear-infested islands, and hundreds of walruses plunging to their deaths while fleeing polar bears. But we also have video from local tuning shop Garazh 54 (Garage 54) that shows the SUV, so we know it actually exists.
The site quotes the shop's Vladislac Barashenkov as saying, "This is a magic car," which is a good way to look at this inspiring tale. Photos show a frame built around a platform and engine of a Soviet-era UAZ-469 military jeep. The body appears to be put together igloo-style from chunks of ice cut into shape with a chainsaw and lit with LED light strips in changing colors. It's also been fitted with an actual Mercedes-Benz steering wheel.
In the video, the tuners take their creation off-road in Central Park in Novosibirsk, a city of nearly 1.6 million and Russia's third largest. The average temperatures in January bottom out at between 7 and -4 degrees Fahrenheit. So with no doors, this one's definitely not a luxury sport utility.