This is the only example of the Heuliez Intruder Convertible that was ever made, it was built in 1996 on the chassis of a Mercedes-Benz G320 G Wagon, and it keeps the transmission, transfer case, axles, and 12″ of ground clearance.

Though it’s little-known today, Heuliez was a French carrosserie (coachbuilder) with a history dating back to the 1920s. They built a number of highly-influential vehicles, including the Renault 5 Turbo and the Peugeot 205 T16.

Fast Facts – The Heuliez Intruder Convertible

  • The Heuliez Intruder Convertible is a one-of-a-kind concept car, developed by the French coachbuilder Heuliez and first shown in 1996. Though it somewhat resembles a Mercedes-Benz SLK, the Intruder does not share any panels with it and has a hand-made carbon fiber and steel body built specifically for the chassis of a Mercedes-Benz G320 G Wagon.
  • The Intruder is an unusual and experimental vehicle from Heuliez, which has a history of producing influential vehicles like the Renault 5 Turbo and Peugeot 205 T16. Initially presented at various motor shows in different paint colors, this unique prototype was never mass-produced and today remains a one-off.
  • The car was styled by French designer Marc Deschamps, incorporating futuristic design cues and maintaining features like a removable automatic folding hardtop and a luxurious interior with electric windows, power steering, air conditioning, and all the modern conveniences of the mid-1990s.
  • Built on the chassis of the G320 G Wagon, the Intruder retains the vehicle’s original engine, transmission, transfer case, live axles, triple locking differentials, and 12″ of ground clearance. It’s powered by the Mercedes M104 double overhead cam inline-six, known for its high-mileage durability, delivering 221 bhp and 198 lb ft of torque.
  • After being stored for many years, the Heuliez Intruder was recently restored by DK Engineering in England at a cost of $300,000 and is now set to be auctioned by Bonhams on May 4th. It comes with a detailed file of receipts, photos from the restoration, promotional brochures, and period photos of its release.

The Heuliez Intruder Convertible

The Heuliez Intruder Convertible is a one-off concept car that first appeared on the motor show circuit in 1996. Though it looks a little like a Mercedes-Benz SLK on truck tires, it actually shares no panels with the SLK, it has a bespoke carbon fiber and steel body fitted to the chassis and running gear of the bulletproof Mercedes-Benz G320 G Wagon.

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Image DescriptionBy the standards of the mid-1990s this was a very futuristic looking vehicle. It’s a combination of a sports car and an off roader, and sadly just one was made.

The Intruder was styled by respected French designer Marc Deschamps, it likely took some inspiration from the SLK which had debuted just a year earlier, but the Deschamps design perhaps a little more futuristic – sharing design cues with some Mercedes that would come later.

Engineers at Heuliez developed a new body from the floorpans on up specifically to fit the naked G Wagon chassis they had waiting. The only major change to the chassis was the fitment of new springs with a spring rate better suited to the new, much lighter weight of the Intruder body.

The body of the Intruder offered seating for two, unusually both bucket seats were fitted with fold down armrests and four point safety harnesses. There are an additional two seats in the rear, but these are exceedingly small and would likely be unusable by another other than young children on short drives.

The design was completed to a high-level, looking like a production car inside and out, with electric windows, air conditioning, and a fully-functional automatic folding hardtop that could be removed in good weather to free up trunk space.

The G320 G Wagon is fitted with the Mercedes M104 double overhead cam inline-six, this is an engine famed for its ability to last seemingly forever with regular maintenance, well into the distant six figure mileage range. It’s a 3.2 liter gasoline unit producing 221 bhp 5,250 rpm and 198 lb ft of torque at 4,250 rpm.

The Intruder was one of the more unusual concept cars to come out of the Heuliez workshops and looking back now it’s hard to see what the rationale behind the vehicle was – it’s a design that would never have been adopted by a major manufacturer after all.

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Image DescriptionThe engineers at Heuliez were careful not to impinge on the excellent off-road ability of the underlying G Wagon. You’ll notice that the body has excellent entry and departure angles, and a breakover angle at least as good as the G Wagon.

Perhaps Heuliez management was hoping for enough interest for a limited production run of the Intruder, but whatever their reasoning, it now seems lost to history. As it stands, just one example was ever made, it was exhibited at motor shows around the world (in various paint colors) and then placed into storage.

Whatever the reasoning behind its creation, the Heuliez Intruder was a breath of fresh air. A completely unique concept vehicle in a sea of relatively boring show cars, and a testament to the capabilities of Heuliez Carrosserie.

The Heuliez Intruder – Now For Sale

The Heuliez Intruder is now due to roll across the auction block with Bonhams on the 4th of May. It’s the first time it’s come up for public sale in memory fresh off the back of a $300,000 restoration in the hands of the experts at DK Engineering in England.

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Image DescriptionPower is provided by the 3.2 liter gasoline Mercedes M104 double overhead cam inline-six producing 221 bhp 5,250 rpm and 198 lb ft of torque at 4,250 rpm.

Thanks to the fact that the Intruder retains the underpinnings of the G Wagon, including its coil sprung front and rear live axles, dual range transfer case, riple locking differentials, and 12″ of ground clearance, it’s reported (understandably) as being quite good off road and ready for the road or beach.

The car is now being offered for sale with a large file of receipts and photos from the restoration, as well as promotional brochures and period photos of its release. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.

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Images courtesy of Bonhams

Published by Ben Branch -