Money

Forget private jets: Billionaires are spending millions on luxury tanks

Military experts Michael and Geoff Howe of Howe and Howe Technologies specialize in outfitting the wealthy with over-the-top toys. We're talking decked-out luxury tanks, as featured on a recent episode of CNBC's "The Filthy Rich Guide."

Rich people love the swanky tanks because they can plow over any terrain, from sand to mud to snow. But these vehicles aren't just for billionaires to show off — they're military-grade and nearly indestructible.

The Filthy Rich Guide | CNBC

The twin brothers first designed their signature tank, the unmanned Ripsaw, in 2001 for the U.S. military. At 60 miles per hour, it's the fastest dual-track vehicle in the world, according to "The Filthy Rich Guide." The invention scored the pair a contract with the U.S. army, and they began developing a weaponized version capable of both manned and unmanned operations. Now it's available commercially, with 16 inches of suspension travel and up to 1,500 horsepower.

But these tanks don't come cheap: The basic model Ripsaw EV2 will set you back $495,000 for single-seat, $545,000 for two seats and $595,000 for four seats. Of course, billionaires are anything but basic, so extra amenities, including everything from from infrared thermal imaging for improved night vision to increased speed to armor plating, can all be customized for a fee, easily doubling or tripling the price of the tank.

The Filthy Rich Guide | CNBC

Then again, that's not a problem when you're ultra-rich. "Our clients tend to be the richest people in the world," Michael and Geoff tell "The Filthy Rich Guide." "They're billionaires."

These affluent customers include Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai, who purchased an entire fleet of tanks from the enterprising brothers, according to the CNBC show.

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