Mercedes-Benz AMG makes some of the coolest and craziest mass-produced cars on the market – from fitting a massive 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 into their smallest sedan, to a hugely powerful twin-turbo V12 in their largest and boxiest SUV. Brabus, on the other hand, takes this already bonkers idea and exponentially increases the ridiculousness.
Brabus is a German aftermarket tuner and restorer of mostly Mercedes-Benz and AMG cars. Brabus has been creating supercars from sports cars for the last 40-odd years, with the name originating from the two founders, Klaus Brackmann and Bodo Buschmann. Brabus initially only focused on increasing performance, but the company also offers cosmetic upgrades in the form of splitters, diffusers, spoilers, and whole body kits – from subtle visual upgrades to blatant and completely noticeable wide-body kits.
Over the years, Brabus has built some amazing cars, from beautiful restorations with the 300SL Gullwing and 280SL Pogoda, to wild custom rides such as the Black Baron and Rocket 900. So without giving too much away, here are some of Brabus’s craziest creations over the years.
10 Brabus B45-450
The Brabus B45-450 is based on the Mercedes-AMG A45S, but instead of producing only 416 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, Brabus managed to squeeze 450 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4. This makes the already most powerful production turbo-4 even more powerful.
Brabus also offers a wide range of mechanical and cosmetic upgrades over the standard A45S, including slight body kits with more aggressive bumpers front and back, a larger spoiler on the trunk lid, and some customary Brabus wheels. The B45-450 is most likely the hottest of the super-hot hatch segment.
9 Brabus 6.5 W124
Back in the early 1990s, Mercedes wanted a slice of the super-saloon pie and kindly asked Porsche to help them with the 500E, which then had a large V8 in a relatively small saloon. Then AMG tinkered with the car and created the E60 AMG, which had an even larger engine in the same sized car. Brabus saw this and decided that it could do better. So, they tinkered with it even more and created the Brabus 6.5, which had an even larger engine.
The Brabus 6.5 was quite a rare car, so rare that Brabus only ever made one of them. Whilst the extremely but-not-quite-as rare E60 AMG only had to do with 381 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque, the Brabus 6.5 had a massive 450 hp and nearly 500 lb-ft of torque. Brabus also did the logical thing and removed the 155 mph speed limiter. To handle the power, Brabus fitted the car with a new automatic transmission and a toughened limited-slip differential. The Brabus 6.5 is definitely one of the coolest cars ever to emerge from this German tuner.
8 Brabus ML V12 7.3
By now, most gearheads should know about the Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG and that the engine formed the basis for the one fitted in the Pagani Zonda. What every gearhead may not know, is that Brabus saw this engine and decided to do awesome and crazy things with it as well. One of these crazy things was to put it in the front of an SUV, specifically the ML-Class.
The standard ML-Class AMG already had a hefty 5.4-liter V8 producing 340 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, however, Brabus’ ML V12 7.3 had a massive 7.3-liter V12 producing 590 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. It also had an unrestricted speed limiter and held an official record as the fastest SUV at the time – achieving an impressive 162 mph all the way back in 1998.
7 Brabus Rocket
The Brabus Rocket was the original ultra-fast Brabus car – hence the name. The Rocket was based on the first generation Mercedes CLS-Class and instead of featuring either a supercharged 5.5-liter or naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8, the car was fitted with a 6.2-liter twin-turbo V12 producing 720 hp and 970 lb-ft of torque.
The Brabus Rocket actually originated out of a program held by the German Federal Traffic Ministry and the German Automobile Tuners Association. Brabus created a police version for the German police service and with the speed limited disabled, the Rocket could do the 0-62 mph sprint in 3.2 seconds and achieve a top speed of a massive 227 mph. Thanks to the police livery, the Rocket quickly became Brabus’ most publicized car.
6 Brabus 800 BiTurbo Coupé
The Brabus 800 BiTurbo is a coupé based on the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupé, which is a more luxurious grand tourer compared to the saloon. The 800 BiTurbo Coupé shares much of its drivetrain with the standard S63 AMG, but Brabus has changed the turbos and the engine management unit to produce more power and a lot more torque.
The 800 produces 790 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, going to all four wheels. There are some Brabus visual upgrades, however they are relatively subtle to keep the more luxurious aesthetic. One slightly obvious option to definitely go for would be the Monoblock M wheels, as they add a little something extra to the slightly sinister nature of the car.
5 Brabus Bullit
The Brabus Bullit is probably one of the more ridiculous cars in the German tuner’s history. It is a W204 sedan, but instead of being fitted with the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 from AMG, it has a modified 6.3-liter twin-turbo V12 producing 720 hp and 974 lb-ft of torque (electronically limited to 811 lb-ft to keep the transmission from eating itself).
Whilst the mechanics are absolutely ridiculous, the more eye-watering part of the car is not the fantastical engineering and performance, but rather the price. When the Bullit was new in 2008, the car cost an astronomical $540,000! That is roughly 8 times the price of a standard C63 AMG.
4 Brabus G900 Rocket Edition
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, popularly called the G-Wagon, is a wildly excellent vehicle, with car enthusiasts either really liking it or loathing it. Built as the German equivalent to the American Jeep Wrangler and the British Land Rover, it became popular amongst off-roading enthusiasts and wealthy city-dwellers.
Brabus has made multiple versions of the G-Wagon, ranging from wide-body V8 off-roaders to luxurious V12 Maybach-inspired limousines. The most powerful of the lot is the current G900 Rocket Edition, producing 900 hp and 922 lb-ft of torque from a heavily reworked 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8. The G900 Rocket does the 0-60 mph sprint in a time of only 3.7 seconds and tops out at 174 mph – an astounding feat, given the unique aerodynamic properties of a G-Class.
3 Brabus Stealth 65
The Brabus Stealth 65 is a tuned version of the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series, which itself is already a tuned version of the normal SL65 AMG. The Stealth 65 has the same 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 as in the SL65 Black, however thanks to a remapped ECU and some larger turbos, the Stealth 65 produces 810 hp and 1047 lb-ft of torque.
The Stealth 65 also gets some visual upgrades over the standard SL65 Black, including many carbon-fiber trim parts and a carbon hood power bulge to add to the more aggressive styling. The Brabus Stealth 65 is by far the most powerful of the SL65 AMG’s custom variants, and can mostly be found amongst the car collections of Dubai.
2 Brabus Black Baron
The Brabus Black Baron is one of the most striking aftermarket cars ever created. The Black Baron follows the Brabus philosophy of the E-Class, notably their insistence on fitting a V12 engine in the model. The Baron has a 6.3-liter twin-turbocharged V12, producing 800 hp and a ridiculous 1047 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 230 mph – thanks to some striking exterior modifications.
The Black Baron features aerodynamic upgrades over the standard E-Class, most notably the rear wheel covers – a modern version of the same designs seen on many 1950s cars. All these modifications did come at a rather hefty price though - $875,000. But then again, Brabus only ever made 10 units, making it not only one of the silliest cars ever but also one of the rarest.
1 Brabus Rocket 900 “ONE OF TEN”
Speaking of rare, the current Brabus Rocket is based on the AMG GT63S 4-Door 4MATIC+ and, as the name suggests, will only be manufactured in a limited run of 10. The Rocket 900 has the same twin-turbo V8 as the standard GT63S, however, it has been upgraded inside and out. The displacement was upped to 4.5 liters and the turbos were exchanged for larger ones. As a result, the engine puts out 900 hp and 922 lb-ft of torque, going to all four wheels via a tuned version of AMG’s all-wheel-drive system.
The car can hit a top speed of 206 mph – a bit slower than other Brabus products – and can do the 0-62 mph run in a remarkable 2.8 seconds, with the 0-125 mph occurring in less than 10 seconds. The Rocket 900 has many cosmetic and visual changes over the GT63S, including carbon fiber everywhere. Brabus also fitted a new permanent spoiler at the back as opposed to a retractable one, and the wheels are aerodynamically designed to lessen drag and help cool the brakes which are also made of carbon fiber to reduce overall mass. The Brabus Rocket 900 is truly one of the craziest saloons to ever exist.