515kW Brabus-kitted GL63 hits 300km/h
Imagine a Mercedes-Benz GL-Class - the classic Gelandewagen, with all the aerodynamic finesse of a brick outhouse - that's capable of 300km/h on the autobahn.
Well, thanks to top German tuner Brabus, imagine no more. Bottrop's bad boys have come up with a tuning kit for the AMG 5.5-litre biturbo V8 (which is already no slouch when it leaves Affalterbach) that boosts its power output from 410 to a scary 515kW at 5300rpm, with 960Nm (electronically limited to save the half-shafts!) on tap from 2000rpm.
And being Brabus, they're offering it first in two SUV's, based on the ML 63 AMG and the GL 63 AMG - with a kit for the G 63 AMG to follow shortly!
While the first thing about the Brabus B63S - 700 engine conversion that catches your eye is the gold heat-reflection insulation on the intake and charge-air ducts, what it's really all about is two special Brabus turbos with larger-diameter compressors, generating significantly higher boost pressure than the production hairdryers.
The standard exhaust system is replaced by a free-flow metal-catalyst auspuff with 75mm downpipes; an optional butterfly valve, controlled by a button on the steering wheel, gives the driver the option of either a discreet 'coming home' burble or an authoritative bark.
The combination of 515 Brabus kilowatts and the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission will push the ML 63 to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds, while the heavier GL takes just two tenths of a second longer. A Brabus Vmax unit - which is part of the engine conversion - limits top speed electronically to 300km/h to protect the tires.
That kind of performance capability also necessitates upgraded aerodynamics, tyres and suspension, available in a widebody kit for each model.
The GL63 gets add-on front and rear elements including an aggressive new front bumper, a rear diffuser, a tailgate spoiler and fender flares that add 80mm to the overall width of the body and make space for chunky Brabus rims up to 23” in diameter.
The standard kit is designed for 22” rims (available in five styles) but Brabus also offers 23” Monoblock R “Platinum Edition” forged rims wearing 305/30 rubber.
The ML 63's new front splitter components include add-on trim for the side air inlets, while the rear diffuser is designed to complement the ceramic-coated dual tailpipes of the Brabus sports exhaust.
Neat fender flares add 60mm to the wheel arches, for rims up to 23” and tyres as wide as 315/25.
Finally, a special control module for the Airmatic suspension of the ML 63 AMG or GL 63 AMG lowers the ride height for a more sporty look and improved chassis dynamics.
While neither the B63S - 700 engine conversion or Widebody chassis kit includes any interior upgrades (other than the button on the steering wheel for the butterfly valve in the exhaust system) Brabus also does a wide range of interior upgrades.
Its in-house trim shop will tailor the cabin of your car to your requirements in any combination of leather and alcantara, with trim elements in a range of wood-veneers or genuine carbon-fibre.
And especially for ML and GL conversions, a fitted teak floor for the luggage compartment of either SUV is also available.