The strength of the BMW M4 Coupé is evident in every detail.
One thing you have to concede about the top German tuning houses is that they don't let the grass grow under their feet.
Scarcely had the elegant Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake been launched than Brabus announced a whole catalogue of go-fast goodies, starting with aero kits and topped off with a 455kW kit for the CLS 63 AMG that'll just about put it into orbit.
The aero kit for the 'standard' models includes a front spoiler, front fascia attachments with LED daytime running lights, sport fenders and side skirts with integrated courtesy lights.
For the CLS 63 AMG there's a splitter for the front bumper, with optional elements in clear-coated carbon-fibre with the Brabus logo backlit.
There's a whole range of fancy rims ranging 8.5Jx17 to 10.5Jx20, including the new 20” Monoblock R which has two sets of five double spokes laid out on two planes. The inner set of spokes is painted titanium grey while the outer spokes are diamond-polished and then sealed with a smoke-tinted clear lacquer for very distinctive look.
Brabus suspension kits, developed in partnership with suspension specialists Bilstein, are calibrated to take the thump out of very low-profile tyres, ranging from shorter, stiffer 'sports' spring to complete suspensions and even a suspension module to lower the ride height of a CLS's with the optional semi-active Airmatic air suspension by about 35mm.
Brabus claims to have the world's largest range of performance tuning kits for Mercedes-Benz models - and certainly they catalogue a kick in the butt for every CLS variant, starting with the Eco PowerXtra D4 kit for the CLS 250 CDI BlueEfficiency, good for an extra 22.8kW, with peak torque up to 560Nm.
The Eco PowerXtra D6S tuning kit for the CLS 350 CDI BlueEfficiency is a plug-and-play auxiliary control unit that can be installed by any qualified Mercedes-Benz techie in less than 45 minutes.
It even reads the driver's selection of gearbox mode and re-maps the engine accordingly. If the driver is in Eco mode power remains unchanged at 195kW but torque goes up from the standard 620Nm to 690Nm.
But when you select Sport mode or go to manual power also instantly goes up to 230kW; good enough, says Brabus, for 0-100 in 5.9 seconds and an electronically limited 250km/h flat out.
The Brabus B50 - 500 performance kit for the petrol-powered V8, twin-turbo CLS 500 BlueEfficiency delivers a claimed 368kW (500 horsepower, hence the name) and 720Nm; add the Brabus Vmax unit to unlimit the limiter and it'll take your wagon all the way to 300km/h.
SOUNDS THE PART
Brabus catalogues two tuning options for the CLS 63 AMG model, each comprising an auxiliary control unit for the engine electronics and an additional water-to-air intercooler powered by an auxiliary electric pump.
The more radical B63 - 620 version is rated for 455kW at only 5500rpm and 1000Nm from 2250 to 3750rpm, enough to push it from 0-100 in 4.2 seconds and (with a V/max unit installed) on to 320km/h.
And to make it sound the part there's a sport exhaust system with a butterfly valve that switches between 'Coming Home' and 'Sport' modes at the push of a button on the steering wheel.
A clutch-type limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent optimises traction and handling in fast corners on all CLS versions.
The Brabus catalogue ranges from trim elements to complete interiors in extra-soft breathable leather and alcantara, including scuff plates with backlit Brabus logo, a speedometer with 340 or even 400km/h dial and tray tables for the rear seats, along with billet aluminium components such as pedal pads, door-lock pins and shift paddles and wood veneer or clear-coated carbon-fibre inlays for dashboard and centre console in any colour you can dream up.