By: IOL Motoring Staff

Bottrop, Germany - Prestigious tuning haus Brabus has a habit of letting its creations speak for themselves - and this one speaks with the voice of authority. It's a Mercedes-Benz 63 AMG biturbo V8 that's been so heavily modified it's almost an entirely new engine.

It's called, simply, the Brabus 850 because that's how many horsepower it has. That's right, Cyril, it's rated at 625kW, a cage-rattling 230kW more than the standard 395kW AMG version - and Brabus will happily drop one into your CLS 63, E63, SL 63 or S63 AMG model.

OK, so how'd they do it?

The Brabus power junkies start by boring the stock AMG V8 block one millimetre (from 98 to 99mm) to make space for special forged pistons with revised crown contours for more efficient combustion.

Then the standard crank gets ditched in favour of a forged crankshaft, precision-ground and balanced for a 96mm stroke - 5.5mm longer than standard, mated to high-strength forged con-rods.

All of which increases the engine's capacity from the standard 5461 to 5912cc - but that's just the start.

Two special Brabus turbos with larger-than-standard compressor units feed exhaust gases out through 75mm stainless-steel drainpipes with free-flowing metal catalysts, and fresh air in, from a bigger-than standard air-filter box with an oversized carbon-fibre intake duct fed by a special bonnet scoop, via special intake and charge-air tubes (with Brabus' signature gold heat-reflecting sheathing, of course) to a special high-flow Brabus inlet manifold.


Lastly, the engine management system is re-mapped on a test rig for optimum power and throttle response across the rev range. Maximum power (625kW, remember?) is delivered at a surprisingly low 5400rpm, thanks to the longer stroke, while peak torque of 1450Nm (almost to double the standard AMG's 800) is available from 2500-4500rpm.

No Mercedes-Benz passenger-car drivetrain is capable of handling that level of torque, however, so in the car it's electronically restricted to 1150Nm (still 350Nm or 44 percent more than standard!) to protect Brabus against liability claims.

Brabus also doesn't quote performance figures; at this level of power, 0-100km/h figures are to large extent dependent on tyre choice and top speed, as always with Brabus-tuned vehicles, is a matter for negotiation between the owner and the technician who sets up his car.


The Brabus 850 SL in these pictures has also been blinged up with sports tailpipes, 20” Brabus forged-alloy rims and a Brabus aerodynamic styling package that includes a carbon-fibre front splitter, the aforementioned bonnet scoop, a rear diffuser and a boot-lid spoiler.