Bottrop, Germany - This may well be 2018’s No.1 street sleeper: the Brabus 800. Based on Mercedes’s E63 AMG 4Matic (which is itself no slouch), it’s called that because it has no fewer than 800 Westphalian thoroughbreds corralled under its bonnet, all wrapped up in a discreet carbon-fibre aero kit.
The extra muscle comes courtesy of two Brabus-modified turbochargers with bigger compressor units and reinforced axial bearings in the core assemblies, enabling them to push a safe 1.6 bar, and a deep-breathing stainless-steel sports exhaust system with ceramic-coated tailpipes and built-in flaps to give you a choice of stealth or raucous mode. All of which is modulated by an auxiliary control module piggybacking on the AMG original that recalibrates the mapping for injection, boost pressure control and ignition timing in real time.
The result is a serious power boost for the four-litre V8 - from 450 to 588kW at 6700 revs - with an extra 100Nm thrown in, taking the Brabus 800 to 1000Nm at the flywheel, to 100km/h in three seconds flat and to an electronically limited 300km/h, flat out, via the standard AMG Speedshift MCT nine-speed paddle shift sports transmission and all-wheel drive. And Brabus says a version of the 800 with an even higher top speed is under development.
But what’s even more impressive from an engineering point of view is that Brabus is willing to give you a warranty of three-years or 100 000km on a new Brabus 800 engine.
The 800’s carbon-fibre aero kit - fine-tuned in the wind tunnel - includes special trims for the large outer air-intakes, a front spoiler slip that’s attached to the standard AMP front bumper, a boot-lid spoiler and rear diffuser insert that neatly frames the tailpipes of the Brabus auspuff, and comes in either matte or gloss finish.
The car rolls on special 21 inch forged-alloy ‘Platinum’ wheels shod with 265/30 front and 305/25 rear gumballs, and an add-on module for the standard air suspension lowers the ride height by about 20 millimetres.
The Brabus 800 will be shown in public for the first time at the Geneva Motor show; the interior of the show car has been upgraded with special ‘pinpoint quilted’ fine leather trim in black with red insets, glossy carbon-fibre trim elements and stainless-steel sill plates with backlit Brabus logos that change colour to match the interior ambient lighting.
Brabus conversions are available in South Africa through the Daytona Group; no price has yet been quoted for the Brabus 800.