Johannesburg - Brabus is aiming to take hairstyle destruction to an all-new level with its aptly named Rocket 900 Cabrio, which it claims is the fastest and most powerful four-seat convertible in the world.

It’s based on the Mercedes-AMG S65, which already makes a rather extreme 463kW and 1000Nm, but Brabus has seen fit to modify the twin-turbo V12 to produce a rather ludicrous 662kW at 5500rpm and 1500Nm at 4200rpm, although the tuner had to back-pedal and electronically limit the engine to 1200rpm as the seven-speed autobox simply can’t handle more than that, even after some Brabus tinkering.

Power goes to the back wheels and a helping hand is provided by a Brabus limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent.

It’s one thing to produce all that power and another to actually put it into motion and the Brabus Rocket 900 isn’t a lot quicker off the mark than its standard sibling, with 0-100km/h taking 3.9 seconds, versus 4.1.

There is a rather substantial top speed advantage, however, for those who can find enough bravery and autobahn to max it, with Brabus claiming a top end “in excess of 350km/h.” The standard S65 is electronically limited to 250km/h, but can be liberated to allow 300km/h at the owner’s wish.

But how has Brabus extracted all that extra power?

For starters, the twin-turbo V12’s displacement has been increased from 6.0 to 6.3 litres, and it also gets revised mapping mapping, a new cooling system, larger turbochargers, a completely revised air intake and a Brabus high-performance exhaust.

The internals have been tinkered with too, with the engine gaining a new billet-steel Brabus crankshaft with a longer stroke, as well as enlarged the cylinder bores and special billet-steel conrods.

The Rocket 900 rides on 21-inch alloy wheels and is further set apart visually by various carbon exterior components.

IOL Motoring