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AMG crushing V12 from Brabus

2009-09-09 07:04
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Brabus
Model SV12 R
Engine 6.3l, V12, biturbo
Power 522kW
Torque 1 350Nm
Transmission Five-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 4 sec
Top Speed 340km/h
You have to feel for Brabus, I mean, its offices are in the rather awkward sounding city of Bottrop.

Unlike AMG, which is in-house and lavishly funded by Mercedes-Benz, Brabus remains a true aftermarket tuner, the largest private Merc custom engineering concern in the world.

Conversely, the company has to make do with a fraction of AMG’s research and development budget.

Still, they appear to be a hardy bunch, continuously churning out power upgrades and styling packages rivalling (and at times surpassing) Merc’s in-house Affalterbach tuning division.

Gearing up for the bi-annual Frankfurt auto show later this month (next week actually), Brabus has unveiled its latest example of highbrow go-faster engineering.

Called SV12 R, it’s based on Merc’s S-Class, which of course already features AMG performance fettling as a factory option.

If you really want a hooligan limousine, there appear to be few choices beyond the AMG S-Class.

Both Audi and BMW have simply never been brazen enough to build a dedicated performance car limousine. Merc then, have a captive market for all intents and purposes.

If you find the S65 AMG’s performance a trifle lacking though (after all, 455kW is hardly 500kW now is it?), Brabus can cater to your increased performance demands with the SV12 R.

No Merc badges - so it must be a Brabus. Reserved, stately styling changes - quite uncharacteristic for a Brabus.

Stylish looker

Styling embellishments for the SV12 R are surprisingly subtle.

Obviously Merc’s three-pointed star is removed from the grille (in characteristic Brabus fashion), yet the surfacing changes are mostly designed to aid airflow management instead of making some image statement faux pas.

You’ll notice the new front apron (which reduces lift around the fore axle) and aluminium fenders, augmented by an enlarged air duct – the latter tasked with optimising airflow to the engine and front brakes.

Along the flanks Brabus rocker panels stabilise airflow whilst around the rump of the SV12 R a Brabus moulded spoiler frames the uppermost horizontal styling line of the bonnet. Lower down the rear fascia is adorned by custom cut-outs for the Brabus quad exhaust system.

All things considered the SV12 R styling embellishments are quite easy on the eye, Brabus obviously being cognisant of the type of customer who purchases into the S-Class line.

Five-spoke, dual-blade alloy wheels roll in the wheelarches and they’re appreciably larger than the stock 19- and 20-inch AMG factory wheels at 23-inches. Brabus offer various styles, though we think those dual-blade, five-spoke ones are the most fetching.

Hiding behind the monumental alloy wheels are equally impressive brakes.

The latest S-Class AMG features a mighty decelerative system, boasting 390mm in discs at the fore axle and 360mm ones at the rear – with both sets of discs actuated by a new sliding caliper system.

Brabus has replaced the AMG set-up with smaller discs (380mm front, 355 rear), and left the hydraulic actuation to a more traditional caliper system, comprising 12-piston grabbers for the front wheels and six-piston calipers at the rear. Should stop okay then, we reckon…

New wheels and brakes hint at the SV12 R's substantial performance.

Preposterous performance

Powering (or overpowering if you wish) the Brabus SV12 R is an alarmingly tuned version of the Mercedes-Benz V12 Biturbo engine.

Swept capacity swells from 6- to 6.3l, with four new camshafts operating the valves. Brabus adds a pair of larger turbochargers too, supported by a better intercooling system, whilst gas exchange improved thanks to better exhaust system.

Engine electronics have been impeccably reprogrammed to ensure the larger turbos and reconfigured quad exhausts are commensurate to each other. The result is a wicked 97kW power increase.

Outputs for the SV12 R factor to 522kW of maximum power and 1 350Nm of peak rotational force, though the latter figure is purely academic as Merc’s five-speed automatic transmission jettisons 250Nm on full demand to preserve the drivetrain.

Capacity is up from 6- to 6.3l (curiously in-line with AMG's journeyman engine), red engine covers add most of extra 102kW - okay, not really...

Brabus claims if you find a quality surface, and don’t overwhelm the Yokohama rear tyres (or Pirelli, it’s your choice), 0-100km/h should be accomplished in four seconds dead, whilst top speed is limited to 340km/h, mercifully…

Cognisant of the hooligan limousine owner’s need to do business even at 340mk/h, Brabus has equipped the SV12 R with a full suite of contemporary business communication technologies.

An ultra-slim 3 GHz notebook computer is accessed via a drawer in the boot for use outside the vehicle. On the move it’s controlled via the Mercedes-Benz Command controller system. To ensure optimal legibility, a 15.2-inch screen serves as the graphic interface.

The SV12 R’s cabin features a plethora of convergent digital entertainment.

Included amongst the digital entertainment suite is UMTS internet connectivity, dual USB ports for connecting peripheral technologies such as webcams (to do what with in a car we wonder?) and a MP3 player serviced by Sennheiser Noise Gard headphones.

So, if Affalterbach’s S-Class offering is too staid for you, or if you simply must have your hooligan limousine Merc’s without the three-pointed star paraphernalia, this Brabus SV12 R is a very apt alternative.

As the say - it's rather good to be a gangster...


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