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Brabus strokes new E550 to 340kW

2009-03-30 07:31
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Brabus
Model 6.1
Engine 6.1l V8
Power 340kW @ 6 200r/min
Torque 615Nm @ 3 100r/min
Zero To Hundred 4.7 seconds
Top Speed 305km/h
Tyres F: 245/30, R: 285/25
Kircherer and Lorinser have production renderings of their forthcoming E-Class tuning packages. Brabus though, they have a 340kW conversion, ready and waiting.

German customers, who have paid hefty deposits up front to secure their W212 E-Class deliveries in May, will be a bit miffed at Brabus having already produced a full-blown tuning package for the E550.

The symbiotic relationship between Germany’s top manufacturers and bespoke aftermarket tuning industry is a very unique one though, well illustrated by the new E-Class espousing a range of aftermarket conversions, available before even being on sale...

LEDs everywhere

Whereas other tuners have shown us renderings and made cute promises, Brabus has actually gone and significantly upgraded the new E-Class with a tangible pre-production show car as proof of its handiwork.

Newfangled front bumper, featuring regulation embedded LEDs, is hardly a study in elegance.

Brabus says it has focussed on ensuring the aftermarket styling part of its 6.1 kit is sporty, yet elegant. A new front apron completely replaces the production bumper (reducing front axle lift at speed) and sports LED daytime running lights.

Behind the front wheel arches aluminium quarter panel cut-outs improve heat dissipation and airflow, though it must be said, their presence hardly fuses with the overall surfacing of the new E-Class.

Along the flanks new rocker panels stabilise airflow between the front and rear axles and are LED embedded too. The styling package is rounded off with a rear apron featuring a centrally mounted deflector and dual chrome-plated exhausts.

Stroked V8

The Brabus 6.1 W212 conversion is hardly a bumpers-and-rims exercise only, there is sober dynamic intent present.

Huge 20-inch dual-spoke, five-blade, alloy wheels hide dinner-plate diameter brakes, which warrant a mention in detail themselves.

Measuring 375mm on the front axle and 355mm at the rear, the ventilated and cross drilled discs are actuated by 12-piston callipers up front and six-piston callipers at the rear, providing redoubtable stopping power.

Enhancing the Brabus 6.1’s stance are customised lowering kits, working in unison with Mercedes-Benz’s own Airmatic suspension system. Why any four-door Merc without an AMG badge would need 12-piston calliper brakes is a curious state of affairs, yet when one peruses the engine modifications, it becomes quite apparent.

Brabus has eschewed forced induction for the 6.1 conversion, instead reverting to its tried and tested method of enlarging capacity to gain addition power.

Stroking the E550 engine with special pistons and a new crankshaft has increased swept volume to 6.1l, whilst new camshafts and gasflowed cylinder heads has helped power climb to 340kW and rotational force to 615Nm.

Thanks primarily to an electronic Brabus limited-slip differential (sporting a 40% locking rate) the 6.1 is good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds and tops out at around 305km/h. Neat figures all round, still shy of current W211 E63 AMG though…

Brabus promises to be as expedient with the new W212 E63 AMG as it was with turning around this E550 based 6.1 conversion, expect the Brabus fettled E63 to be indecently fast.


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