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C-Class Black Magic from Brabus

2008-03-04 08:18
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Brabus
Model Bullit Black Arrow
Engine 6.3-litre, V12 turbo
Power 537kW @ 5 100r/min
Torque 1 320Nm @ 2 100r/min
Transmission Five-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 3.9 seconds
Top Speed 360km/h
Weight 1 850kg
Tyres 19-inch Monoblock. Front: 265/30 ZR. Rear: 285/30
Front Suspension Three-link, anti-dive geometry. Height-adjustable
Rear Suspension Five-link, anti-dive geometry. Height-adjustable B
German dynamic tuning specialist Brabus has unleashed its latest incarnation of Mercedes derived lunacy, the C-Class based 537kW Bullit Black Arrow.

While loosely resembling a C-Class, despite the elaborately flared wheel arches, gill-cut aluminium bonnet, three-piece aerodynamically tuned spoiler and 19-inch alloys, the Bullit Black Arrow is simply the mad consequence of overactive German engineering.

The matte black finish leaves one in no doubt: if Darth Vader needed a C-Class for Luke's matric dance, this would be the one.

Scotty, we have enough power now?

Shoehorning outlandishly large Mercedes derived engines into innocuous, mid-range sedans has long been a Brabus right of passage. The Bullit Black Arrow is true to company heritage here.

It sports the epically powerful 5.5-litre bi-turbo V12 found in '600'-series badged Mercedes products.

Thanks to a neat stroke and bore job displacement increases to 6.3-litres. Inlet and outlet ports featuring some deft polishing, arctic intercooler capability is added, revised exhaust manifolds and exhaust systems all controlled by liberally remapped engine electronics hikes power - a lot.

Final output is a fearsome 537kW at 5 100r/min and torque a counter-planetary rotating 1 320Nm at 2 100r/min, while remaining Euro IV compliant.

Despite the best intentions of the beefed up five-speed automatic gearbox and 40% bias locking rear differential the peak torque output is simply beyond current engineering and traction solutions.

Subsequently torque output is electronically limited to 1 100Nm (down 220Nm from peak engine performance) which unfortunately yields a leisurely 0-300km/h time of only 24.5 seconds...

Keeping it on the straight and narrow

With such corpulent power and simply stratospheric performance aerodynamic efficiency and dynamic handling and braking performance is case of survival.

Sophisticated spoiler design reduces lift on the front axle, whilst the rear three-piece spoiler and apron with integrated diffuser ensure there are no heart palpitations when lifting off at high speed.

A wider track optimizes directional stability, especially at speeds beyond 300 km/h, whilst rocker panels optimise airflow along the sides. The rocker panels feature integrated entry lights too, making entering and exiting the matt black Bullit Black Arrow safer at night.

Ensuring you can track true at speed and is a bespoke, specially developed height-adjustable coil-over suspension system featuring ten selectable damping settings. Sport stabilizers reduces body roll to a minimum during fast cornering.

Enhancing both aesthetics by filling the flared wheel arches and putting down the power with some remnant of control are 265/30 - and 285/30mm Pirelli or Yokohama tyres wrapped around 19-inch Brabus produced Monoblock S alloy mags.

Reigning it in

With a top speed the wrong side of 360km/h you need brakes which could stop the apocalypse, and Brabus divinely stocks them. Your performance orientated frame of reference might deduce six-pot callipers as being vastly powerful, well, the Black Arrow features 12-piston aluminium fixed callipers on the front axle that grip vented and grooved 380mm brake discs.

The rear axle stops with 360mm discs actuated by six-piston aluminium fixed callipers. Duikertjies have never been safer crossing the highway than with you approaching in a Bullit Black Arrow...

Exclusive individuality also abounds in the interior of Bullit Black Arrow. Standard equipment includes a plush leather interior hand-crafted in the Brabus in-house upholstery shop from the finest Mastik and Nubuk leathers.

Custom Bullit seats offer a perfect combination of comfort and lateral support. Their carbon-fibre rear covers lend the interior an especially sporty feel.

This look is complemented by carbon-fibre components on dashboard, centre console and door panels as well as by the ergonomically shaped sport steering wheel and aluminium pedals and shifter.

So, if you like your cars German, with four-doors, more than 500kW and finished in a menacing black hue, the Bullit Black Arrow should make you a very happy camper, although you won't get back much change from your 350 000 spare Euros.

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