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AMG gets 588kW Brabus wake-up call

2010-03-05 08:39
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Brabus
Model E V12 Coupe
Engine 6.3l bi-turbo V12
Power 588kW
Torque 1 450Nm
Transmission Five-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 3.7 seconds
Top Speed 350km/h
Product planning. It’s very much a hit-and-miss affair.

For instance, who though (back in 1979) when the Geländewagen was launched, it would still be around today? It's called the law of unintended consequences...

Similarly, who decided Merc couldn’t build a new E-Class two-door with AMG power?

Whoever was responsible for this product planning oversight has brought about a rather unexpected consequence, a gift even, to petrolheads the world over – the Brabus E V12 Coupe…

Bodykit adds 60mm of width. Make sure your garage can cope.

Overcompensated E63 clone?

So what is this new E V12 Coupe? Well, it’s Bottrop’s answer to AMG’s lack of fortitude in homologating a new E-Class AMG - and it's rather fast. Stupidly so, in fact...

Naturally, the E V12 looks rather menacing too. In fact, the aerodynamically certified (wind tunnel tested, apparently) bodykit adds 60mm to the E V12’s width (courtesy of carbon-fibre rear fenders).

The bodykit tallies new rocker panels, a functional aft diffuser and spoiler partnership and a musclecar signature RAM airbox up front.

Finished in black in simply brooks no argument – this is Darth Vader's daily driver…

Merc (not AMG's) 5.5l Bi-turbo V12 is tuned to ridiculous levels of power. It's even embossed ('800HP') into the engine nameplate for you, in case you forget how much power there's available. Stylish. Not.

Rebored Bi-turbo

Powering (or overpowering if you wish) the Brabus E V12 Coupe is an alarmingly tuned version of the Mercedes-Benz V12 Bi-turbo engine.

Swept capacity swells from 5.5l- to 6.3l, with four new camshafts operating the valves. The increase in capacity is thanks to the 5.5l unit being bored out (instead of stroked), to ensure piston speed doesn't decrease as capacity increases.

Most of the internals have been swapped-out due to the increased capacity, with both the new crankshaft and pistons being custom-made Brabus items.

Brabus adds a pair of larger turbochargers too, supported by a better intercooling system, whilst the engine's gas exchange improves thanks to better exhaust system.

Engine electronics have been impeccably reprogrammed to ensure the larger turbos and reconfigured quad exhausts harmonise perfectly. The result is a very noticeable 208kW power increase.

Outputs for the E V12 Coupe factor to 588kW of maximum power and 1 420Nm of peak rotational force, though the latter figure is purely academic as Merc’s five-speed automatic transmission jettisons 350Nm on full demand to preserve the drivetrain.

Cabin trims a surfeit of Alcantara and carbon. We like the stitching and texture finish on the steering wheel.

Staggeringly fast

Brabus claims if you find a quality surface, and don’t overwhelm the Yokohama rear tyres, 0-100km/h should be accomplished in 3.7 seconds, whilst top speed is limited to 350km/h, mercifully…Its 0-200km/h sprint time of 9.9 seconds truly puts things into perspective.

The E V12 Coupe is geared to see the existential side of 370km/h, a speed sure to melt even the most advanced road tyres and shear-off drag-inducing door mirrors with ease. One can understand why Brabus has limited the top speed.

Keeping the E V12 Coupe’s rampant performance in check is a rather special braking system.

Brabus has replaced the AMG set-up with smaller discs (380mm front, 360 rear), and left the hydraulic actuation to a more traditional calliper system, comprising 12-piston grabbers for the front wheels and six-piston callipers at the rear. Should stop okay then, we reckon…

To ensure redoubtable high-speed stability there’s a coil-over suspension upgrade (reducing median ride height by 35mm) and a sway-bar to counter body roll.

Dampers are obviously bound and rebound adjustable, to ensure E V12 Coupe owners are able to waste their entire Friday night fiddling with settings for the next morning's breakfast run...

Brabus will only assemble ten E V12 Coupes, to ensure a requisite level of exclusivity – and that's important, especially when one considers the rather outlandish price of $875 000…


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