New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Biturbo ML63 madness from Brabus

2009-03-03 09:11
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Brabus
Model B63 S
Engine 6.2l, twin-turbo V8
Power 478kW @ 6 200r/min
Torque 850Nm # 3 000r/min
Transmission 7G tronic
Zero To Hundred 4.2 sec
Top Speed 310km/h
Need all-wheel drive ML ability and 310km/h top speed capability? Though so. Thankfully Brabus has finished its ML63 AMG based B63 in time for a Geneva show debut.

Though the ML styling has been severely molested by Brabus inserting four auxiliary headlights supported by daytime LED running lights, there is no doubt the ornate front spoiler and widebody fender conversion garners a lot of attention.

Not pretty. Big. Pretty big.

A key engineering rational behind the ridiculous widebody styling kit was to allow wheelarches radical enough to accommodate the 23-inch MonoBlock Platinum edition wheels rolling 315/25 high-performance tyres.

Considering those wheel dimensions and tyre profiles the ride quality should be truly awful.

Perhaps the most palatable view is from the rear, where one can appreciate the stainless steel quad exhausts and rear spoiler.

A Brabus override for the Airmatic suspension system lowers overall ride height parameters by 30mm to improve autobahn high speed cruising ability.

Beyond the rather uncouth persona, the B63 does what is proposes to do – go very, very fast, despite being rather ungainly.

Subtle, isn’t it? Heaven only knows who signed off the additional bumper embedded lights...

Custom turbo

Adding dual-turbochargers feeding both cylinder banks through custom manifolds was not as easy as simply bolting on them on, adding a huge intercooler and slotting in low compression, 9.0:1 forged piston internals.

Some very clever anti-clockwise turbocharger plumbing is on display in the B63 engine bay

With the turbochargers spooling clockwise, it produced a gas re-routing problem for Brabus engineers with regards to the turbine inlet ports being located on the right-hand side of the housing.

At no stage did the Brabus engineers apparently doubt the wisdom of their task - trying to dual turbocharge an already hugely capable 6.2l AMG V8 engine.

Brabus engineers simply commissioned a turbocharger unit which spun the opposite way, with requisite vain adjustability of course, enabling them to port exhaust gasses to the turbocharger units with greater efficiency through the left-hand side of the housing.

Thanks to all this forced induction trickery the B63 musters 478kW and 850Nm, driving all four wheels through a toughened up version of Merc’s 7G-tronic speedshift automatic gearbox. All-wheel drive drag and substantial mass mean the 0-100km time of 4.2 seconds is startlingly quick, yet no mind blowing.

Goes like hell, stops just as well

Top speed might be a socially irresponsible 310km/h (for an SUV), yet a set of 12-piston actuated 380mm disc brakes on the front axle, supported by a six-piston set-up trailing 360mm discs at the rear, ensure the B63 has redoubtable stopping power.
Interior customisation has always been a Brabus selling point, with in-house tailors forming Mastick leather and Alcantara interior trim designs to a customer’s whim and taste. Brabus has embellished the interior with ‘chequered flag carbon-fibre insets too, which is a bit odd to say the least.

Infotainment is well catered for with the front seats fitted with custom rear consoles housing a seven-inch LCD screen with 16:9 aspect ratio and integrated DVD player.


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