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.

Brabus adds boom-box to Tesla

2008-11-14 08:07
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Brabus
Model Tesla Zero Emission
Engine Electric
Power 185kW
Renowned for turning out 360km/h Merc saloons and garishly styled Smart car conversions, Brabus is now in the zero emissions business too.

The days of performance tuning related profit turning from a bored out V8 engine block and some free flow catalytic converters are coming to an end. In future, with stricter emissions legislation engines will become smaller and greener, and electric power will probably become the mainstay.

Making the best better?

Californian electric performance car concern – Tesla – has already embraced this new vision of fusing zero emission propulsion and performance orientated specification with its lovely Lotus Elise based Roadster.

The credit crises might have exposed the company rather badly – it has laid off nearly half its workforce – but Brabus has enough confidence in Tesla’s long term prospects to invest in a tuning package for the Tesla Roadster.

Roadster features a redoubtable Lotus tuned Elise chassis and is powered by a three-phase, four-pole electric motor producing 185kW and records a 0-100km/h sprint time of four seconds dead. Little wonder Brabus has not done anything to the electric motor in the search for increased performance. In fact, this conversion has very little to do with perfomance...

Boom-box in the boot?

The focus has instead moved to the emotional issue of performance acoustics. Supercar quick the Tesla may be, but it’s also whisper quiet, which has left most performance car fans to view it as an anesthetised experience.

Brabus has done its utmost to rectify this state of affairs by installing a grandiosely named ‘space sound generator’ - which looks a lot like two-speakers in a box - bolted in the tiny Roadster loadbay…

The speaker arrangement has been fine tuned by Brabus in-house sound specialists – the selfsame guys responsible for those ridiculously complex Brabus Maybach infotainment systems.

It aims to deliver either a burbling V8 (we assume its Merc 6.2l V8 based) or screaming race track sound effect when desired. Two futuristic soundscapes, named 'Beam' and 'Warp', add to the experience - if a bit peculiarly.

It’s either painfully contrived or bravely original, depending on your point of view - purists will tell you an iPod with earphones whilst driving basically equates to the same thing.

Beyond the speaker box acoustics, Brabus technology partner Pirelli adds a set of P Zero Nero high-performance tires  - 215/35 ZR 18 in front and 255/30 ZR 19 at the rear – which offer an optimal blend between high-performance grip and low-rolling resistance.

Considering the remainder of the conversion it’s the typical Brabus range of questionable exterior aesthetic embellishments.

Along the flanks blue Brabus entrance lights make sure you don’t trip over something trying to get onboard the Tesla; whilst the electric charger module is also highlighted by a blue lighting surround. Front lights feature new surrounds and LED lights are now embedded above the front spoiler lip.

Carbon fibre detailing abounds too, though with Lotus based construction architexture already so lightweight in design, we can only assume its introduction to the tuning package was signed off with the sole purpose of inflating price. The front apron, rear spoiler and diffuser are all made of F1’s favourite building material.

Brabus is to exhibit the car at the Essen auto show on the 29th of November.


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