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Brabus bests AMG's SLS effort

2010-08-26 07:13

Forgot about AMG, this is the Brabus SLS. Some new composite bits, aftermarket wheels and a tuned V8 exhaust note guaranteed to disturb the peace in your neighbourhood.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Brabus
Model SLS
Engine 6.2l V8
Transmission Seven-speed DCT
Weight 1 620kg
Front Suspension Aluminium double-wishbone suspension, coil springs
Rear Suspension Aluminium double-wishbone suspension, coil springs
AMG and Brabus are brutal competitors when it comes to building the fastest three-pointed star supercars.

Whereas the Affalterbach boys (AMG) benefit from being a full subsidiary of the Mercedes-Benz empire, Brabus are the courageous privateer concern.

Based in the rather unglamorously named German town of Bottrop, Brabus may lack the direct access Mercedes-Benz engineering resources yet doesn’t lack for imagination or ingenuity.

The company’s latest offering is an exercise of outrageous one-upmanship.

The three-pointed star supercar

Mercedes-Benz’s SLS AMG is hardly Stuttgart’s most unremarkable car. In fact, it is the first supercar Mercedes-Benz has developed in-house for decades.

After seeing Mercedes-Benz team-up with erstwhile F1 partner McLaren on the SLR supercar in the early noughties, AMG were keen to show that it could develop a superior supercar solution with German know-how instead of employing British consultants.

Brabus believes it can best the AMG effort though.

Witness the new Brabus SLS tuning package.

Although the overall silhouette remains unchanged, Brabus stylists have added a raft of composite construction airflow management upgrades to the SLS surfacing.

Around the front there’s a new spoiler and bumper combination.

The spoiler reduces axle-lift at high speed whilst the bumper features cut-outs to channel cooling air to the front brake rotors.

Brabus ensures a harmonised airflow regime over the rear third of the SLS courtesy of an enlarged spoiler. The lower aft bumper unit features liberally dimensioned cut-outs to house the substantial custom exhaust system, with tips measuring 84mm in diameter.

Rounding off the aesthetic element of Brabus’s SLS upgrade are a choice of either 20 – or 21-inch Monoblock F Platinum Edition cross-spoke alloys, specially developed for the SLS application. These exquisite wheels roll appropriately rated ZR-specification tyres from either Pirelli or Yokohama.

Despite AMG’s best efforts at endowing the SLS with outstanding agility Brabus installs its own dampers at each wheel corner, reducing the already speedbump-scraping SLS’s ride height by a further 40mm.

Unlike factory AMG SLSs, the Brabus car’s suspension features adjustable damping, allowing drivers to select either a high or low level of rebound resistance. These selectable damper ratings equate to the traditional notion of ‘comfort’ or ‘sport’ driving modes.

Making the best V8 better?

The fancy composite bits, ornate wheels and trick dampers are all fine and well but...

Is this Brabus SLS faster than the factory AMG car?

Well, Brabus is still completing its validation tests on the engine upgrades so those final output numbers remain pure conjecture.

It would be very odd for Brabus to release an aftermarket tuning package without improving on the factory car's performance numbers.

Considering the company’s heritage and 400km/h calibrated road-speed dial upgrade to the instrument binnacle, we would say the Brabus 6.2l V8 is set to tally a sight more than the 420kW of the AMG factory version.

AMG’s already endowed the SLS 6.2l V8 with a magnesium intake, featuring eight individual velocity stacks, fed by two electronically controlled throttle plates. Suffice to say, there is not too much in the way of air-routing to the combustion chambers that Brabus can improve upon.

Subsequently Brabus engine technicians have focused on gas-extraction and developed new exhaust plumbing (12kg lighter than the AMG system) featuring a pneumatically controlled butterfly valve for added acoustic resonance - as if the SLS V8 really needs elocution lessons?).

With a more liberal ECU unit this modified exhaust system could add an addition 30kW, nudging the SLS peak power curve to a theoretical 450kW.

To ensure owners explore the newfound performance parameters of the tuned SLS, Brabus has binned the standard AMG flat-bottomed steering wheel for a new one – featuring an even more ergonomically refined design for quick inputs from the helm.

The renowned Brabus trim shop artisans will pander to practically any customer demand in the line of composite, wood, leather or Alcantara finishes for the SLS cabin.

So, if your local country club has a few too many examples of Affalterbach’s Mercedes-Benz supercar in its parking lot over weekends - and you wish to distinguish yourself - this Brabus aftermarket kit does quite a neat job of individualising your SLS ownership experience.


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