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World's most powerful 4x4

2009-02-20 07:33
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Brabus
Model G V12 S
Engine 6.3L, V12 biturbo
Power 515kW @ 5 100r/min
Torque 1 100Nm @ 2 100r/min
Transmission Five-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 4.3 sec
Top Speed 240km/h (limited)
If you think a Range Rover Sport is a bit silly, you’ll be highly perturbed with the latest G-Class based Brabus creation.

The crazy German aftermarket tuner – perpetually trying to usurp Merc in-house tuner AMG – has taken the redoubtable G-Class, ruined its considerable off-road ability and military heritage styling, whilst simultaneously boosting performance beyond levels of acceptable sanity.

Hippie era design, 21st century power

Hardly an elegant car to begin with, the Brabus fettled G V12 S Biturbo adds visual drama in all the wrong places with LED light diodes. There’s a new LED embedded front apron and LED embedded running boards, illuminating potentially embarrassing embarkation and debussing points in the dark.

Even the Monoblock 21-inch alloy wheels, shod with 295/40 Pirelli or Yokohama tyres, can’t restore any balance to the Geländewagen styling – originally penned in the late 1970s.

Contemporary steering wheel it may have, but the ergonomics and windshield angle owe more to military utility than EuroNCAP ratings…

The interior embellishments add up to Brabus logos being embossed everywhere. Special Brabus Mastik leather covers most of the trim and state of the art infotainment and communication sets, including DVBT TV and full console game integration, render on eight-inch screens displaying in the back of the front seat headrests.

Powering this most ill-conceived of all Geländewagens is an enlarged version of Merc’s 5.5l V12 biturbo engine. With a new crankshaft adding cylinder depth and an increased bore, capacity is raised to 6.3l – ironically inline with AMG’s naturally aspirated V8 performance engines.

Upgraded turbos provide seamless boost, and with special camshafts and revised electronics feeding the engine’s fuelling requirements power is a ridiculous 515kW at only 5 100r/min.  

For those off-road biased Geländewagen owners, who remain cognisant of its three differential locks and admirable ability to engage low-range on the move, torque is electronically limited to 1 100Nm at 2 100r/min. With such a figure, an appropriate change of tyres should enable you to tow out a stranded tank if necessary.

A governed Brabus? Indeed

Away from the Geländewagen’s natural environment of military training grounds, it's capable of deeply unsettling on-road performance figures. Top-speed, considering the Geländewagen’s Cold War era aerodynamics, is mercifully limited to 240km/h – despite Brabus having a penchant for delivering unrestricted cars to its customers.

Opting for the more reliable five-speed automatic transmission – versus Merc’s 7G tronic box – traffic light embarrassment is not an issue with the G V12 S, considering it sprints from 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds.

Coy to release exact details Brabus says the G V12 S does feature an upgraded suspension system, euphemistically referred to as being more ‘comfortable’. We doubt the ageing Geländewagen design, rolling on huge wheels shod with low-profile tyres, could seriously blend ride comfort and handling dynamics in an contemporary manner though.

A curious offering - upsetting traditional Geländewagen owners no end - the G V12 S is just the thing to tool about in at home if you make your money in the high-end private security industry.

Originally designed to transport German Army staff officers to American and British army bases near the Rhine during the Cold War, the G-wagon has always been a Range Rover alternative for people who prefer to drive and not be towed. The Brabus version is more akin to low-level aviation.


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