A few days ago we featured a W211 E63 AMG wagon that is one of the baddest long roofs you can buy. In the later half of the 2000’s, getting that kind of power from your wagon was easy. You could ride down to your local Mercedes-Benz dealer, write a large check, then ride off and answer the question that no one ever asked. Why does someone need a station wagon that damn fast? In 1996, it wasn’t that easy. In order to pin your groceries to the back window when you accelerate, you needed to do a little more leg work. Enter legendary Mercedes tuner Brabus. This 1996 E430 Brabus 6.0 Wagon located in Estonia was transformed from an adequately powered kombi to supercar with a hatch.
Is there such a thing as a “normal” Brabus? Perhaps not, but when Mercedes-Benz launched their Smart city car, I laughed out loud when I first saw the model with Brabus embossed wheels. The thing was, it was sort of cool, in that odd, semi-uncomfortable way. I was in Europe when these cars were first launched, and the site was stunning – a bit like rolling phone booths, they scampered about the streets of Stuttgart and seemed to genuinely be different than anything else available. But since the Brabus-kitted models launched, I’ve wanted to write one up as a bit of a joke, so when an extreme modified one popped up it seemed like the perfect opportunity. On the other end of the spectrum, the GL series is the largest Benz available, and of course in order to satisfy the Kardashians and other non-nonsensical families floating around imaginary-land they’ve made a Brabus edition. What better comparison than the smallest and largest Brabus you can buy?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 Smart ForTwo Brabus on eBay…
I don’t think many people would consider Brabus to be a particularly conservative tuner. However, something interesting has occurred since AMG was brought in-house by Mercedes-Benz; Brabus has rather turned into what AMG was in the 1980s. Just like AMG used to offer, Brabus turns up the Benz models to the next level with power increases, suspension and brake modifications and plenty of special details to help set their cars apart. And while at times they may have been garish compared to some of the more sedate AMG cars were, they’ve even become attractive – with just enough flare to make their modifications stand apart without being outrageous. Of course, there’s one major difference; AMG started with stock Mercedes-Benz models, while Brabus is standing on the shoulders of the already turned-up AMG models. The result is supercar performance from an unexpected package, such as this R230 SL55 K8:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG Brabus K8 on eBay…
Last week around this time, I wrote up a 850 horsepower Brabus-modified E63 Estate. In the realm of nutty cars, it would be certainly barred from coming near any schools for fear of anaphylaxis of the entire student body. It was also the best part of a third of a million dollars, more money than most of America will ever dream of having at one time and even in New England, an amount that would get you a nice home. But in that post, our reader Craig posted a link to a much more affordable option; a W124 300TE Estate modified by Brabus for sale in Germany. Does it scratch the itch or do you need an EpiPen?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300TE Brabus on eBay.de…
We’re pretty much all big fans of fast wagons at German Cars For Sale Blog, but over the past few years the number of offerings has steadily dried up. We’ve never received the hot versions of the M5 Touring or RS6 Avant, for example, and steadily even the quick versions of the Audi and Volkswagen wagons have left these shores too. That leaves fast wagon fans to look towards only two places in the last few years; Cadillac, oddly, with the CTS-V wagon and the last German holdout, Mercedes-Benz. It’s somewhat odd that Mercedes-Benz has upped the nuttiness in its large E-class wagon too, since it never really took part in the original Wagon Wars between its countrymen. True, there were some limited number AMG conversions done in the late 80s/early 90s, but for the most part Mercedes-Benz had stayed away until recently. Then, a few years ago, it started offering AMG-enhanced versions of the E-Class Estate; first in 55, then later 63 form. If you can get by the strange numbering system that doesn’t correspond to the actual engine under the hood, that leaves you with one of the fastest wagons made out of the box. Walk down to your local Mercedes-Benz dealer and you can order up one of these W212 Estates with a staggering 577 horsepower in “S” form. That was a true supercar number not very long ago, but it comes wrapped in the guise of a sensible wagon with all-wheel drive and a slick 7-speed automatic transmission. Of course, it’s heavy…so it only does 0-60 runs in 3.6 seconds. That means you won’t be able to keep up with your neighbor’s new BMW M6 Gran Coupe, which does the run in 3.1 seconds. Time to hit the Brabus gym, then…
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Brabus 850 on Brabus.com…
I know that we don’t spend much time on newer Mercedes-Benz products. Well, truth told we don’t spend much time on any newer cars. There are a few reasons; for one, they’re more readily available. I mean, pop on eBay right now and you can have your choice of color, transmission, year, wheel selection and packages of any newer Porsche, BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz. So it takes something special for them to stand out a bit for us to take notice. Unfortunately, in my mind most newer Mercedes-Benz models stick out for all of the wrong reasons. Have you ever seen one of those commercials for a local ‘Octoberfest’ celebration? Predictably, they have some poor interpretation of an Oom-pah band in traditional clothing playing a semi-Germanic tune. It always seems a bit forced, much like humor coming from a native German. To me, the newer Mercedes-Benz products are like those commercials. “Ja, of course vee are German!” they seem to shout – while to me, the still retain vestiges of the merger with Chrysler. They’re a bit ostentatious, and while I know they’re motivated by some serious Nimitz-class firepower it just doesn’t really make them appealing to me.
It wasn’t always this way. Go back a generation or two and the cars were still much more refined. I wouldn’t describe them all as the most attractive cars that were on the market, but they retained the understated approach that made Mercedes-Benz famous. In fact, you had to bring your Merc to a tuner to make it ostentatious back in the 1990s. One of the best at making over-the-top Mercedes back then was Brabus. So what do you get when you take an already over-the-top CLS63 AMG and let bonkers Brabus breath on it today?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Brabus B63 on eBay…
For today’s Wednesday Wheels I have some more affordable options and some of my favorite aftermarket wheels. I’ve been neglecting Brabus for Mercedes-Benz, but they make some great looking wheels that are just subtle enough to look slightly different than stock but more aggressive. It’s an understated look that can really dress the car up. I love the BBS Mahle wheels in the right offset on early BMWs, even if they are only 14″ wheels. Try getting good tires for those today! The Speedline MIM wheels are some of my favorites and rare to see, and I just love how those Empi wheels look on early VWs. Another rare set is the Fittipaldi/OZ 3-piece wheels, though they may be better suited to a track car. All of these are cool to see for one reason or another – what’s your favorite?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Speedline MIM 16×7.5,8.5 5×112 Wheels on eBay…
If last week’s brace of RennTechs left you feeling a little poor and lacking horsepower in your daily driver, today’s Tuner Tuesday hopes to offer you some more affordable – albeit not as powerful – options. So, if you don’t need a 700 horsepower daily driver, perhaps these great options from Alpina and Brabus are the perfect solution. Both are impeccably presented, not something you’d see every day, and will truly make you feel special no matter what your destination is. Let’s start with the newer Alpina B7 in signature Alpina Blue:
Model: B7 SWB
Engine: 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Mileage: 9,800 mi
Price: $87,800 Buy It Now
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Alpina B7 on Ebay
2012 BMW 7 Series ALPINA B7 SWB
Super Loaded 2012 BMW Alpina B7 RWD SWB with only 9k miles!!
Alpina Blue over Oyster/Black Nappa Leather!
* ALPINA Aerodynamic Body Kit!
* ALPINA Sport Suspension with Dynamic Damping Control!
* Head-Up Display!
* Rear-View Camera!
* Active Roll Stabilization!
* Power Tailgate!
* Comfort Access Keyless Entry!
* Soft Close Automatic Doors!
* Ceramic Controls!
* Power Rear & Side shades!
* Active Front Seats!
* BMW Apps!
* Alcantara Headliner!
* ALPINA Piano Black Trim!
* 21″ Alpina Classic Wheels!
* Premium Hi Fi System!
* Satellite Radio!
* iPOD & USB Adapter!
* Park Distance Control!
* Heated Rear Seats!
* Carfax Certified! Clean Carfax!
* In Business since 1994! Buy with Confidence!
* We welcome all trades!
12 GB hard drive w/USB port
Auxiliary input located inside center console
Entertainment server 12 GB hard drive w/USB port for media transfer
AM/FM stereo w/CD/MP3 player -inc: auto-store, FM diversity antenna
Illuminated exterior door handles & ground illumination
Xenon automatic adaptive headlights -inc: dynamic auto-leveling, cornering lights, corona rings
Pathway lighting feature, programmable via vehicle & key memory
Pwr 2-way tilt/slide glass moonroof w/key-off & “one-touch” operation, sunshade, wind deflector
Automatic trunk lid open/close
Pwr trunk lid w/push-button close
Body-color exterior door handles
Free-form halogen foglights
Power adjustable, power-folding, heated, auto-dimming, body-color side-view mirrors -inc: 2-position memory, RH automatic tilt-down in reverse
Pwr adjustable, pwr-folding, heated, auto-dimming, body-color side-view mirrors -inc: 2-position memory, RH automatic tilt-down in reverse
Automatic trunk lid opening & closing
Body-color pwr folding heated auto-dimming mirrors -inc: 2-position memory, RH automatic tilt-down in reverse
Pwr soft-close automatic doors
Body-color roof trim strips
Intermittent rain-sensing windshield wipers w/adjustable & vehicle-speed-sensitive wiping interval, single-wipe control, windshield-washer system w/heated washer jets
Fineline high-gloss wood trim (N/A w/ZI1 BMW Individual Composition)
Hard drive-based navigation system -inc: voice-command & Real Time Traffic Info
iDrive system -inc: on-board computer, controller, (8) programmable memory buttons
Rear center armrest w/storage compartment
Hard drive-based navigation system w/voice command & Real Time Traffic Information
Fully finished trunk
Electronic analog speedometer & tachometer
Multi-contour bucket seats -inc: driver & front passenger 20-way pwr adjustments w/4-way pwr lumbar support, articulated upper backrest, adjustable backrest width, adjustable thigh support, driver & front passenger 2-position seat memory, active head restraints w/adjustable side support
Pwr windows -inc: key-off operation, “one-touch” open/close, anti-trapping feature
Nappa leather upholstery
Remote keyless entry
Expanded check control vehicle monitor system
Black Panel display w/LCD main & trip odometer displays & warning indicators in dial faces
Pwr tilt/telescopic leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel -inc: audio & phone controls, 2-position memory
Ambiance lighting in front, rear & door panels
Power windows -inc: key-off operation, “one-touch” open/close, anti-trapping feature
Comfort Access keyless entry w/multi-function remote control
Vehicle & key memory
Multi-contour 20-way power front bucket seats -inc: 4-way pwr lumbar support, articulated upper backrest, adjustable backrest width, adjustable thigh support, driver & front passenger seat memory, active head restraints w/adjustable side support
Anti-theft alarm system -inc: interior motion detector
Central pwr locking system -inc: anti-theft feature, selective unlocking, programmable via vehicle & key memory
4-zone automatic climate control -inc: draft-free vents, solar sensor, automatic recirculation, heat-at-rest feature, automatic ventilation
4-zone automatic climate control -inc: solar sensor, automatic recirculation, heat-at-rest, automatic ventilation
Rear window defogger
Central power locking system -inc: anti-theft feature, selective unlocking, programmable via vehicle & key memory
Remote trunk release
Coded driveaway protection
Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Front console compartment -inc: coinholder, illumination
Front & rear floor mats
Heated front seats w/fast heating & balance control
Dual cupholders, front & rear
Auto-dimming rearview mirror
Comfort Access keyless entry w/multi-function remote control, keyless start/stop
Front visors w/illuminated vanity mirrors
Condition-based service display w/additional functions accessible through iDrive system
Twin-tube gas-pressure shock absorbers
Brake energy regeneration to convert kinetic energy into usable electrical pwr
Driving dynamics control
Rear wheel drive
Rear multi-link integral-V aluminum suspension
Dynamic damping control
Aluminum front & rear subframes
Vehicle-speed-sensitive variable-assist, variable-ratio rack-&-pinion pwr steering
Vehicle-speed-sensitive variable-assist, variable-ratio rack-&-pinion power steering
Electromechanical parking brake
4-wheel ventilated disc brakes w/electronic brake proportioning
Lower anchors & tethers for children (LATCH) on rear outboard seats
Dynamic stability control (DSC) -inc: brake fade compensation, start-off assistant, brake drying, brake stand-by, dynamic traction control (DTC), dynamic brake control
Front-seat side-impact airbags
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Active knee protection
BMW Assist w/Bluetooth -inc: (4) year Safety Plan subscription
Front & rear park distance control w/graphic display
3-point safety belt system -inc: ALR in all passenger positions
Emergency interior trunk release handle
Front safety belt automatic pretensioners, acoustic belt warning
Tire pressure monitor
Child safety rear door locks
Driver & front passenger dual-threshold dual-stage front airbags w/passenger occupant sensor
Front & rear head protection system (HPS)
This car is just massively impressive to me.…
Reader Nik spotted this one a little while back and I had been keeping an eye on it. It has been listed a couple times and not generated any serious buyer. The seller is claiming it of 1 of 2 Brabus SLS cars in the states.
We all know Brabus has a history of taking Benz models, everything from the really expensive top of line cars, down to the tiny compact models and even Benz vans, and making them loud, fast, and aggressive. This SLS is not an exception. The addition of exterior Brabus parts are a little more subdued on the SLS, mostly because one expects the SLS to look exotic. Those who are familiar note the Brabus wheels and carbon fiber accents and aero kit. The Brabus exhaust most certainly adds even more V8 growl. What is pretty slick is like the suspension, the exhaust can be set to a sport mode using the Brabus buttons in the center console. The sport button electronically activates valves in the exhaust to provide more noise. This is a really old trick, though typically I associate exhaust dumps that bypass mufflers on cars that are a little less sophisticated, not that this is a bad thing. It doesn’t look like there is any Brabus work under the hood, other than programming, as the typical red Brabus accents are not seen. The interior however comes in bright red to contrast the smoke exterior.
This car has covered a mere 3,300 miles. The ask price on this uber-exclusive beast is just under $350,000. This is twice the price you would pay if you were bargain hunting an SLS so there is a fairly big premium placed on the Brabus package. From a purely horsepower standpoint that 611 horespower, up from 563 stock makes for some awfully expensive individual ponies.…
John emailed me a few days ago to inform us that his wonderful and amazing Brabus E65 was on eBay. I fell sick on Wednesday and am just now catching up. But don’t let that delay you — as of right now, there is only 2 days left on his auction.
His ad tells the story well, so without further ado:
This is a full W210 Brabus car; one of one in USA. Built in 1997 from a brand new, zero-mile E420 purchased from Beverly Hills MB. Car was completely disassembled and shipped to Brabus Germany where the M119 motor was enlarged to 6.5 liters. It is a 450hp / 488 ft lb. torque motor (4 cam / 32 valve). This is the only official USA W210 6.5 in existence. Car was fully optioned when it was built. This includes full Brabus power-train, Brabus (Alcon) ft and rr brakes, Brabus full exhaust, Brabus full body kit, Brabus staggered modular wheels, Brabus Mastik leather interior, Brabus hood / trunk badging and trunk lettering, Brabus springs / shocks, Brabus door sills in stainless, Brabus steering wheel etc.
Car has roughly 40,900 original miles and is in excellent condition in all respects. Car is 040 black non-metallic with Black and contrasting Gray interior. There is a large integrated stereo that is aftermarket but period 1997-98. Car was featured in Motor Trend and an original copy of the magazine is included. This car was built at the time to be the fastest sedan in existence. It held this title in the USA as it is capable of 192mph. The only sedan to surpass this M119 6.5 is the Brabus W210 7.3 V-12 (206mph); none of which were imported to the States as they do not comply with USA crash and emissions standards.
The SUV theme week added a bit of interesting flavor to the blog. I think we’ll continue to keep an eye out for the occasional German born beast to compliment the svelte roadsters we post. As always if there is a theme you would like to see us try shoot us an e-mail, email@example.com.
While we didn’t find any of the following for sale, I thought we just couldn’t leave an ultimate German SUV discussion without posting these.
If you are a Benz fan and want the highest form of expression of the G55 you actually have a pair of options.
You could go with the killer 600 horsepower Hamann Typhoon with 6 sidepipe exhaust:
or the even more crazy 700 horsepower, 800+ lb ft torque Brabus G V12 S Biturbo. Can you imagine a heavy truck with shape and weight of a small house that can hit 60 MPH in 4.3 seconds? The price tag is near $400,000.
Not to leave you BMW folks out, here is one of my favorite clips of Hans Joachim Stuck motoring an X5 LeMans arround a track. The car features the same V12 engine from the BMW LMR racer. Just listen to the engine howl on that thing. 700+ horsepower and it was faster around Nurburgring, 7:49, then a Gallardo a Ferrari 360 and even the M3 CSL. Not exactly what the typical American SUV buyer has in mind.
After the introduction of the original Smart Car in 1998, Smart diversified their lineup by adding the Roadster and Roadster Coupe in 2003 and the Fourfour in 2004. The first generation Smart Car wasn’t officially imported to the US and neither was the Roadster or Forfour. Powered by a turbocharged, three cylinder engine mounted in the rear, this car was likened to a modern day incarnation of the cheap sports car popularized by UK marques such as MG and Triumph. With a low curb weight of just over 1,700 pounds, this car has a power to weight ratio normally found in many exotics. Sadly, due to warranty claims stemming mainly from leaky tops, the Smart Roadster was a failure for parent company Mercedes-Benz and production halted in 2006.
The seller states:
Here’s a rare one. A Smart Roadster with large Michalak wheels, low profile tires and a new tuned exhaust system. This sport roadster gets 50-60 mpg on the highway. Never imported into the U.S. and 1 of only 5,000 produced. Heres your chance to own a sports car that can actually save you money on gas!
This car presents an opportunity to be one of the very few in the US to own one of these. Even so, the $18,000 entry fee seems a bit steep. After sifting through eBay UK, the highest priced Smart Roadster I came across was a 2006 Brabus edition for just shy of £10,000 (about $15,000). Given there are probably zero others on the US market right now, the seller is obviously thinking he can name his price. The only lingering question I have regarding a car like this is how difficult it might be to register it in certain states.