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?
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 have another few rare sets of wheels to check out this week, starting with some polarizing but cool Brabus wheels. They’re pricey but quite a way to set your Mercedes-Benz apart. There’s also a set of BBS RX wheels which remind me of some of the great designs gone by since BBS switched hands. This week I found another set of Rial wheels, this time slightly different with a large offset. There’s also a rare set of Volkswagen Votex wheels. And if you’re feeling ridiculously rich and have an early 911 that you want to have a race look, there’s a set of ultra-rich magnesium Minilites that is priced around the cost of most cars I look at. Enjoy!