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?