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Brabus 800 Widestar

Wed, 30 Jan 2013

The Brabus tuning company takes cars that are already stupid fast and makes them even faster. The German shop tends to focus on Mercedes cars, but its parts can also be found on hopped-up Teslas and the Benz-owned Smart Car.

The Brabus 800 Widestar kit for the Mercedes G65 AMG starts with the stock 6.0-liter V12 and massages it --with a sledgehammer -- to put 800 horses to the pavement through all four wheels. Peak torque grows to a whopping theoretical 1,047 lb-ft, though it’s limited electronically to 811 lb-ft -- still enough to pull a stump out.

Brabus squeezes out this power by reprogramming engine electronics with special algorithms for injection and ignition. Brabus engineers also design custom exhaust manifolds with integrated turbine housings and high-performance turbochargers. Four water-to-air intercoolers placed under the hood scoop make for lower intake temperatures.

All that German ingenuity is good for a 0-to-60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph.

Brabus also installs a stainless-steel, high-performance exhaust system with free-flowing catalytic converters and a butterfly valve to control sound. The valve is controlled by a button on the steering wheel. In normal mode, according to Brabus, the V12 purrs discretely. In sport, the full fury of the engine is unleashed. Custom piping routes exhaust to exit on the side in front of the rear wheels.

After the company has done its modifications to the engine, the Widestar wide-body kit can be installed. The kit adds fender flares, a front spoiler with daytime running LEDs and illuminated Brabus logos that light up when the car is unlocked. Buyers get a choice of three 23-inch wheels stets to stuff under those big fender flares with Continental, Pirelli or Yokohama tires. A redesigned rear fascia and backlit step bars are also offered.

Brabus partnered with ride-expert Bilstein on the suspension. The two-way electronically adjusted shocks can be adjusted via a button on the steering wheel or automatically when the car senses spirited driving. When the driver reverts to a more moderate style, the dampers switch back.

A full selection of interior upgrades can be specified through Brabus including Mastik leather, Alcantara, carbon fiber and wood.

The cost for exclusivity isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s jaw-hit-the-floor expensive. The engine upgrade alone is about $67,400 while the complete kit -- including a stock G-Wagen -- costs $467,000.

By Jake Lingeman