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Brabus at 2009 Frankfurt motor show

Fri, 18 Sep 2009

By Tom Sharpe

First Official Pictures

18 September 2009 13:12

Mercedes tuning supremo Brabus unveiled its new 788bhp EV12 at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show – a car so powerful there’s only room for ten on the open road.

Number one of ten limited-edition Brabus EV12s struck a brooding figure at the tuner’s stand – hardly surprising with a 6.3-litre bi-turbo V12 under the bonnet and a £440,000 price tag.

The E-class has been transformed into a tarmac-shredding supercar-chaser thanks to the introduction of a newly developed SV12 R bi-turbo engine which, Brabus claims, was implanted under the bonnet with 'almost surgical precision'.

After increasing the 5.5-litre engine from the latest Mercedes 600 models to 6.3-litres and adding a specially developed twin-turbo system – which is force fed air through a bonnet-mounted intake – Brabus watched its bhp count soar.

Brabus’s creation produces 788bhp (at 5000rpm) and a thumping 1047lb ft at 2100rpm. That's so much torque, in fact, that Brabus has electronically pegged the EV12 back to 811lb ft to preserve the five-speed automatic transmission. Still, there’s enough on tap to propel the EV12 rocket ship to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, 124mph in 9.9sec, and a 230mph top speed.

Or it would be if Brabus hadn't again reigned the EV12 back in, electronically limiting it to 217mph to preserve the tyres.

Alongside a blistered bodykit Brabus has taken the unusual step of adding a set of carbonfibre 'Speed Spads' to aid the EV12’s aerodynamic efficiency. 

Thankfully Brabus will also offer the EV12 without them, so you won't have to break out the Black and Decker. However, if you don't want to look like a 1930s New York gangster then your EV12 will also come with an engine detuned to 'just' 740bhp…

It's the Brabus Ultimate High Voltage, and it uses the electric motor from a Tesla. That means 82bhp and 206lb ft, and while the top speed is limited to 81mph, the 0-62mph sprint is despatched in just 3.7 seconds - a match for the 788bhp EV12...

By Tom Sharpe