Brabus G V12 900 puts the V12 back in the cube
Mercedes’s own V12 is on its way out, at least in the S-Class sedan. The days of being able to casually order a V12 engine in a Mercedes vehicle are quickly coming to an end with the last run of the Mercedes-AMG S65 Final Edition and with the introduction of the all-new G-Class for the 2019 model year that no longer offers 12 cylinders.
There were plenty of objective reasons to phase out the V12 models: The new twin-turbo V8s are lighter, less complex and just about as powerful, and they tend not to make the needle on the gas gauge move quicker than the hands on the gold watch of the driver (a watch that costs as much as an E-Class — a really well-optioned E-Class).
The V12 may be departing Mercedes-AMG vehicles, but a certain German tuner that’s always been fond of excessive displacement wants to keep it around a little while longer. That tuner is, of course, Brabus, and its clientele is on the same page when it comes to displacement: the more, the merrier.
Brabus’ answer for that subtle, understated clientele is the G V12 900. The engine itself comes from the current S600 — a 6.0-liter V12 that has been bored out to 6.3 liters — and has gained larger turbos, forged pistons, a new crankshaft and billet connecting rods. The result is an eye-watering 900 hp and 1,106 lb-ft of torque, making it closer on paper to a diesel bulldozer than anything suited for the autobahn.
Brabus has actually had to dial down the torque output to 885 lb-ft of torque to preserve the transmission and other expensive mechanical bits underhood, but even in this muzzled state, the G V12 900 can make sprints from 0-62 mph in just 3.8 seconds. And it will do that from every stop light in a posh part of Dubai, Moscow or Shanghai and the traffic cops won’t care because they’re already on a monthly retainer. They’ll even help clear the traffic for you as you return from the city to your gated, security-patrolled subdivision. But you probably won’t be able to hit the top speed of 174 mph every day just because there’s still too much traffic.
Out on the autobahn near Bottrop is where Brabus does its testing, so when the tuning house says 174 mph is a good, electronically limited top speed for something shaped like a Borg Cube on wheels, we won’t argue. Now that we think about it, the G V12 900 can probably go a little faster just given its output, perhaps to just shy of 200 mph, but the aerodynamic forces and side winds at that speed are probably too extreme for the casual Brabus owner.
Brabus will build just 10 of these to give the planet’s supplies of oil just a few extra years, but rest assured that it could probably sell a hundred to buyers in Moscow alone.
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