Because the G55 AMG is simply quick; the G-Couture is window-licking crazy. As I spark the 5.5-liter supercharged powerplant to life the glass in the vast hall quivers. Blipping the throttle might literally bring the house down-it's that loud.
How Mansory gets the parts to build the engine up to SLR spec remains a mystery, but rest assured Mansory has the contacts to get such things done. A modified block, SLR compressor, new pistons, rods, a camshaft, the original cylinder head with serious work, an SLR crankshaft, new throttle valves, watercooled SLR intercoolers, a separate circulation system for each intercooler, a new air intake, a beefed up clutch to cope with the power, and more go under the hood. And just check out the pipe to deal with the airflow under the hood. The exhaust doesn't just come with a 100 cell-catalytic converter, either. It comes with a remote control to turn down the noise to save jail time in sensitive places. It's an awful lot of work and the original engine is basically a waste product.
The result of all this is a 700-hp engine with 650 lb-ft of torque, which is insane in a vehicle this size. There's no time to drink it in, though. We're headed for the open road and the storm that has enveloped this small corner of East Germany. It's hardly the ideal day to test a supertruck in a carbon business suit, but it's our only chance and Mansory's marketing boss Michael Stein insists we get out there and plant the throttle to feel it.
With the car in Drive I stamp on it, feel the 'box skip several gears and drop the engine right into the sweet spot. There's a violent shunt underfoot, that's the microsecond of warning I get before the engine simply kicks the car up the road like a football. Broken down into slow motion it's a rocking motion as the engine tries to yank the front end off and then the monstrous G-Wagen catches its own weight and catapults forward on the lowered air suspension. But we don't live in slow motion.
The raw figures say it does 62 mph in 4.3 seconds and will go all the way to 157 mph, which may not sound like much, but you have to remember the 2.5 tons it is pulling and that your house has smoother aerodynamics. Sitting so high up and looking down on the world is a surreal feeling. It's like driving a rocket-powered bus and it's more than fast enough.
In the wet, the top end of the high-speed envelope is totally out of reach, as even a brief run up to 80 mph breaks me into a cold sweat as the car starts to slide wide on a sweeping bend and the wheel in my hands seems to uncouple from the wheels on the road.
It would take weeks to find the true limits of this machine as the goal was to create an overpowered monster bus. And such cars are an anomaly, so there's no frame of reference. The Mansory G-Couture is truly unique, a motoring oddity, a weapon of mass destruction in a straight line that almost always arrives at a corner too fast for its own good.
But the technicalities simply won't matter to the kind of man that can afford one. This is a car for the man who has the best of everything. He will likely have a Ferrari, an SLR, a whole fleet of supercars in the climate-controlled garage already.
This is a different vibe, a statement car. When even your SUV comes with a supercar engine you have truly arrived in the world, and with all the badge-hungry, ostentatious rappers, oil barons, and entrepreneurs in this world, I suspect that seven of these won't nearly be enough.
Longitudinal front engine, all-wheel-drive
5.5-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve. SLR compressor, pistons, roads, camshaft, modified cylinder head, crankshaft, throttle valves, water-cooled intercooler, air intake, clutch
30mm lowered air suspension
Wheels and Tires
Mansory alloy, 23-inch
Pirelli Scorpion Zeros, 305/35
Carbon body panels, front bumper assembly, hood, rear valance, rear diffuser
Carbon seats and accents, full leather re-trim, snakeskin detailing
Peak Power: 700 hp @ 6700 rpm
Peak Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
0-62 mph: 4.3 sec
Top Speed: 157 mph