The latest E-Class's engine bay and new intercooler designs are key. This technology has effectively increased the E V12 engine's intercooling capacity by 100 percent and reduced backpressure by half. The taller bonnet allows the two very efficient air filters to be placed where they receive ram air via ducting from the radiator grille. This creates a sealed system with the hood shut and reduces the airflow path length compared to conventional tube ducting. The charge air temperature drop allowed the team to use a turbocharger with a larger housing, turbine and kompressor wheel. The exhaust manifold design was also revised with larger diameter pipes. The turbine housing is now directly connected to the manifold. The existing 200-cell metal catalytic converters are unchanged.
ECU remapping is ironically one of the most time consuming parts of the conversion as every minor ECU in the car has to be reprogrammed since it was originally designed to "handshake" with either a four, six or eight-cylinder engine.
Putting this kind of power to the tarmac through the rear wheels is a big challenge, even with the limited-slip differential providing 50 percent locking action under hard acceleration. ESP is recalibrated, but you don't want its traction control protocol coming in too early or it will simply cut power.
The Mercedes Airmatic suspension isn't up to the task-it can't react fast enough at these kinds of speeds-so Brabus replaced it with custom coilovers: progressive-rate springs and dampers with separate 10-way adjustable bounce and rebound. Handling is further improved by a 36mm increase in front and rear track, achieved through a combination of wheel offsets and spacers.
The E V12 seats four in comfort on ergonomically contoured sport seats. Quilted leather gives the floor and console their unique appearance while the dashboard, headliner and door armrests are finished in Alcantara.
The recalibrated speedometer reads out to 400km/h, with red numerals to highlight its very important function. The other instruments retain their white numbers, but now have red backlighting.
You would think that driving the E V12 would be like trying to tame a bucking bronco. Give it too much throttle and that would indeed be the case. But if you drive normally, it acts like it was born to V12 power.
Power in progressively and you surf forward on a wave of torque. Full travel of the right pedal is reserved for wide-open roads, because it can cause mayhem all around you when all 800 horses are unleashed. And it just keeps on going, pinning you back in your seat as the speed winds itself around the clock. If you have a Bugatti Veyron as your Sunday fun car, you really need a Brabus E V12 as your daily driver. Any other four-door feels ridiculously slow after this.
Only 10 will be built. To differentiate it from its predecessors, Brabus will number these cars from One to Ten to guarantee their classic status.
A break from its understated predecessors in more ways than one, the Brabus E V12 is a last hurrah to unrestricted autobahnen, and a glorious two-finger salute to the eco-freak movement. Opposing Mercedes' Blue Efficiency on the E-Class scale, this is old-fashioned Black Efficiency at its very best.
Brabus E V12
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
6.3-liter V12, sohc, 36-valve. Twin turbocharged, custom intake and intercooler ducting, ECU remap
Brabus coilovers with adjustable damping and rebound
Twelve-piston fixed calipers, 15-inch rotors (f), six-piston fixed calipers, 14.2-inch rotors
Wheels and Tires
Brabus Monoblock Q, 19-inch
Pirelli P Zero, 255/35 (f), 285/30 (r)
Fender flares, carbon front apron, rear wheel cowlings, spoiler lip, rear diffuser, hood with integrated ram-air induction
Sport seats front and rear, quilted leather and Alcantara.
Peak Power: 788 hp @ 5500 rpm
Peak Torque: 811 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm
0-62 mph: 3.7 sec.
Top Speed: 230 mph