The 6,233cc bi-turbo V12 is built to the latest 750-hp V12 S specification now offered for all Mercedes V12 and Maybach models. The extra 20 hp comes from larger turbochargers, redesigned manifolds and revised ECU mapping. As before, peak torque is held down to 1,100Nm (811 lb-ft) to avoid transmission and axle meltdown.
The Brabus Widestar body styling kit for the GLK normally accommodates 9.0 and 10.5x21-inch alloys with 255/35 and 295/30 rubber. To fill out the big arches convincingly, the track is further widened using 20mm and 35mm spacers.
However, as reducing drag for the Nardo top-speed event was a priority, Brabus used 9.0x 21-inch wheels and 255/35 tires with 16mm spacers on each corner. Carbon-fiber wheel covers with a painted-on Brabus alloy wheel design help the barn-door aerodynamics of this chunky SUV.
The GLK V8 I drove recently had non-adjustable sport suspension, but the 4,365-pound GLK V12 uses a re-rated version of the fully adjustable coilover suspension from the Bullit.
The springs are linear in front and progressive at the rear, while the dampers have independent adjustment for bounce and rebound control. The brakes use 380mm vented discs in front with 12-pot callipers, and 360mm discs with six-pot callipers at the rear.
While the Brabus GLK V8 feels like a factory car that Mercedes should add to the standard model line-up, the GLK V12 is a brutal device that can shred the egos of unsuspecting supercar drivers with a twitch of your right foot-the ultimate Q-car.
TH2 RS-Berlin Airlift
Most of the German tuner cars that turned up at this year's Nardo event would give any enthusiast wet dreams, but the contender that raised my eyebrows the highest for its sheer ingenuity was a van.
I noticed the TH Automobile TH2 RS on the afternoon I arrived, when we assembled in one of the garages for a sandwich. Cars taking part in the event are kept undercover in two adjoining garages overnight, and as I was standing around in one of them chatting with the tuners, I heard the familiar deep growl of a tuned Porsche Turbo exhaust.
I turned around expecting to see a sleek be-spoilered 911, but instead got an eyeful of Kermit green VW T5 bus backing into the garage. It was one of those situations where the brain either goes into overdrive or shuts down completely.
Mouths hung open as the green bus came to a halt. The driver moved over from the centrally positioned driver seat, opened the door and smiled as he got out.
Then he casually walked around to the other side and opened the side door to give us a better view of the interior. What followed was like the mountain scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind as everyone peered inside. At that point, he could have walked straight past us waving gold ingots and nobody would have noticed.
Stripped out and clad in lightweight side panels, with five lightweight carbon race seats, the interior was otherwise as bare as Mother Hubbard's proverbial cupboard.
The central driving position takes its cues from the McLaren F1, the instrument pack is Porsche GT3, and the dashboard is a bespoke molding, created at great expense to match the high quality of the rest of the van, whose new front end even has bi-xenon lights.
I collared Sven Thomsen, owner of Berlin-based TH Automobile, whose company specializes in the installation of Porsche 996 and 997 mechanicals in VW T4 and T5 vehicles.
Thomsen explained that because the boxy VW T5 bus has nearly twice as much body area as a 911, it is not immediately obvious that the green paintwork is the hue applied to the current Porsche GT3 RS. Its black-painted 20-inch alloys mimic the GT3 RS look too, as do the twin centrally positioned exhaust outlets.