The Mercedes-Benz E-class shuttles visitors from the Frankfurt airport just as capably as its Mercedes-AMG E63 S counterpart laps Virginia International Raceway at a buck-fifty. It also does a lot of other, more normal things, none of which come to mind when describing the Brabus 800.
It is normal, however, for a B-badged E-class to take the stage at the Geneva auto show. Unlike the W212-based 850 6.0, in which Brabus bored out the AMG’s twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 to 5.9 liters and 850 horsepower, this time Brabus fiddled with very little. Larger turbos with reinforced bearings squeeze 23.2 psi of maximum boost (1.4 psi more than stock) into AMG’s latest 4.0-liter V-8, and along with revised ignition and fuel-injection mapping, the Affalterbach terror is apparently quite comfortable belting out 186 more horsepower and an additional 110 lb-ft of torque without any major mods. A full 789 horses (800 in metric units) charge at 6700 rpm (200 rpm higher), and 737 lb-ft of torque is on hand at 3600 rpm (versus 627 lb-ft at 2500 rpm).
Brabus adds a custom exhaust with ceramic-coated tips, drops the air-spring suspension by 0.8 inch, slaps on 21-inch forged wheels, and fits a Formula 1–style rain light on the rear diffuser. Inside, the E63’s interior is redone with red-and-black quilted seats with silver seatbelts. Brabus can also leave the stock interior alone or just throw on rims and a body kit for those who feel their 603-hp sedans are fast enough.
For now, the 800 is like the V-12 AMG cars, in that giant-slaying power figures don’t translate to significant gains at the drag strip. Brabus estimates zero to 62 mph in 3.0 seconds (with the wagon needing 3.1) and a top speed limited to 186 mph. An unlimited version like the previous Brabus 850—which reached a claimed 217 mph—is still in the works. At the moment, these numbers don’t beat what we’ve recorded with the stock E63 S in both sedan and wagon form. But its acceleration from 100 to 150 mph—and past 200, as Brabus intends to demonstrate—may be where the Brabus 800 puts the most distance between itself and those humble beige E-class sedans idling outside Frankfurt airport.