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Car and Driver: C Insanity: Brabus Tunes Mercedes-AMG C63 S to 650 Horsepower


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The Teutonic technicians at Brabus have put their hands on the latest Mercedes-AMG C63 S, and the results are just as you would expect: More power, more carbon-fiber, and, well, more of the fanatical attention to detail that the brand built is reputation on.


Brabus didn’t stray far from its proven methods with this project, which it calls the Brabus 650, cranking up the boost to milk an additional 134 horsepower from the C63 S’s factory-issue twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. (Brabus made similar strides last year when previously it sunk its teeth into the C63) More than just a simple ECU tweak, Brabus developed a pair of turbos with larger compressor units, unique core assemblies, and reinforced axial bearings. To ensure the increased boost plays nicely with the fuel and spark, Brabus also cooked up some fresh datasets for the ECU, with specific mapping for the fuel-injection and ignition systems. Known collectively as the “PowerXtra B40S – 650 tuning,” the Brabus car makes a total of 650 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque, increases of 134 and 80. Shifting duties are carried out by the standard seven-speed automatic transmission, which can be controlled via a set of bespoke Brabus Race aluminum paddles. Brabus is quoting a 0-to-62-mph time of 3.7 seconds, which is two-tenths off the 3.9-second 0-to-60-mph time we recorded in a recent test of the 2015 C63 S. Top speed is electronically limited to 186—or, optionally, 200 mph, depending on how immortal you’re feeling.




Exterior tweaks include the usual compliment of carbon-fiber bodywork components in a choice of matte or polished finishes. There are carbon-fiber surrounds on the air intakes, front fender vents, and side mirrors. The front spoiler is designed to minimize lift, and teams with the rear carbon-fiber spoiler and diffuser, the latter of which frames the finishers of the optional stainless-steel exhaust system. Brabus aficionados likely will remember that its custom exhaust systems feature driver-operated butterfly valves that alter the sound from mild to wild. Of special note is the “coming home” mode, which in addition to mellowing the exhaust note always makes us think of that crappy ’80s Ozzy pseudo-ballad.


When Brabus C63 S 650 models hit the show stand in Geneva next month, they will be wearing a pair of new 20-inch Brabus wheel designs. The Monoblock T wheels features five spokes with carbon inlays, while the Monoblock F represents an evolution of the cross-spoke design. Mounted in staggered pattern, 9.5-inch wide rear wheels wear 275/30 ZR-rated rubber, and the 8.5-inch wide front wheels wear 255/30 ZR-rated tires. Suspension mods were undertaken with Bilstein, who helped Brabus come up with a set of height-adjustable coilovers with ten rebound and compression-rate settings.




Occupants will be held in place by special anti-slip synthetic leather that has been applied to the contact surfaces of the sport seats, parts of the steering-wheel rim, the dashboard, and the door panels. Decorative bright yellow leather elements add some highlights to the cabin’s black-leather theme, and high-gloss carbon bits adorn the instrument panel, center console, and door panels, while aluminum pedals and door-lock pins add a touch of a hardcore-industrial vibe.


Finally, and we saved this for last lest the resentment grow too quickly, the Brabus 650 edition treatment will also be applied to the C 63 wagon body style, which is not currently available in the U.S.




2016 Geneva Auto Show Full Coverage


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