Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Well, given Brabus’ history with the sedan and coupe variants of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, it was only a matter of time before the German tuner would give the Convertible model its acclaimed “800” treatment.
And what a treatment it is: a 6.3-liter V12 biturbo with 800 hp (hence the name) that makes this car not only the most powerful, but, with a top speed of 370 km/h (231 mph), also the fastest four-seater cabriolet in the world.
The Brabus engineers drew upon their experience gained on the development of the E V12 sedan and coupe. The most powerful engine that Brabus makes is based on the 3-valve V12 of the Mercedes S 600, but with many modifications.
These include optimized cylinder heads, sports camshafts and a special crankshaft with longer stroke and larger pistons which along with the cylinders’ larger bore, increase the V12’s capacity from 5.5 to 6.3 liters.
The modifications don’t stop there. The E V12 has a new intake manifold, two exhaust manifolds with integrated turbochargers for better efficiency and no less than four water-to-air intercoolers.
The ECU is reprogrammed and the 5-speed auto gearbox had to be reinforced in order to withstand not just the power, but also the colossal torque of the V12 which can reach 1,420Nm (1,047 lb-ft) but is electronically limited to “just” 1,100 Nm (811 lb-ft).
All this power is directed to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40%. Performance is, naturally, exceptional: apart from the 370 km/h top speed, the E V12 accelerates from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 3.7 seconds and reaches 200 km/h (124 mph) in just 9.9 seconds and 300 km/h (186 mph) in 23.9 seconds.
The suspension is recalibrated, with adjustable dampers, and the aerodynamic modifications to the widened E-Class Cabrio bodywork are not just made of carbon fiber, but they have been tested in a wind tunnel in order to reduce lift and provide the stability that is essential for a car with such performance.
The Brabus 800 E V12 is built to order, with its price starting from €478,000 or about US$680,000.


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