The Brabus Rocket 900 sedan is basically a rocket for the road.
Every year the Geneva motor show features a large number of tuning companies bringing cars ranging from the visually reserved to those that cannot be unseen. German Mercedes-Benz tuner Brabus’ offerings fall into the former category — and this year some of their cars were even presented in colors other than black.
Brabus has traditionally eschewed visual flair in favor of brute force underhood, and one of their show cars this year featured plenty of force, enough to make the generally uptight company reach for aerospace-themed names. The centerpiece of the company’s display was a tuned 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-class dubbed the Brabus Rocket 900.
Brabus used an S65 AMG as the basis for this land rocket, and as you’ve probably guessed by now, 900 stands for its horsepower output.
The Bottrop-based tuner bored out the V12 engine from the S65, increasing displacement from 6.0 liters to 6.3 liters. It also added a billet crankshaft, a new intake module and precision-balanced custom billet connecting rods to the base powerplant. Further, Brabus ditched the stock twin turbochargers, replacing them with larger units, and also replaced the exhaust manifold with a stainless steel system of their own design.
The tuning house fitted the Rocket 900 with its own ECU, though it’s safe to say that it is mostly the engine modifications that are responsible for the extra output, not the uncorking of the engine software.
The resulting modifications push the output from 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque all the way up to 900 hp and 884 lb-ft of torque. The engine is actually capable of producing 1,106 lb-ft of torque, but Brabus has been forced to dial it down a little bit to allow the modified seven-speed automatic gearbox — about the only major carryover from the AMG version — to survive for more than just a few days. The result is a 3.7-second sprint from 0 to 62 mph, though the sprint time from 0 to 124 mph is even more impressive: just 9.1 seconds. Brabus has kept the top speed at 217 mph, once again to preserve the tires. And the car. And the driver.
The aerodynamic modifications are a little on the heavy side, which is understandable. The Rocket 900 features a new front fascia with redesigned air intake surrounds, with large air extractors located behind the front wheels. The ride has been dropped by just half an inch via the Brabus Airmatic Sport air suspension module. Out back, there’s a very discreet spoiler lip on the trunk lid, along with a redesigned rear fascia with an integrated diffuser and an F1-style brake light. The sedan receives the option of 21-inch and 22-inch wheels.
Brabus is planning to offer the Rocket 900 to businessmen and businesswomen who are in a serious hurry: the iBusiness multimedia package, previously seen on the latest iteration of the Brabus Business Sedan, includes folding tables that extend out from the center console in the rear, a 15-6 inch TFT screen and an iPad Mini that comes with a built-in docking station.
The Rocket 900 starts at around $376,000, which may viewed as a bargain when it comes to the performance and top speed offered, but perhaps less of a bargain considering the toys and power already offered in the S65 AMG sedan.
About the Geneva motor show
The 2014 Geneva motor show runs March 6-16 and is expected to attract a range of production and concept cars as diverse as the Jeep Renegade and the new Koenigsegg One:1. Check out Autoweek’s complete coverage at autoweek.com/geneva-auto-show.