Mercedes-Benz's 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 is a relative newcomer to the automaker's powertrain portfolio, but that isn't stopping noted tuner Brabus from having its way with the forced-induction eight-cylinder. Tick the right boxes, and you can watch power levels jump to a whopping 620 horsepower.
That's assuming, of course, you started with the AMG-tuned variant of that engine, which now appears in the 2011 S63 AMG and CL63 AMG, along with the 2012 E63 AMG and CLS 63. When equipped with the optional performance package, that engine cranks out 563 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Plug Brabus' PowerXtra CGI chip into the engine computer wiring, and you'll watch those figures jump to 620 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. Cars built without the package will see their output rise from 536 horsepower to 576.
The Brabus B63 – 620 PowerXtra CGI kit (for Performance Package models) and the Brabus B63 – 584 PowerXtra CGI kit (for non-Performance Package models) both include a water-to-air intercooler that is powered by an electric auxiliary pump that features an integrated auxiliary water pump. Both kits have an MSRP of 5900 euros, which is approximately $8600.
Also available for B63 models is a Brabus sport exhaust kit, which incorporates two different modes, thanks in part to an electrically-controlled butterfly valve. The ‘Sport’ mode ensures a throaty aural experience, while the ‘Coming Home’ mode is perfect for sneaking your sport machine back home without waking up the neighbors.
Don't own an AMG? No worries; Brabus is still happy to tune cars like the the S550, CL550, and CLS550, which use a similar but smaller (4.6-liters, not 5.5) form of that engine.
The Brabus B50 – 490 kit tunes the 4.6-liter biturbo V8 engine to produce 490 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, compared to 435 horsepower and 516 pound-feet for the stock car. Lastly, the B50 – 520 kit includes the chip and a supplementary intercooler for a gain of 85 horsepower and 88 pound-feet of torque (512 horsepower /604 pound-feet in total). Top speed for the B50 – 520 kit is 188 mph.
Buyers can deck out their Brabus-tuned ride with a number of visual accessories (i.e. monoblock wheels, body kits, and carbon fiber accents), but simply opting for the performance upgrades alone renders these Benz models veritable sleepers.