2008 Mercedes Brabus Bullit Black Arrow

Jurgen Skarwan

There's no doubt about it: this C-class should display a prominent skull-and-crossbones warning sticker instead of backlit Brabus doorsills. The 720-hp, V-12-powered hypersedan is definitely not a car from this planet. Fact is, it deserves a different planet, where it can waltz through an endless series of corners with rhythmically contracting and expanding radii, a talented solo dancer in search of a suitable stage.

Brabus wouldn't say where our test car will end up, but it definitely won't be in America, because no Bullits will be officially sold here. (Of the other three Bullits built so far, two went to the Middle East and one went to Russia.) Although the base version could never be described as a bargain, our matte-black specimen commanded an even more outrageous asking price of € 379,108 (about $587,000). Its factory options list included navigation, xenon lights, power-operated memory seats, keyless go, and the totally counterproductive sunroof; it also boasted classic Brabus add-ons such as full leather and Alcantara trim (€ 16,570 - or about $26,000 - including hide-covered footwells), as well as the carbon-fiber pack (as always, a matter of taste). The ballsiest C-class is very expensive compared with, say, the even faster Porsche 911 GT2, but it is still less expensive than a Bugatti Veyron or a private jet.

What you get with the Brabus Bullit isn't just the sum of its parts but a kind of ecstasy pill on wheels. The instruction leaflet is long and complex: side effects may include loss of license and momentary addiction, and the only known antidotes are quitting cold turkey or a blocked bank account.

No, the Bullit definitely does not make a perfect second or third car. But Mercedes-minded millionaires who already own their top fifty dream mobiles will be hard-pressed to find a more hilarious plaything.

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