The Brabus 800 Roadster: born from weather machines

When it comes to Mercedes-Benz performance, there’s a definitive power ladder. At the base, we have the standard run of the mill models with enough power to give most anyone a giggle. Then we step up to AMG, which are built for playboys and investment bankers. Above that, we find the AMG Black series, which have essentially built to hurt rich old men. Then somewhere on another planet – Mars, let’s say – is Brabus.

For the uninitiated, Brabus is an aftermarket Mercedes-Benz tuner deeply in love with V12s and twin-turbochargers. Can you really blame them? Fun fact: Brabus was originally founded in 1928 as a manufacturer of weather modification machines. But after the great depression, it switched over to cars as the number of maniacal millionaires dropped off dramatically. Or at least, that’s what I’ve heard.

Presently, Brabus has a large stable of performance machines. In fact, it has upgraded virtually every Mercedes offering, including the E-Class, the Smart ForTwo, and the Sprinter van. Now, however, Brabus has taken one of my favorite cars, the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, and made it all silly with power.

The standard SL65 AMG is powered by an anemic V12 that only produces 621 horsepower – I mean, why bother? Thankfully, Brabus has upped the ante and now the Frankensteined hardtop convertible – thanks to twin turbochargers – makes 800 horsepower and 1,047 pound-feet of torque.

Engineers had to electronically limit the torque, though, to 811 pound-feet as to keep the engine from tearing the transmission limb from limb, which is silly. That’s like buying a tiger as a pet but keeping it on Quaaludes so that it doesn’t eat your children.

What does Brabus call this convertible torque monster? The Brabus 800 Roadster, of course, and it’s good for a 0-60 run in 3.7 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 217. This, you might be surprised to learn, makes it the most powerful roadster on the planet.

Designers didn’t just add some turbos and call it a day, no. They also added a front spoiler and rear diffuser as well as a hood scoop that wafts air over the air-to-water intercoolers that keep the turbos from popping. As for aesthetics, Brabus bolted on some 20-inch Brabus Monoblock R forged wheels and lowered the suspension by an inch.

On the interior, Brabus offers a slew of options, including, Mastik leather, Alcantara, wood, and carbon fiber, as if the stock SL AMG weren’t a nice enough place to be already.

What will the 800 Roadster run you? Brabus won’t say. The stock SL AMG, though, clocks in at a cool $212,240. So you can bet your bottom dollar that the 800 Roadster will push above the $250,000 mark. If you ask me, though, it’s a virtual steal at that price and a far cry cheaper than the aforementioned Brabus weather machines.

Living

‘A House to Die in’ Is an Unbuilt, ExtraTerrestrial-Esque Residence in Norway

The workspace would double as a spa and we are jealous AF.
Auto

Audi’s Subscription Service Lets You Roll in Style Without Commitment — But There’s a Catch

Audi Select is different from similar services because it gives you access to a pool of vehicles rather than locking you into one ride.
Auto

Aston Martin Confirms Third Hypercar Code-Named the 003

Here's everything we know about the mysterious new project from Aston Martin.
Auto

Thrill Your 3 Favorite Friends in Polaris’ New 4-Seat RZR XP 4 Turbo S

This all-new four-seater is badass, baby trophy truck ready to scramble your co-pilots' brains.
Auto

Ferrari Is Seriously Going to Build 2 Windshield-Less V12 Supercars

The Monza SP1 and SP2 are modern supercars with classic 750 and 860 Monza design themes.
Living

Wayfair Discounts Bedding and Rugs From Its New Eider and Ivory Line

Wayfair, one of the biggest furniture and home decor retailers, is now offering steep discounts on its own newest Eider & Ivory line.
Living

Part Bunker, Part Art Gallery, This Home Is Unlike Any We’ve Ever Seen

We’ve seen homes built into the sides of cliffs, but this one goes a step further, letting the natural rock become a part of the interior.
Living

No Pool, No Problem: Book Your Own Private Pool by the Hour with Swimply

Who says you have to own a pool to throw a pool party?
Living

Ikea is Revisiting Its Biggest Hits in Honor of Its 75th Anniversary

The company is celebrating a milestone birthday but we are the ones getting the gifts.
Living

Would You Light a Candle That Smells Like Chinese Takeout?

Who doesn't love the smell of lo-mein in the morning?
Living

Milk Barn is the Perfect Catskills Getaway and It Could Be Yours

Built in 1873, Milk Barn sits on 15 private acres and includes two guest houses, three glamping cabanas, a treehouse, and a spring-fed swimming pond.
Living

P. Tendercool Furniture is Made of Wood Sourced from Traditional Southeast Asian Homes

On a recent trip to the steamy city of Bangkok, we were fortunate enough to be able to stop by the P. Tendercool furniture gallery.
Living

Own Your Own Minimalist Swedish Retreat with Villa Akerman

This waterside home is peak Scandinavian design an hour south of Stockholm.
Living

Traditional Meets Contemporary Style at Casa Jardín 58, a Sleek Mexican Retreat

Sliding glass walls open up to perfectly manicured green spaces, blurring the line between inside and out.