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.


Find Perfect Harmony Between Architecture and Nature at Amangiri Resort

This secluded desert getaway is helping to reshape the idea of what Southwestern style can be.

The Africa Twin Adventure Sports Motorcycle Will Redeem All Your Routine Weekends

Busting out like its Friday at 5 p.m., the Africa Twin surges through dirt and gravel, leaving the weekday woes in its wake.
Food & Drink

How to Deep Fry a Turkey Without Killing Yourself in the Process

If you've never deep fried a full-size bird before, please, please, please read this very thorough guide.

The Insane 575-foot Acionna Concept Is a Superyacht to Beat All Superyachts

Bikini models and Cristal not included.

5 Best Beginner Motorcycles for Aspiring Riders

Our top picks will have you grinning from ear to ear, seeing the sights, carving canyon corners, and doing so on a relatively respectable budget, but also keep you safe.

How to Clean Your House or Apartment in 30 Minutes or Less

This isn’t a deep clean. It’s an, “Oh shit, I really should have done something earlier and now it’s gonna take a miracle to do this” clean.

Baby on the Way? Here’s How to Support Your Pregnant Wife

Pregnancy requires you to get proactive, pal. She’s driving the car, but you are the entire pit crew.

Dive In (Literally) to This Minimalist Lakeside Retreat in the Netherlands

Once the walls open up, you can dive right into the water from the living room.

An Old Garage Is Transformed Into an Artist’s Home and Studio in San Francisco

Yes, that's a red Fiat hanging from the ceiling.

From Milan to Mars, Architect Stefano Boeri is Creating Vertical Forests

A combination of housing shortages and climate change led to the creation of Vertical Forests which blend housing and landscaping into one amazing building.

What’s a Salt Cave and Why Are They So Damned Relaxing?

Experiencing Halotherapy in a salt cave can be pure relaxation or relaxing purification depending on how you look at it.
Food & Drink

Say No to Disposables with All the Best Reusable Lunch Gear for Guys

From straws to cutlery to sandwich bags, there's a reusable option for everything that comes with a traditional takeout lunch.

Heat Up Your Digs with One of Our Picks for the Best Space Heaters

Admit it, you need a little extra warmth this winter.

5 Seriously Stylish Dog Houses to Pamper Your Puppers

There will be no question about who’s a good boy when you get Fido one of these amazing dog houses.