• Nov 13th 2008 at 10:59AM
  • 25
Click above for high-res gallery of the BRABUS Tesla Roadster

As we move inexorably toward the electrification of cars, companies that have made a business out of tweaking engines for more power will have to make some significant changes to their business model. BRABUS is a company known as the primary third-party alternative to AMG when it comes to enhanced cars from the house of Daimler, and today has announced its first foray into electricity. The German tuner is now offering a package of changes for the very few people who have or will soon own a Tesla Roadster. For the moment at least, changes to the all-electric powertrain are verboten. That means BRABUS has focused on other things like stylistic "enhancements" and a supremely odd "space sound generator" that emits the roar of a V8, race car engine or two futuristic sounds called "Beam" and "Warp".

A set of LED running lamps mounted in the front air intake look kind of like they were ripped off an Audi. Perhaps BRABUS should have developed a new headlamp cluster that integrates the LEDs like real Audis do. Meanwhile, the underbody neon lighting looks like something from 1989 Miami and the rear wing is a questionable addition, as well. It's hard to judge the matte white paint finish in the available photos, so we'll set that aside for now. The only visual change that actually works is the new 18-inch front/ 19-inch rear wheel/tire package with Pirelli P Zero Nero tires. Given the number of Tesla Roadsters that actually exist at the moment, we probably won't see very many examples of this package on the road, which debuts later this month at the Essen Motor Show in Germany.

[Source: BRABUS]

World Debut at the Essen Motor Show 2008

The Very First Tuned Electric Car Comes From BRABUS:
BRABUS Customization Program for the Tesla Roadster

The first tuned electric car comes from BRABUS: The first project of the future cooperation between Tesla Motors, Inc. and the new BRABUS business division Zero Emission celebrates its world debut at the 2008 Essen Motor Show. BRABUS (Brabus-Allee, D-46240 Bottrop, phone + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777-0, fax + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777 111, Internet www.brabus.com) presents an exclusive customization program for the Tesla Roadster, the world's first electrically powered production sports car.

The new BRABUS logo with added lightning bolt is the trademark of BRABUS Zero Emission vehicles.

To give the sports car a more exciting sound the BRABUS electronics specialists have developed a 'space sound generator.' The occupants on-board the Tesla Roadsters can choose from several simulated engine sounds including that of a typical V8 combustion engine, a racecar engine and two futuristic soundscapes named 'Beam' and 'Warp.' The volume of the sound is dependent on the momentary power output of the electric motor.

A custom-tailored BRABUS tire/wheel combination further improves handling characteristics. The two-seater is refined with weight-optimized BRABUS Monoblock S light-alloy wheels in size 7Jx18 in front and in size 8.5Jx19 in back. BRABUS technology partner Pirelli provides the corresponding P Zero Nero high-performance tires in size 215/35 ZR 18 in front and in size 255/30 ZR 19 on the rear axle. These tires were developed to deliver minimum rolling resistance.

The two-seater also receives an even more striking exterior at BRABUS. The customization measures include a special high-quality 'matte white' paintjob. To give the mid-engine sports car an even more enticing face the BRABUS designers treat the front apron to a lightweight carbon-fiber front lip and daytime running lights integrated into the front grille. Matte-white surrounds for the headlamps add interesting detail to the overall effect.

The sides of the Tesla are upgraded with BRABUS entrance lights shaped like futuristic space lights. They are activated with the keyless fob or by pulling on a door handle. BRABUS carbon-fiber air inlets add even more sporty flair. Immediately apparent in the rear are the BRABUS rear wing and the BRABUS rear diffuser, both made from light yet extremely strong carbon fiber. The round taillights are accentuated further by matte-white applications.

The BRABUS customization program for the Tesla Roadster also includes exclusive interior options. The range of products starts with scuff plates with illuminated BRABUS logo. They are integrated into the top of the rocker panels.

The company-own BRABUS upholstery shop masterfully handcrafts exquisite custom interiors for the Tesla. The designers chose a combination of especially soft yet durable BRABUS perforated lightweight leather and Alcantara. The cockpit features white seams to reflect the exterior color. The vehicle floor is also upholstered with lightweight leather for added exclusivity.

The goal of the BRABUS customization concept for the Tesla Roadster is to define a potential limited edition as well as an individual tuning program for the Tesla driver.

BRABUS 2008. Copyright free. Please send us a copy of the published article.
Thank you.
For additional BRABUS information please visit our web site at www.brabus.com

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The electric car after market is going to be a lot different from that of gas. In the electric tuning area, gearhead companies can't simply add bigger pipes and a blower to make more power. Geeks will be the ones that dominate the electric car after market with custom software or hardware hacks.

      It irritates me that a company with a good reputation with combustion cars would do something as foolish as try to stake an early claim in the electric tuning world by doing something as minimal and boring as this.

      They would have been better off taking the time (as in a year or more) to research the Roadster and electric cars (or hire someone who already knew WTF they were doing) and actually do something provocative.

      This reminds me of when the RX-8 came out, and no one could get any real power gains out of it with traditional bolt ons. So, most started making stupid "eye lids" for the headlights, body kits, and the like instead of researching the engine, ECU, etc, to do something worth a crap (Racing Beat excluded, of course).

      I just lost any respect for BARABUS that I had. What a farce.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Robert,

        To be fair, Brabus, if I recall correctly, Brabus DID in fact tune the electric motor of the Pike's Peak GLK they just recently presented at SEMA. I think they boosted the overall system slightly as a starting point (it was the first hybrid electric drivetrain publically shown for the GLK).

        I agree they should've taken their time with the Roadster, but I disagree that there's nothing more to come.
        • 6 Years Ago

        What I don't understand is why they didnt enhance the suspension/handling at least. I mean that should change much if at all. And if you are a "tuning" company, you should just do some research before throwing a caar out there as modified. Other wise you are just another APC.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Also worth mentioning is their "performance" line for the smart cars. All that is just cosmetics as well, at least it is on the American version. Yeah, BRABUS is kinda losing it these days.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The worst $hit BRABUS ever came up with!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, LEDs everywhere, noisemakers, and no performance enhancements. Just like a 16 year old's Civic!

      • 6 Years Ago
      Not being super knowledgeable about electric cars so I wonder aloud... Why would you add anything that sucks down electricity to the car, especially wasted areas like lights for show. It seems lightweight body parts, wheels and perhaps some handling items would be more appropriate. It just seems that wasting electricity cuts into your ride time and defeats the purpose of owning the car. It just seems out of place to me?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The space sound generator is almost too funny/ridiculous to be believable. Are they tuning the car for 8 year olds?

        It does seem more than weird that these "mods" will actually decrease the performance of the car...wtf?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Quite frankly all I've learned from this is that BRABUS has gotten into the business of faux-tuning, or "ricing" cars up (personally I think it's lame that people call it ricing when I see idiots of all ethnicities do this to everything from VWs to Chevy's...to I guess Tesla's now).

        Seriously I could probably have overlooked the bodykit since it's fairly tasteful, but the sound generator pushed it very much into the realm of windshield wiper LEDs and giant wings. *sigh*
        • 6 Years Ago
        Regarding the Civic, why not just add a large exhaust pipe like the ricers?
        Or, for REAL "tuning", why not add a more powerful electric motor? That would be better than the power-sucking artificial sound system.
        On a related note, some people are concerned that the Prius is too quiet for blind pedestrians, so they are installing similar V8-esque sound generators.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ MajorGeek,

        The body is carbon fiber and the wheels are about as small as they can get, so I'm not sure how much of a difference forged wheels would make. About the only thing you could really do would be to install a new suspension, but I'm not particularly sure you could go much stiffer without making ride pretty harsh. Brabus doesn't really tune for all out handling (the engine is a difference story), and the springs and dampers have to be tuned not just for road carving but holding all of that extra weight. It's a bit of a conundrum. I probably would've just skipped modding altogether until I could figure out how to boost the electric motor, but I think the electric motor is sealed. Not saying you couldn't unseal it though...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well these luxury cars aren't meant to be driven far, so the drain on batteries is acceptable.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So do the indicators go "pew pew"?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm particularly worried about the "space sound generator". I think if people want to hear the roar of a V8, then they buy one. "Beam" & "Warp"? What is this, an episode of Star Trek? This is just as bad as fake BOV noises on Civics.
      • 6 Years Ago
      yeh, until they can start modding the batt output and the electric motor accordingly to increase the power output and/or suspension mods to handle better, all this fluff mods are pretty worthless... and honestly, isnt silence one of the attractions/defining characteristics of an electric car? this is no different from poser mobiles of fast and the furious with the neons and bunch of crap parts that really doesnt add to the performance.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow so that battery pack went up or were the initial numbers wrong? I heard rumors it was $20K, but $35K is crazy
        • 6 Years Ago
        I guess you heard wrong. The battery pack in the Volt is over $10K and it's only 40% the capacity of the Tesla pack. The Volt pack is also made a lot more cost-effectively.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You can replace the engine in a gas car for perhaps $5K. A Tesla battery pack is $35K+. And that doesn't even count the price of the power controller or the motor itself.

        It's a whole different league.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ::uncontrollable fits of laughter::
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm so tired of the people complaining that these cosmetic changes are useless. You have to remember that this car is aimed at costumers who will not be using this car to drive to work, but joy ride around town.

      And I've been following the tesla from the beginning, the technology is solid, and the potential is there. If only they had the capital to start mass production.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Pretty lame, Milhouse."
      • 6 Years Ago
      Holy electric rice batman!
        • 6 Years Ago
        fried rice? hehe
      • 6 Years Ago
      So basically they added a bunch of stuff that will drain the battery faster?
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X