It ain't pretty, but it's fast. Actually, with a claimed 211 mph top speed, the Brabus Bi-Turbo V12 GLK is the fastest SUV in the world. Which is kinda like being the winner in a Twinkie-eating competition: It's an epic feat of embarrassing proportions.
To pull it off, the Brabus crew stuck with its tried and true formula of shoving entirely too much engine into a small package. Underneath the vented hood lies a Mercedes-sourced V12 that's been stroked from 5.5- to 6.3-liters. From there, the Bottrop boys fit a duo of turbos, two intercoolers, a couple high-flow cats and a stainless steel exhaust. The effect is typical Brabus: A staggering 740 horsepower and 995 pound-feet of torque, which is actually limited to 811 lb-ft (at 2,100 rpm) to avoid the gearbox, diff and rear tires from vaporizing in an oily, metallic haze. And naturally, the absurdity doesn't stop with the engine.
Twelve-piston front calipers clamp onto 15-inch discs, with six-piston calipers and 14.2-inch rotors in the rear, while a height adjustable coilover suspension with ten settings for bound and rebound join 22-inch wheels wrapped in a choice of Pirelli or Yokohama rubber. The exterior and interior have been restyled to match, and while Merc's diminutive 'ute isn't exactly a beauty queen to begin with, Brabus' blocky aftermarket brutalization lends itself well to the GLK's squat proportions.
But aesthetics aside, there's a bigger problem. Actually, there are 397,000 of 'em. That's how many euros you'll need for the GLK V12. For that kind of scratch ($580,000 using a straight conversion), there's a host of high-power exotica available. And when you consider the GLK's sprinting stats -- 0-60 in 4.2 seconds and 124 mph in 12.8 ticks -- the far less expensive BMW X5 M is easily on par and was actually designed from the onset to be an offensively quick grocery-getter. Then again, the M can't break the double-century mark at Nardo... something to consider during your trip to Costco. Press release below the fold.
BRABUS GLK V12 = 322.3 km/h from 750 hp / 552 kW
The World's Fastest Street-Legal SUV
With a top speed of 322.3 km/h (200.3 mph) the BRABUS GLK V12 has set a new speed record for street-legal SUVs on the Italian high-speed test track on October 19th, 2009. The exclusive special model, powered by a twelve-cylinder twin turbo engine with 750 hp (740 bhp) / 552 kW, celebrates its world debut at the DUBAI INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW. BRABUS (Brabus-Allee, D-46240 Bottrop, phone + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777-0, fax + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777 111, Internet www.brabus.com) builds this high-performance automobile based on the Mercedes GLK-Class. The BRABUS GLK V12 starts at 397,000 Euros MSRP.
The new BRABUS SV12 R Biturbo 750 engine was implanted in the small engine bay of the GLK with meticulous precision. The engineers and technicians drew upon their experience and know-how gathered from the development and production of the special model BRABUS BULLIT, based on the latest Mercedes C-Class.
The displacement engine, lubricated exclusively with ARAL Synthetic motor oil, delivers 750 hp (740 bhp) / 552 kW at 5,500 rpm and produces a peak torque of 1,350 Nm (995 lb-ft) at 2,100 rpm, limited in the car electronically to 1,100 Nm (811 lb-ft).
To achieve this kind of performance, the engine - based on the latest Mercedes 600 twelve-cylinder engine - was completely re-engineered in the BRABUS engine department. Displacement is increased from 5.5 to 6.3 liters with the help of a special crankshaft, larger cylinder bore, special pistons and piston rods. In addition the three-valve heads are precision-machined and fitted with special camshafts.
For maximum power yield the BRABUS engineers have developed a special twin turbo system with two larger turbochargers and more efficient intercoolers. Free-flow metal catalysts and a fully stainless-steel high-performance exhaust system custom-tailored to the GLK body let the BRABUS SV12 R 750 Biturbo engine breathe more freely.
Custom-programmed engine electronics ensure an optimal symbiosis of power yield, running smoothness and especially eco-friendly exhaust emissions. Special mapping and OnBoard Diagnostics II result in clean emissions that meet the strict requirements of the Euro IV standard. The BRABUS GLK V12 is also equipped with the latest driving dynamics systems such as ABS, ASR and ESP.
The enormous power is transferred to the rear wheels via a reinforced five-speed automatic transmission and a BRABUS limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent.
Together these measures make the BRABUS GLK V12 the fastest street-legal SUV in the world. But it is not just the incredible top speed of 322.3 km/h (211 mph) that are the basis for its fascination. With an acceleration time from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) of just 4.2 seconds and 12.8 seconds to 200 km/h (124 mph) the five-door sets new standards for its kind.
BRABUS manages this extraordinary SUV performance with custom modifications to aerodynamics, suspension and brakes.
The front apron of the BRABUS WIDESTAR version was developed in the wind tunnel. Its large air dams provide radiators and front brakes with ample cooling air. In combination with a carbon-fiber spoiler lip the front apron also minimizes aerodynamic lift on the front axle - a prerequisite for directional stability beyond 300 km/h (186 mph).
Favorable aerodynamic properties were also a top priority for the design of the BRABUS WIDESTAR fender flares on front and rear axle. They add five centimeters (two inches) to the width of the GLK. Custom-tailored rocker panels create a smooth transition between front and rear flares. The rocker panels feature LED lights in their undersides that are activated via the keyless remote or by pulling on a door handle. These lights illuminate the ground next to the SUV for safe entering and exiting the vehicle in the dark.
In the rear the BRABUS roof spoiler reduces aerodynamic lift and thus makes an important contribution to the excellent directional stability of the world's fastest SUV. The rear appearance of the BRABUS GLK V12 is further characterized by the BRABUS rear apron with its centrally located reflector. Custom-tailored cutouts on the right and left side provide the perfect backdrop for the four characteristically shaped tailpipes of the BRABUS stainless-steel sport exhaust system.
The larger wheel houses of the record car provide space for BRABUS Monoblock wheels up to king-size wheels with a diameter of 22 inches. The size 10Jx22 wheels come in five different designs: GLK V12 customers can choose from the new BRABUS Monoblock G five-spoke forged wheels, three-piece Monoblock VI alloy wheels and one-piece Monoblock E, Q and S wheels. High-performance tires from BRABUS technology partners Pirelli and YOKOHAMA can be mounted up to size 285/25 ZR 22.
The BRABUS coilover sport suspension was developed specifically for the twelve-cylinder SUV. It is height-adjustable on front and rear axle and features ten selectable settings each for bound and rebound.
To handle the extreme performance the brakes were upgraded as well and trimmed for maximum stopping power and endurance. The BRABUS high-performance brakes system features 12-piston aluminum fixed calipers and vented and grooved steel discs measuring 380 x 37 millimeters (15 x 1.5 inches) on the front axle. The rear axle stops on six-piston aluminum fixed calipers and vented and grooved 360 x 28 millimeter (14.2 x 1.1 inches) discs.
The interior of the GLK V12 was also refined to reflect the exclusive character of this unique SUV: The GLK V12 comes with a BRABUS fully leather interior that can be further refined with Alcantara elements if desired. The interior appointments are rounded out with an ergonomically shaped sport steering wheel, a speedometer with 330-km/h (205-mph) scale and stainless-steel scuff plates with illuminated BRABUS WIDESTAR logo.
Further exclusive interior highlights are wood trim sets or carbon-fiber trim panels for dashboard, doors and center console in any color imaginable. Custom-tailored consoles for the backs of the GLK front seats provide the perfect multimedia experience. They each feature an integrated seven-inch LCD screen and a DVD player.