The German aftermarket specialists at Brabus have entered the eco battle with the unveiling of a prototype EV based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Rather than extracting more power out of the E-Class' gasoline engine, Brabus decided to rip out the gasser and replace it with electric-only hardware.

The prototype gets a suitably subtle and sexy name – the High Performance 4WD Full Electric – with "Performance" referring to the E's impressive 429 horsepower and 2,360 pound-feet of torque and "4WD" implying each wheel is fitted with a Protean electric motor. Lastly, Brabus' prototype packs a monstrous 56-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to provide the juice.

The HP4FE is capable of scooting from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 6.9 seconds and can keep on blasting on down the road for up to 217 miles (at a constant speed of 62 mph) before that massive battery pack becomes fully depleted. Brabus says the prototype tops out at 137 mph in Sport mode, or 118 mph in Eco mode.

But being a Brabus, exterior enhancements are a must and besides its slightly modified body, the prototype E-Class sits on 19-inch wheels wrapped in performance rubber. As for price, Brabus says the prototype isn't for sale... yet. Follow the jump for full details on this torque-laden electric machine.
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World Debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show IAA

BRABUS High Performance 4WD Full Electric

320 kW of Power, 3,200 Nm of Torque, a Top Speed of 220 km/h, 0 - 100 km/h in 6.9 Seconds and 350 km Range

Concept Car of a Powerful and Efficient Luxury Sedan with All-Wheel Electric Drive Based on the E-Class

320 kW of power and a peak torque of 3,200 Nm (2,360 lb-ft) from four electric wheel hub motors point the way to the powerful, efficient and ecofriendly luxury sedan of the future. Based on the latest Mercedes E-Class, BRABUS ZERO EMISSION, a business division of BRABUS (Brabus-Allee, D-46240 Bottrop, phone + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777-0, fax + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777 111, Internet, has developed the fully operational BRABUS High Performance 4WD Full Electric concept car. The all-wheel-drive vehicle, which celebrates its world debut at the 2011 IAA, accelerates from 0 - 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph) - and all without emitting as much as a single gram of CO2. A powerful 56-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides an operating range of up to 350 kilometers (217 miles). There are plans for a small-series production run of this unique automobile.

For more than three decades BRABUS has ranked as one the top addresses worldwide for exclusive high-performance automobiles. Since 2008 the BRABUS ZERO EMISSION business division of BRABUS, recognized by the German Federal Motor Vehicle Department as an automobile manufacturer, deals with the development of vehicle concepts for alternative-drive cars.

For the electric drive of the BRABUS High Performance 4WD Full Electric the BRABUS vehicle and electrical engineers decided on four wheel hub motors from English manufacturer Protean ELECTRIC.

A low weight of just 31 kilograms (68 pounds), a compact diameter of only 42 centimeters (16.5 inches) and a thickness of merely 11.5 centimeters (4.5 in.) make these motors perfectly suited for this project. They are positioned in the BRABUS Monoblock Q wheels in size 8.5Jx19 front and back.

With a peak power of 80 kW and a peak torque of 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) in Sport mode these motors are ideal for meeting the high-performance requirements that BRABUS is renowned for. In recuperation mode under braking each of the motors contributes up to 70 kW to the energy recovery system and therefore to recharging the batteries.

The concept car is equipped with an electro-hydraulic BRABUS brake system that was custom developed for this type of drive layout. The four vented bake discs are attached to the rear of the wheel hub motors, and gripped by two internal brake calipers each.

Controlling the four wheel hub motors presented a special challenge. They are coordinated by a high-tech electronic control unit and give the E-Class sedan an innovative all-wheel-drive system that defies any kind of weather and all road surface conditions. But that's not all: the independent drive of each wheel provides the vehicle with torque vectoring capabilities, the active controlling of the yaw angle, for impressive driving dynamics and particularly safe handling.

The power output of the four electric motors adds up to a peak output of 320 kW and a whopping peak torque of 3,200 Nm (2360 lb-ft). In comparison: the 6.3-liter V12 Biturbo engine of the new 370-km/h plus (230-mph) BRABUS ROCKET 800, one of the most powerful gasoline car engines in the world, produces a peak torque of "just" 1,420 Nm (1,047 lb-ft).

Despite its enormous performance potential the wheel hub drive is particularly ecofriendly because of its carbon neutrality. Based on the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle), energy consumption of all four motors combined is a low 0.24 kWh/km (0.38 kWh/mile), giving the car an NEDC operating range of some 240 kilometers (150 miles). In Eco mode, which is more than sufficient for normal operations, a continuous output of 200 kW allows operating ranges of up to 350 kilometers (217 miles) without recharging.

This substantial operating range is the credit of the powerful 56-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The individual cells, connected via state-of-the-art power electronics, were placed in various locations throughout the entire Mercedes E-Class body to achieve optimal weight distribution. The space gained under the hood by eliminating the conventional engine is utilized for the cells as is the now superfluous driveshaft tunnel and the areas that normally house the fuel tank and the spare wheel.

External charging of the battery pack is handled by two separate systems. For the garage at home there is a quick charger for ecofriendly eco electricity from German energy company RWE. After one-and-a-half hours of being plugged into the 380 V three-phase grid with a charging capacity of 50 kW the eco sedan again has an operating range of 350 km (217 miles). For charging on the road at any normal 220 V AC outlet or on a 380 V three-phase outlet the car is equipped with an integrated charger that recharges the batteries fully in five hours.

On the road the BRABUS High Performance 4WD Full Electric exhibits the dynamic performance one can rightfully expect from a BRABUS high-performance automobile and one that has been unheard of in an electrically powered sedan of this size until now.

The electrically powered sedan delivers excellent performance: the four-door car weighing 2,190 kilograms (4,828 pounds) accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.9 seconds. The BRABUS High Performance 4WD Full Electric also delivers superior pulling power: the intermediate sprint from 60 to 120 km/h (37 to 74 mph) takes just 5.0 seconds. In comparison: a Mercedes E 500 4MATIC takes 5.2 seconds.

The wheel hub motors' redline speed of 2,000 rpm effectively limits the car's top speed to 220 km/h (137 mph).

The strong performance and low energy consumption also benefit from the aerodynamic efficiency of the BRABUS aerodynamic-enhancement components, which were fine-tuned in the wind tunnel. The BRABUS front fascia lends the E-Class sedan a more slipstreamed nose and reduces lift on the front axle, contributing to outstanding directional stability. The integrated LED daytime running lights are extremely economical but ensure that the BRABUS High Performance 4WD Full Electric is recognizable from afar.

BRABUS aluminum front sport fenders with integrated clear-coated carbon-fiber inserts create a distinctly sporty look. The BRABUS side skirts calm the airflow between the wheel wells and feature highly convenient, visually striking LED entrance lights.

Another custom development is the suspension of BRABUS High Performance 4WD Full Electric. A height-adjustable coilover suspension calibrated to the higher vehicle weight was developed in cooperation with technology partner BILSTEIN. It offers individual ride-height settings and a sporty yet comfortable ride.

The BRABUS Monoblock Q 19-inch wheels are mounted with high-performance tires from technology partners Continental, Pirelli or YOKOHAMA in size 245/35 ZR 19 front and back.

The interior of the concept car is supplemented by a special instrument cluster, which provides the driver with the most essential information about the battery, the electric motors and other driving parameters such as speed etc. A new center console housing the controls an electric vehicle requires was manufactured as well.

The ergonomically shaped BRABUS sport steering wheel and aluminum pedals and footrest add sporty highlights. Stainless-steel scuff plates with backlit BRABUS High Performance 4WD Full Electric logo and velour floor mats sporting the identical marks are further exclusive accessories.

BRABUS High Performance 4WD Full Electric

Technical Data


Four-door sedan based on the Mercedes-Benz W 212 series E-Class.

Steel unibody with mounts for lithium-ion batteries in engine bay, trunk and driveshaft tunnel. BRABUS aerodynamic-enhancement kit with front fascia, air vents in the front fenders, side skirts, rear spoiler lip and rear diffuser.


Length 4.868 mm (191.6 in)

Width 1.841 mm (72.4 in)

Height 1.464 mm (57.6 in)

Curb weight 2,190 kg (4,828 lbs.)

Electric Drive

Four electronically controlled Protean ELECTRIC wheel hub motors and 56 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Charging by external or on-board charger.

Peak power in Sport mode 4 x 80 kW = 320 kW system power

Continuous power in Eco mode 4 x 50 kW = 200 kW system power

Maximum recuperation power 4 x 70 kW = 280 kW total recuperation power

Peak torque 4 x 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) = 3,200 Nm (2,360 lb-ft) system torque

Maximum rpm 2,000

CO2 emissions 0 g/km

Power supply Lithium-ion (LiCoMn) battery pack

Nominal voltage 355 V

Capacity 56 kWh

External charger RWE Combi Station, 380 V three-phase current

Charging capacity: 50 kW (limited)

Charging time: 1.5 hours (limited)

Internal charger Delta ES three-phase on-board charger, 220 V AC or 380 V three-phase current

Charging capacity 12.4 kW (limited)

Charging time: 5 hours


Independent front and rear suspension with height-adjustable BRABUS coilover sport suspension.

Front axle:

Three-link suspension, anti-dive geometry. Height-adjustable BRABUS struts with gas-pressure shocks with 10-way adjustable bound and rebound, and coil springs.

Rear axle:

Multi-link suspension, anti-dive and anti-squat geometry. Height-adjustable BRABUS struts with gas-pressure shocks with 10-way adjustable bound and rebound, and coil springs.


BRABUS Monoblock Q 8.5J x 19 H2 alloy wheels with Continental, Pirelli or YOKOHAMA high-performance brake system.

Front: 8.5J x 19 H2 with 245/35 ZR 19

Rear: 8.5J x 19 H2 with 245/35 ZR 19

Brake System

Dual-circuit brake system with BRABUS high-performance brake system assisted by the wheel hub motors in each wheel.


0 - 100 km/h (62 mph): 6.9 sec.

60 - 120 km/h (37 - 74 mph): 5.0 sec.

Top speed Eco mode: 190 km/h (118 mph)

Top speed Sport mode: 220 km/h (137 mph)

Energy Consumption and Operating Range

Energy consumption based on NEDC incl. recuperation: 0.24 kWh/km (0.38 kWh/mile)

Operating range based on NEDC: 240 km (150 miles)

Operating range at a constant 100 km/h (62 mph): 350 km (217 miles)


Prototype not for sale

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      2,360 lb-ft of torque?!? Holy scheisse!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      429 horsepower and 2,360 pound-feet of torque and "4WD" 0 to 62 miles per hour in 6.9 seconds Holy crap... how much does this thing weight to have that much juice but still such horrible acceleration? High Performance my ass.
        • 3 Years Ago
        themanwithsauce makes a good point below (and I should add that he's right about the motors being direct drive) The torque values have to be high because the motor is responsible for all braking, as well as acceleration.
      • 3 Years Ago
      2,360 lb./ft. of torque and itll get raped by a Camry. Love it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can anybody make a hybrid or electric car without plastering words all over the side of it? “HYBRID!!!!” “F125 EXCLAMATION POINT” “Full electric awesome” “High-power” “It’s still fast, we swear” “Ok, maybe it’s slow but it’s green!” “Steering wheel!”
        Evan McMiller
        • 3 Years Ago
        Seriously. Like the stupid garbage on the Tahoe/Escalade/Yukon hybrids? oh my god...screams lack of class
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      definitely just as exciting as the cls v-12 800.........................
      Lada F1 team
      • 3 Years Ago
      yeah the numbers just don't work out. Must not be hp and torque at the wheels? Or it weighs 5,000 lbs.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lada F1 team
        I worked at the company that developed these wheelmotors. Those torque values are true; with the wheel motors the motor does all of the braking, hence why the torque has to be so high.
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          i meant to reply to Lada F1 team
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          The thing with the torque values of in wheel electric motors seeming disproportionate is the fact that if you are comparing to a regular gas car with a transmission, final drive and differential, you need to consider the torque AT THE WHEELS, not the usual engine torque. The first gear ratio of many average cars would give the engine the mechanical advantage to send well over 1000 pound feet to the wheels. A Mustang GT with 390lbft at the engine and a 3.73 rear end would have an overall 1st gear ratio of 13.65:1. Multiply that by the engine torque (minus 15% drivetrain losses) and the torque to the wheels is 4525 lb ft!!! Note that horsepower would still be about the same, or 412 before losses. So kind of ignore the 2000+ lbft figure of the Brabus, but the 429 horsepower is still relevant. I'm guessing that because theres no multiple gears, the electric Brabus would have to be near its top speed to even access all 429 hp, which probably explains the dissappointingly slow 0-60. Thing probably weighs near 2.5-3 tons thanks to the amount of batteries it has, and that, too, would obviously hurt performance. Cool for a concept, a big bragging right with that misleading torque number and probably fun to drive, but I would personally stick with 'ole school' and take the 800hp V12 CLS instead. 0-60 in half the time, and nearly double the top speed.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      How long would it take to charge a battery of that size?
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      With 429hp, regardless of torque, I was expecting a 0-60 in the low 5's, as that is an electric strong suit. It mustn't have enough torque to dip below very high 6's. If you actually calculate it, 2360 isn't a lot of torque if it is directly at the wheels. Any sports car will put that much torque to its wheels in its first couple gears, but the Brabus would make that much continuously from 0rpm (0mph) until about 1/2 way through its rev range. A transmission equipped car would only make lots of torque in low gears, and in high gears torque is reduced at the wheel while speed increases and power stays the same gear vs gear. When you think 2360 lb ft, it's easy to think of stuff like massively potent dragsters with nitrous, supercharging, and many cubic inches, but that is engine torque, not wheel torque.
      • 3 Years Ago
      4WD? Don't they mean AWD? Whether each wheel is mated with an individual motor shouldn't really matter. I always figured 4WD means 2 speed transfer case and/or selectable 2WD/4WD and anything with power going to all the wheels all the time, such as this car, is AWD. At any rate, randomly arranged word vinyls aside, I would love to see this thing in action. Good to see when tuners can adapt to the changing automotive market.
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