When working with specialised companies such as Brabus, passion is everywhere. Brabus’ communications and advertising manager Sven Gramm is no exception. Having been with Brabus for over 26 years there are few people with better knowledge of the company than him. Better still, he’s building his own young classic dream Brabus.
Sven, you’ve been at Brabus quite a while. When was Brabus founded and what’s the story behind it?
(Laughs) Brabus was founded a quite a bit before I started working here. Actually, the company was founded in 1977. Our founder, Bodo Buschmann, worked besides his studies at his father’s Mercedes-Benz dealership but his personal car was a certain sportscar from Stuttgart. Bodo’s father didn’t really like that, so he said to his son: “now that you work here, you’ll drive a Mercedes-Benz.” Bodo then swiftly reply “ok, but definitely not a standard one”. When he started modifying his own cars other people started paying attention and wanted the same modifications to their car. That’s how Brabus was born.
Where does the name “Brabus” come from?
It’s a very easy and short story. Back when Brabus was founded you needed two partners to be able to start a limited company. Bodo Buschmann had the support of his friend Klaus Brackmann and the name was derived from the first three letters of both their last names. Brackmann and Buschmann. Shortly after the company was founded Klaus sold his shares to Buschmann again as he wasn’t really interested in running a car company.
Brabus is quite unique in the tuner/aftermarket world? What sets it apart?
Our biggest strength is that we build very unique cars that come with a factory warranty. Our cars are designed and built to be driven every day. That’s where we make the difference. This goes hand in hand with the built quality of our parts and modifications that adhere to the highest standards. On top of that we also offer unique things you can’t get on the original donor car. Just look at the GV12 900. Mercedes-AMG decided with the launch of the new G-class that they will no longer offer a V12 engine in that car, so we decided to build and sell a G-class with a V12 engine and 900 hp…
What’s the process of buying a Brabus car? It must be quite intensive given the infinite amount of options a Brabus customer has?
Most costumers have quite a good idea about what it is they want so usually they visit one of our showrooms or agents around the world and they start a configuration like with any other new car. We than order the car with Mercedes, AMG or Maybach and, once it arrives, we take it apart and customise it in one of our workshops. Sometimes it also happens that a customer brings his own car and we modify that one. This is how it used to happen in the early days of Brabus.
Brabus is synonymous with power and performance. Did the company ever venture into motorsports?
No, not at all. The goal of a Brabus is to be the best road car possible. So, we don’t need to look in to doing motorsport to learn new things. The world out there is our proving ground. The key to Brabus’ performance is torque not power. 85% of the people who compliment a car on its performance talks about horsepower but the feeling they are describing is actually torque. For us it’s more important for a car to have a big improvement in torque than power because when driving on the road you’ll rely on torque 95% of the time.
When walking through the workshop we bumped it to your own personal car. Can you tell us more about it?
This is my own personal “young timer” Brabus from the late eighties. This was an era when the company really started booming and this model was very significant for that growth. It started out in life as an original Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 and slowly turned into a 3.6-litre Brabus version. I used to own a 3.6S lightweight model which was an amazing car but because it replaced the rear seats with a full roll cage, so it wasn’t the best car to go for a weekend cruise with the family. This next car should do that trick perfectly.