German car turner Brabus is setting the pace in the automotive market. Constantly looking for new boundaries to push and things to reimagine. Not limited by cars alone Brabus has welcomed boats into their product portfolio and may expand even further in the future, as Brabus CEO Constantin Buschmann explains.
Brabus seems to be on a roll. It is releasing product after product. Is there a reason for this incredible surge?
In my three and a half years as CEO of this company we’ve made it through so many different phases. Phase one was definitely the saddest with the passing of my father. In the end, given all that happened, we came out the best way possible. With this new inspiration and as a sort of generational shift we sped up our process of professionalisation and digitisation of our entire company. Then Covid-19 hit, and the world was forced into a digital world and for us this was easy as we had done most of the work already.
What’s the story behind the Rocket and how important is it to you?
Rocket is one of our strongest products. There are a few milestones in our history. The 3.6S 190E was one. The EV12 was definitely one and the Rocket is no exception. Rocket-edition cars are a tribute to the rocket. This is new and a part of our vertical product structure. The Rockets are the ultimate cars we can build. Below that you have the Brabus Masterpieces. The “Rocket editions” are part of this category and are inspired by the original “Rocket''.
Speaking of pushing boundaries, you just went to the IAA, with lots of new cars and technology showcased. How do you see the future of our industry?
New technology comes in phases. Currently we’re in a transitional phase and I’m 100% sure that in the coming years there will be a strong demand for internal combustion engines (maybe even an increase). On top of that there is a very successful line of power hybrid cars upcoming with Mercedes and AMG. This will be very interesting to us as well. The future of drivetrains is a long game and will depend on so many different factors that it’s hard to see where it will go and how this game will play out. For us as a company it’s very important to find new ways to implement our DNA in this new world we’re facing and one of the ways we’ll be doing this is stepping away from our traditional products and philosophy. In the next six months you will see Brabus expanding into new territories and coming up with new and extremely exciting products.
Brabus is currently not just a car or a tuning company. There are boats, a lifestyle brand and maybe more things in the works. Do you define Brabus more as a luxury lifestyle brand?
When talking about the boats I could tell you a clichéd story about vision but that would not be authentic. The boats just happened. My father and I had been looking for a boat for a while and we bought an Axopar boat because it was a great value proposition. We ‘Brabusised’ it with a wrap and some bespoke parts and we ended up with the first Brabus boat. We then decided to try and sell a few together with Axopar at the Dusseldorf boat show. We ended up selling fifteen boats. We didn’t see this success coming but it inspired us to move forward in different ways. At this moment our teams are even so excited that we have to look out that we don’t do too many things at once and lose sight of our identity. The most important ingredient in all of these products, and this takes us back to the cars as well, are partnerships. I wouldn’t call Brabus a lifestyle company but more of lifestyle hub connecting so many great partners and injecting its own identity into this story.
When you’re pushing the engine of Brabus motors, how important are Motul's lubricants?
It literally makes all the difference. We’ve got a very strong collaboration with Motul and the technical staff of Motul, and they advise us on different products for all applications. The truth is that the change in lubricant or viscosity has a major impact. It can mean 3-4 horsepower more to even a few kilometres more on a high-speed run. One of the latest improvements we applied using a specific Motul product was to our XLP800 adventure. This car uses portal axles because it’s lifted. The cogs inside the axles are straight cut and they make a certain noise, a noise you often hear in racecars, but we prefer not to have it for the XLP. One of the technical experts at Motul advised us a specific gear to use in this axle and just because of this, the noise was gone.