Apart from having the world’s longest ski slope and a movie theme park, the German town of Bottrop (50km from the Dutch border) is as calm and quiet as one would expect. However, occasionally it gets awoken by a loud roar. That would be the sound of one of the Brabus-employees starting up the car to go for a test run.
BRABUS AND MOTUL: LONG-TIME PARTNERS
Brabus produces some of the most powerful cars in the world is a long-time partner of Motul and uses pretty much the entire product range in their vehicles. The company has been growing steadily since the late 1970s. And so, has the power of its cars. Brabus started when Bodo Buschmann, whose father ran a Mercedes-Benz dealership, among his studies he started working for his father. Back then, in the early seventies, the contemporary Mercedes-Benz cars weren’t as sporty as some of their models are now. To make them faster Buschmann started to modify them. He made minor modifications to his personal cars. He gave them a small engine tune, swapped the exhaust for a louder one and lowered the car’s suspension.
OUTPERFORMING THE COMPETITION
It didn’t take long before other people started to pay attention and Buschmann discovered that there was a proper market for his modifications. In 1977 Brabus was born. Bodo slowly started to grow his business out of his father’s garage but it wasn’t until the early eighties that the business started to really boom and Buschmann had a competition with the other famous tuner from Affalterbach, AMG, in building a sportier 190E. Nowadays AMG is part of the Daimler group and no longer a competitor to Brabus. The AMG cars are now the company’s donor cars.
900 BHP AND 1.500 NM TORQUE... SAY AGAIN?
Today the company is run by his son Constantin. Brabus offers a wide range of products and services. Their main focus is building, or should we say, overhauling entire cars. Clients can either buy a new car from Brabus or take their own to Bottrop and have it customised. The site in Bottrop is ready to build anything. The engine department painstakingly takes the original engine apart and replaces key parts such as pistons, crankshafts, oil pans, headers, turbos and a lot more. They usually turn a 500-600bhp AMG engine into a 700-900bhp unit. Quite the improvement then…
But Brabus is definitely not all about power. It’s about the finesse and the detail as well. That’s why they have their own leather shop where they can pretty much build anything you can dream of. You want orange leather floor mats? You got it. You want complex stitching on top of a triple layer of perforated leather? No problem.
ONE FACTORY, THREE WORKSHOPS
The final part is also where the story starts, in one of the three workshops. It’s here that the car is disassembled and reassembled. To support all this activity Brabus has its own in-house design department, a machine shop and an offsite carbon fibre production facility where they make the bespoke exterior elements.
Last but definitely not least is the Brabus classic department, though there’s so much to see here that it deserves its own story own (coming soon). Meanwhile, check out the gallery below to see for yourself how much work goes into turning a Mercedes-Benz into a Brabus.