Ten years ago the idea of releasing a performance SUV would’ve got chuckles at most manufacturer board meetings. Now, it seems like there’s a new combatant released every single week.
The latest is from the unhinged folks at Brabus. The Mercedes-specialised tuning firm have unveiled their take on the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 coupe. It’s called the 900 Rocket Edition, and Brabus claims it’s the fastest SUV ever made.
Using the same 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 base as in the standard GLE 63, Brabus have managed to extract a credible 662kW of power and 1050Nm of torque … a handy jump on the standard 450kW and 850Nm.
To achieve these figures, Brabus bored out displacement from 4.0-litres to 4.4, while adding larger forged pistons, a billet crankshaft, forged piston rods, and more heavy duty turbos. Brabus claims they could get as much as 1250Nm out of the 4.0, but they’ve detuned output to ensure longevity.
New fuel pumps have been drafted to improve flow rate, and a new stainless steel exhaust system with titanium and carbon fibre finishers ensures plenty of eight-cylinder bark.
Brabus claims that these changes see the agro new model hit 100km/h in just 3.2 seconds. That’s quicker than the Lamborghini Urus’ 3.6 seconds, but slower than the Tesla Model X Plaid’s 2.6 seconds.
Given its slower than the Tesla, Brabus’ ability to claim the ‘world’s fastest SUV’ crown is subjective. Perhaps a visit to the Nurburgring Nordschleife is in order? The current benchmark there is the less powerful (but most likely lighter) Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT.
On top of the aforementioned powertrain tweaks, Brabus has also given the 900 Rocket Edition its requisite visual changes. Stacks of exposed carbon fibre appears inside and out via the new grille, fog-light shrouds, and the retro-flavoured aero discs fronting each new 24-inch (!) wheel.
The biggest … err … improvement to the GLE’s looks, though, are the assault of red highlights inside.
Red metallic highlights replace all of the standard metal surfaces, including the steering wheel spokes, vent bezels, speaker grilles, seat adjustment controls, grab handles, pedals, and more. Even the engine airbox isn’t safe. It gets a red-woven carbon fibre cover. This is definitely one of those ‘beauty in the eye of the beholder’ situations.
Want one? The 900 Rocket Edition retails overseas for a hefty $637,300.