And now from the sublime to the ridiculous. It’s a question that nobody was asking, but Brabus felt compelled to answer it anyway in the style they’ve become renowned for. Would it be possible for an SUV to exceed 200 mph? Well, let’s build it and see.
The top speed was measured at the Nardo high-speed test track on October 19th, 2009, where the GLK V12 managed to record a top speed of 322.3 km/h (200.3 mph).
The high-speed event gathered together a mouth-watering collection of the fastest tuned cars on sale, which naturally put the GLK V12’s speed into perspective, and yet it still recorded the 7th highest speed;
Top Speeds recorded at Continental Tyres’ Nardo High-Performance Event in October 2009
The Bottrop manufacturer started out with Mercedes’ GLK, a model not sold here in the UK but which is built to rival BMW’s X3, and planted Brabus’ SV12 R Biturbo 750 power plant in its engine bay. The engine – based on Mercedes’ 5.5 litre 12-cylinder motor, but with its capacity increased to 6.3 litres – delivers 740 bhp (750 hp) / 552 kW at 5,500 rpm and produces a peak torque of 1,350 Nm (995 lb-ft) at 2,100 rpm, although torque is electronically limited in this car to 1,100 Nm (811 lb-ft).
The enormous power is transferred to the rear wheels only by a reinforced five-speed automatic transmission and a Brabus limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent.
The front apron of the Brabus Widestar version was developed in the wind tunnel. Its large air dams provide radiators and front brakes with ample cooling air. In combination with a carbon-fibre spoiler lip the front apron also minimizes aerodynamic lift on the front axle – a prerequisite for directional stability beyond 300 km/h (186 mph).
Favourable aerodynamic properties were also a top priority for the design of the Brabus Widestar fender flares on front and rear axle. They add five centimetres (two inches) to the width of the GLK. At the rear, the Brabus roof spoiler reduces aerodynamic lift and thus makes an important contribution to the directional stability of the world’s fastest SUV.
The Brabus coil-over sport suspension was developed specifically for the twelve-cylinder SUV. The front and rear axles are height adjustable and feature ten selectable settings each for bound and rebound.
To handle the extra performance the brakes have been upgraded and fitted with pads for maximum stopping power and endurance. The Brabus high-performance brake system features 12-piston aluminium fixed callipers and vented and grooved steel discs measuring 380 x 37 millimetres (15 x 1.5 inches) on the front axle. The rear axle features six-piston aluminium fixed callipers attached to discs measuring 360 x 28 millimetre (14.2 x 1.1 inches).
The Brabus GLK V12 retails at a whopping 397,000 Euros (£340,000), which perhaps explains why it is making its world debut today at the Dubai International Motor Show.