It seems like Brabus can do no wrong, and that’s in spite of the excessive use of chrome and the sometimes dubious choices for interior trimming. After a long second of carefully considering why nothing bad can be said about this traditional Mercedes-Benz tuner, we’ve come to the conclusion it has to do with the engines. Particularly, with the wonderful things Brabus does to them.
However, this short wheelbase G500 is quite underwhelming, at least by Brabus standards. While the tuner hasn’t released any data on this model in particular, previous interventions on similar models resulted in relatively modest power bumps from a company that pushes V8 engines to 800-plus horsepower on a regular basis.
As we all know (and regret), the SWB (short wheelbase) G-Class was discontinued in 2011, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have its fair share of admirers. It does mean, however, that it comes with a 5.5-liter V8 engine that, in its original state, developed 388 hp and 530 Nm (391 lb-ft). That’s enough for a small tank, so it should be plenty for an SUV this size.
And it is, but Brabus rarely does things the way it does them because it’s the sensible choice, so the modified car should receive 74 extra hp and 85 more Nm (63 lb-ft). We don’t know if these numbers hold ground for this G500 SWB conversion, but judging by previous meddlings with this engine would mean that, unless Brabus went for an even more radical approach, the numbers should match - or at least be close to - the reality. The 6.1 numbering suggests the engine’s displacement has been increased from its original 5.5-liter, in which case we could expect significantly more extra oomph.
The things that make the Brabus cars controversial for some are the visual details, and a look through the gallery below will demonstrate why. This car is all about opulence, so unless “you haz it” in your blood, it will be a difficult sight to deal with. There is chrome where it shouldn’t be, and the interior is an extravaganza of quilted orangey-red leather that’s hard to get off your retina. Oh, and the wheels just make the car look slightly ridiculous, like a toddler wearing his father’s shoes.
Then again, even if Brabus tuning isn’t exactly your style - and since you’re not a sheik, it probably isn’t - you have to admire these people’s skill and perseverance. They’ve established themselves on the market doing one thing, and they’ve stuck with it ever since, only getting better. And, anyway, deep down inside, you kind of like that red interior.