Record-breaking Brabus Rocket 900 at Frankfurt 2017

Published: 12 September 2017

► Brabus builds fastest four-seater soft-top
► Rocket 900 based on S 65 Cabriolet
► Celebrating 40 years of tuning

Rather cuttingly, one might be tempted to suggest that Brabus is to Mercedes-Benz what Liberace was to Baldwin pianos, but that’s not stopped the German tuner marking its 40th anniversary at Frankfurt’s 2017 show.

Have four decades in the business toned down Brabus’s approach? Err, no…

Enter the Rocket 900

Brabus has built its reputation by not only ramping up the power outputs of the Mercedes models it uses as a starting point, but also by adding styling elements that are, well, perhaps an acquired taste.

Brabus Rocket 900 at Frankfurt 2017

Celebrating both of these themes is the latest Brabus – the Rocket 900. What might sound like the moniker of a space ship from a 1950s sci-fi film is claimed to be the world’s fastest four-seater convertible.

Using the already not slow Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet as the starting point, Brabus has reworked the V12 engine, stroking it out to 6.3-litres.

Additionally, it’s got a meatier crankshaft and new forged pistons with accompanying connecting rods. Oh and the pair of turbochargers have been enlarged too.

Don’t tell me, the 900 is its power figure?

Got it in one, albeit in metric horsepower, converting to 888bhp on this side of the Channel. Torque? Try 1106lb ft.

Brabus Rocket 900 - rear

That continues to be fed exclusively to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission, so expect tail-wagging to reach giddy Alsatian levels.

Scorching from 0-62mph takes a claimed 3.9 seconds, while Brabus quotes the Cabriolet’s top speed at 217mph.

Despite those numbers, the Rocket 900 will officially return 20.3mpg, although that figure only sounds plausible at idle.

You won’t lose it in a car park…

Not only is the S-Class Cabriolet enormous anyway, Brabus specs the Rocket 900 with 21-inch rims as standard – a 22-inch upgrade is also available.

Brabus Rocket 900 interior at Frankfurt 2017

The bodykit’s been reworked for greater aerodynamic performance. Fashioned, as you’d expect, in carbonfibre.

And, if you’d like more of a low-rider look, a further 15mm can be clipped from the Rocket’s ride height.

So, what will this convertible excess set you back? Be prepared to shell out €414,000, plus UK import duties.

So, what else is Brabus showing off?

Well, pretty much anything Mercedes builds can be Brabused, as a show stand replete in everything from enlivened electric Smart ForTwos and V12-engined G-Classes bedecked in carbonfibre illustrates.

That’s only part of the story as Brabus Classic has also got a stand.

Brabus Classic at Frankfurt 2017

Here, Mercedes models of yesteryear are completely dismantled and rebuilt to their new owners’ exacting specifications, whether that be a faithful concours-grade restoration for a 350SE Cabriolet or a reimagining of a 300SL Roadster in a bespoke colour with contemporary multimedia kit.

Prices, again, remain in the ‘if you have to ask…’ category.

Click here for the full A-Z of the Frankfurt motor show 2017 on CAR magazine

By Keith WR Jones

Former managing editor of the Bauer Automotive hub and car brochure library owner