When Mercedes decided against building a flagship AMG spec for the third-generation CLS, we should have known there and then that once Brabus started looking for a new Rocket candidate, they would automatically exclude the latest CLS and opt instead for another nameplate.
Naturally, the folks from Bottrop went with the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S four-door model, which on paper looks like the ideal starting point for creating one of the world’s fastest sedans (or four-door coupes). In other words, the blueprint was already there thanks to that twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine and its stock 630 hp (639 PS) and 664 lb-ft (900 Nm) of torque.
With the help of a nine-speed AMG SpeedShift gearbox and the carmaker’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, a stock AMG GT S four-door will rocket you (no pun intended) to 62 mph (100 kph) in just 3.2 seconds; its top speed, an impressive 196 mph (315 kph). Quite the Autobahn crusher.
In Brabus Rocket 900 form, this very same car gets a displacement boost to 4.5-liters, plus a few other engine mods that push the output to 888 hp (900 PS) and a monster 922 lb-ft (1,250 Nm) of torque—although there’s an electronic limit set at 774 lb-ft (1,050 Nm) of torque for durability purposes.
According to the German tuner, the new Rocket 900 is capable of hitting 62 mph in just 2.8 seconds, before maxing out at 205 mph (330 kph). That makes it a worthy successor to the legendary Mercedes CLS-based Brabus Rocket 800, with its carbon fiber widebody kit and 788 hp (800 PS).
All that muscle, by the way, came courtesy of a twin-turbo 6.3-liter V12 engine, with no fewer than 1,047 lb-ft (1,420 Nm) of torque, although that engine was also limited torque-wise, to 811 lb-ft (1,100 Nm).
What’s truly fascinating is that the old Brabus 800 is a much faster car (top speed) than the newer AMG GT-based Rocket 900. The former could accelerate all the way to 230 mph (370 kph), even though 0-60 happened in 3.7 seconds—slower than in the 900.
In the end, seeing the two epic Benz models side by side is quite a treat. We know the newer one is quicker off the line and more advanced from a technological standpoint. Yet, there’s something about that Rocket 800 that’s extremely desirable. It’s such an unapologetic car.