German tuning company Brabus has set a new world record for the fastest ever 'ultra-luxury sedan'. And rather than use something lightweight like Mercedes' 2.3-tonne S65 AMG it has gone all out with a Maybach 57.
The Maybach 57 weighs 2,735kgs. And that's before you have even broken the back of a few AMEX Black cards with the options list.
We just wanted to mention this to put the record speed into its proper context; Brabus has cranked this luxo-behemoth up so far it recently made an astonishing 205.2mph (or 330.6km/h). That is 10mph faster than a Bentley Flying Spur - assuming that counts as ultra-luxury - and 10mph faster than the previous official record (also set by Brabus with a Maybach 57). What's more, since this took place at the banked Nardo test track in Italy, it would actually be even faster on the flat.
So how did Brabus do it? Well, being a crazy Mercedes tuning company with a long history of mega horsepower conversions helps. The Maybach engine is basically a repackaged Merc V12 biturbo. Which usefully means the SV12 S Biturbo Brabus developed for its 227mph CLS Rocket easily fits since it is based on the same unit. Bored out from 5.5 to 6.3-litres with lots of enhanced components, the V12's power goes up massively from the Maybach's standard 542bhp to a whopping 720bhp. Torque levels are even more ridiculous. The 974lb ft peak has to be electronically restrained to 811lb ft to save the reinforced five-speed automatic gearbox from nuking itself.
Despite this, the engine still meets Euro IV emissions regulations. Brabus has - helpfully - also seen to the chassis as well, with a 15mm drop to the Maybach's air suspension. No mention of the brakes, but we guess with 2.7-tonnes of limo to stop, they already work quite well. The alloys are de rigueur 21-inch multi-piece jobs, a huge 10.5-inches across at the back. Brabus has also gone to town with the exterior options - extra lights, including LED downlights, dubiously pimp paint job and, doing German stereotypes no favours at all, the interior features leather carpeting.
There is even wireless internet via a laptop stashed in the boot, and twin 15.2-inch screens on the back of the front seats (the ordinary Maybach can only manage a pair of nine-inchers). A wireless keyboard and gyro mouse - which doesn't need a flat surface to work - complete the hyperspeed mobile office environment. Two of the BBC Dragon's Den high-rollers, Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis, are known to love their Maybach 57s for just this sort of reason. Perhaps the latest series' earnings will allow them to make the Brabus upgrade. But just how much TV licence payers that would take Brabus isn't yet saying.