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New Brabus 850 brings V12 power to the Mercedes S-Class

The 838bhp 850 is based on the luxurious Mercedes-Maybach S 680

Brabus isn’t known for doing things by halves and neither is Maybach, so it shouldn’t be too surprising the result of the two companies' work results in this: the new Brabus 850. 

Using the V12-powered Mercedes-Maybach S 680 as a base (which already has a potent 621bhp), Brabus set to work tweaking the engine to produce 838bhp and 1,100Nm of torque – making it the most powerful S-Class in the world.

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That’s even more power than the new Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance with its 792bhp twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, and it’s down to an extensive redesign of the powertrain. Displacement has grown from 6.0-litres to 6.3, while Brabus has fitted new turbochargers and forged internals, with enlarged air intakes to ensure it all stays at optimum temperatures. 

All this power is sent through a nine-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels and to make sure the occupants and passers-by are aware of the Brabus 850’s monstrous powerplant, there’s a new high-performance exhaust system. 

Acceleration improves from the S 500’s 4.7-second 0-62mph time to 4.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155mph. Despite the extra oomph, drivers will have to put their faith in the regular Mercedes S-Class braking set up, although airflow to the brakes has apparently been improved. 

Setting off the look of the Brabus 850 is a set of 22-inch forged wheels, a carbon package with either a high-gloss or matte finish, plus a new front lip spoiler and rear diffuser. The air suspension has been adapted to sit 20 millimetres lower “without compromising any of its outstanding ride comfort” according to Brabus. 

The carbon theme continues inside with the steering wheel, dashboard centre console, pedals and door cards all trimmed in carbon fibre. Customers are able to specify a range of interior colours and finishes, with standard-fit ‘Brabus’ badging dotted throughout the cabin. 

The Mercedes-Maybach S 680 costs from £217,200 in ‘First Class’ trim but the Brabus 850 should easily eclipse this, as we expect it to retail closer to the £400,000 mark. 

Have a taste for the finer things? These are the best luxury cars you can buy...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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