There have been quite a few interesting vehicles launched at the Geneva Motor Show this week, however one which has really caught our eye is the Branus 800 ‘iBusiness’, based on the Mercedes G 65. The mere mention of the name ‘Brabus’ should immediately tell you that the iBusiness is a mixture of insanity and an imagination allowed to run wild. That’s a given. And, once again, Brabus don’t disappoint. Because what they’ve come up with here is a little daft.
The original on which it’s based is no slouch – featuring a 6.0L V12 Biturbo engine with 612 hp and a 0-100 time of 5.3 seconds. The Brabus version simply laughs at this pathetic power output – their 800 engine produces 788bhp and 1,047 lb ft, limited electronically to 811 lb ft at its peak. 4.2 seconds on the accelerator will get you to 100 km/h (62 mph) and the top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph), (270 km/h or 167 mph without any limits).
Alongside this immense power are a number of impressive upgrades to cope. Engine specialists at the firm have developed a high-tech twin turbo system; custom developing exhaust manifolds with integrated turbo housings and high-performance turbochargers make the best of throttle response and produce higher boost pressure than the production turbos. Brabus have also stuck four water-to-air intercoolers under the hood for lower air-change temperatures, and two air filter boxes in the front fenders allow the beast beneath the bonnet to breathe.
‘iBusiness’ comes from the multimedia system featuring Apple components which Brabus has packed into the 800. Owners will be able to communicate with the world via an iPad mini, Mac mini, iPod touch and Apple TV, with the iPad mini integrated into the SUV’s on-board electronics system. In the rear, a custom console sits in between the back seats (which replace the standard bench). Just because they could, there’s an upper section fridge, folding and swivelling tables, docking stations and a concealed keyboard, computer mouse and USB ports for the Mac mini. It’s more like a portable office rather than a car, which is rather fitting, considering the actual size of the thing. And if you get bored with the paperwork, music, movies and games are all at hand through the suite of Apple products – the iPod touch in the rear, for example, can store 14,000 titles, all available to be blasted through the high-end sound system.
Given its size, noise and spec, the 800 isn’t really a car in which you can simply blend into your surroundings, unless you’re driving in pitch black with the headlights turned off, or you happen to live in Dubai, where these kind of vehicles are not quite as rare. Brabus have, however, made some attempt at helping its drivers to be discreet. If you’re trying to ease into the driveway at night, for example, selecting the ‘Coming Home’ whisper mode for the stainless-steel exhaust system is the best option. Alternatively, and more in keeping with the Brabus way, ‘Sport’ mode will announce your imminent arrival to anyone presumably within a hundred mile radius.
Insane. Over-the-top. Needless. All excellent words which you could use when describing the Brabus 800. It’s a four-wheeled tank with the capabilities of an office floor, and should really only appeal to the busy James Bond villain who needs to nail down the finer details of their master plan to take over/destroy the world, while catching up on the latest episode of True Detective.
Still, we wouldn’t say no.