Founded in 1977 in Bottrop, Germany, Brabus is just one more in a long line of companies created because the founder couldn’t find what he wanted in the marketplace. Bodo Buschmann wanted to customize his cars, but he couldn’t find anyone who could either understand his vision or meet his requirements.
At the time Germany required at least two registrars for a business so Bodo’s friend Klaus Brackmann signed on and they took the first three letters from each of their last names: Bra + bus = Brabus. After they finished the paperwork Klaus sold his shares back to Bodo for the equivalent of 100 euros. He didn’t want to build a car company, he just wanted to help his friend start one (not all partnerships are that easy!).
Brabus is still headquartered in Bottrop and has specialists who do every single aspect of their work in house. What is that work, exactly?
What They Do
Brabus’ main goal is to achieve maximum car performance by increasing horsepower and movement. You can buy directly from them or have your own car overhauled.
Brabus’ favored frames are Mercedes and Maybach vehicles, but they’ve recently started modifying Smart cars (seriously!). They pitch their latest model, the Brabus 92R as a “supercar for the city” in which the Smart EQ ForTwo Cabriolet gets upgraded to 92 horsepower under the hood while getting a sportier and trim rounding of the exterior. Inside the cabin there is exclusive red Brabus leather with black stitching, with matching colors on the soft top.
But Smart cars are not what Brabus is known for. Its most famous vehicle is the Brabus Rocket, which is a modified Mercedes CLS-class. At 225 mph, it’s the fastest street-legal sedan in the world. It’s got a V12 with 800 hp under the roof and can pull 0-60 in 3.7 seconds on its way up to that record-setting 225 mph.
The firm isn’t just about speed, though. They boast that their cars add safety, style, and exclusivity. Think:
- Racing LSDs (helping a vehicle continue to handle well under slippery conditions)
- Open racing exhaust systems (part of making an engine more powerful)
- 12-piston disc brakes (incredibly safe brakes)
in addition to your matching spoilers and beautiful alloy wheels.
And with their recent addition of boats to their repertoire, you can look your best out on the water after getting to the docks in your ride.
All that speed, style, and grace has a price. While that modified Smart car might only run around $55,000, the latest model of a Brabus Rocket will usually cost just over $400,000. If you want to spend a bit more you can get your hands on the gorgeous Brabus Shadow 900 “Black Ops” boat starting at $495,000 (but don’t worry, you can just use it for jet-skiing instead of black ops). They will limit the manufacture of these to 37 models (Brabus calls them “examples”). With their third factory completed just a few years ago, Brabus has definitely figured out a market to serve, creating many jobs in their community while doing so.
Do you have a favorite car company you’d like us to write about in the future? Let us know in the comments below.