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Difference Between Brabus and Mercedes: Understanding Tuning vs. Luxury

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Brabus and Mercedes-Benz are often mentioned together in conversations about luxury and high-performance vehicles; however, they are two distinct entities. Brabus is a high-performance aftermarket tuning company that specializes in customizing Mercedes-Benz vehicles, while Mercedes-Benz is a global automobile manufacturer and a division of the German company, Daimler AG.

Mercedes-Benz has a storied history, dating back to the invention of the first gasoline-powered automobile, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, by Karl Benz in 1886. Today, the brand is renowned for its wide range of luxury vehicles, including sedans, coupes, SUVs, and even commercial vehicles. With a strong reputation for combining cutting-edge technology, elegance, and superior performance, Mercedes-Benz has established itself as a leader in the automotive industry.

On the other hand, Brabus was founded in 1977 by Bodo Buschmann and Klaus Brackmann, with the aim of taking Mercedes-Benz cars to the next level in terms of performance and individualization. By modifying engines, installing custom interiors, and adding exclusive body kits, Brabus addresses the desires of those who seek to own a unique and even more powerful version of a Mercedes-Benz. Though Brabus also modifies other brands, such as Smart and Maybach, their close relationship with Mercedes-Benz has helped gain them considerable recognition as a top tuner in the aftermarket world.

History and Background

Origins of Brabus

Brabus was founded in 1977, in Bottrop, Germany, by Bodo Buschmann and Klaus Brackmann. The name Brabus is derived from the first three letters of the last names of the founders (Brackmann and Buschmann). The company specializes in customizing and tuning Mercedes-Benz vehicles, providing high-performance engine upgrades, visual modifications, and luxurious interior workmanship.


Initially, Brabus focused on transforming standard Mercedes-Benz vehicles into one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Today, the brand has grown to become synonymous with high-end automobile engineering and design, steadily maintaining its position as one of the leading customizers in the luxury car industry.

Origins of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is a German luxury automobile manufacturer founded in 1926, resulting from the merger of two companies: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) and Benz & Cie. The brand represents over a century of innovation and excellence in automotive engineering, featuring an extensive product range of sedans, coupes, SUVs, sports cars, and commercial vehicles.

mercedes benz
Mercedes Benz

The origins of the company can be traced back to the invention of the first gasoline-powered automobile in 1886 by Karl Benz: the Benz Patent-Motorwagen. In 1901, DMG introduced the Mercedes brand, named after the daughter of an Austrian distributor and business partner, Emil Jellinek. The iconic three-pointed star logo represents the brand's aspirations to provide transportation solutions "on land, on water, and in the air."

Performance and Tuning

Engine Performance

Brabus and Mercedes have different approaches to engine performance. Brabus is an aftermarket tuning company focusing on enhancing the performance of Mercedes-Benz cars. They offer engine upgrades that increase horsepower, torque, and overall speed. For instance, Brabus can take a Mercedes-AMG S63 and increase its horsepower from 603 to 800, resulting in a top speed of 200+ mph.

In contrast, Mercedes-Benz designs and manufactures vehicles with various levels of performance for different markets and customer preferences. They produce a wide range of models, from luxury sedans to high-performance sports cars, such as the Mercedes-AMG GT R, which already boasts an impressive 577 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.

Aerodynamics and Handling

Both Brabus and Mercedes pay close attention to the aerodynamics and handling of their vehicles. Brabus enhances these aspects with aftermarket parts that often include:

  • Custom front and rear spoilers
  • Side skirts
  • Diffusers
  • Carbon fiber elements

These components can improve airflow around the vehicle, reducing drag and increasing stability at high speeds.

Mercedes, on the other hand, ensures their cars have excellent handling from the factory by using wind tunnel testing and advanced suspension systems. They even offer models with adjustable suspensions for optimum ride comfort and performance at the push of a button.

Aftermarket componentsFactory designs
Enhanced aerodynamicsWind tunnel testing
Custom suspension upgradesAdvanced suspension systems

Interior and Exterior Modifications

Brabus offers extensive interior and exterior modification options, such as:

  • High-quality leather upholstery
  • Sporty carbon fiber trimmings
  • Upgraded infotainment systems
  • Custom instrument clusters

Additionally, they offer bespoke exterior modifications, including custom paint jobs and wheel designs.

brabus interior
Brabus leather interior

Mercedes vehicles come with various standard and optional factory features. For instance, the Mercedes-AMG line includes sport seats, leather upholstery, and AMG-specific interior trim. However, for additional customization options, customers usually turn to Mercedes-Benz accessories or the AMG Performance Studio, rather than a complete Brabus overhaul.

Brabus and Mercedes-AMG Models

Brabus and Mercedes-AMG are both known for producing high-performance, luxury vehicles. They take the standard Mercedes-Benz line-up and modify the cars to achieve improved performance, handling, and aesthetics. This section will discuss some of the popular models from both Brabus and Mercedes-AMG.

Popular Brabus Models

Brabus 900: The Brabus 900 is a heavily tuned version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It boasts a powerful 900 horsepower engine, propelling the vehicle from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. This luxury sedan is equipped with advanced suspension technology, improved aerodynamics, and a top speed of around 217 mph.

brabus 900
Brabus 900

G V12 900: Another popular model from Brabus is the G V12 900, based on the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV. This beast comes with a massive V12 engine producing 888 horsepower and 1,106 lb-ft of torque. The G V12 900 has a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of approximately 174 mph.

Brabus G V12 900
Brabus G V12 900

Popular Mercedes-AMG Models

G63: The Mercedes-AMG G63 is a high-performance variant of the legendary G-Class SUV. The vehicle is powered by a 4.0-liter V8 Bi-turbo engine producing 577 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. It can reach 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 149 mph.


S-Class AMG: The Mercedes-AMG S-Class models are the epitome of performance, luxury, and technology. The S 63 features a 4.0-liter V8 Bi-turbo engine producing 603 horsepower, while the S 65's 6.0-liter V12 Bi-turbo engine generates a whopping 621 horsepower. These supercars offer a sophisticated ride, advanced safety features, and the latest cutting-edge technology.

Mercedes AMG S Class
Mercedes AMG S Class

Luxury and Customization

Luxury Features and Options

Brabus and Mercedes both prioritize luxury, though in slightly different ways. Mercedes vehicles come equipped with high-quality materials and options, such as leather seats, fine wood trim, and state-of-the-art infotainment systems. These features contribute to Mercedes' reputation for a superior level of comfort and sophistication.

Brabus, a high-performance aftermarket tuner for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, takes the luxury experience even further. It offers a range of custom colors and upgrades that complement the base Mercedes options. For instance, Brabus has been known to provide ultra-premium leather for their interior upholstery, as well as special edition aluminum accessories that further enhance the vehicle's aesthetics and functionality.

Aftermarket Customization

While Mercedes offers a wide range of features and options that cater to many tastes, Brabus allows customers the opportunity to further personalize their vehicle. Some of the aftermarket alterations provided by Brabus include:

  • Custom wheels: Brabus offers a variety of wheel designs, sizes, and finishes that can set your vehicle apart from others on the road.
  • Enhanced leather: Brabus uses only the finest hides, and customers can choose from an array of colors and stitching patterns.
  • Specialty trim: Brabus can customize interior trim pieces with rare woods, carbon fiber, or other premium materials, based on individual preferences.

Pricing and Cost Factors

When comparing Brabus and Mercedes, it's important to consider the pricing and costs associated with each brand. In this section, we'll evaluate the base price comparison and tuning and modification costs.

Base Price Comparison

Brabus vehicles are typically built upon high-performance Mercedes models, leading to a significantly higher base price. As an example, let's compare a Mercedes-AMG E63 S to its Brabus-tuned counterpart:

ModelBase Price
Mercedes-AMG E63 S$108,450
Brabus E63 S$225,000 (approx)

As demonstrated in the table, the Brabus E63 S is estimated to cost almost double the base price of the Mercedes-AMG E63 S. The increased price is due to the performance upgrades and visual enhancements provided by Brabus.

Tuning and Modification Costs


Mercedes-Benz offers a range of AMG performance parts, but these are limited compared to Brabus. Upgrade costs can vary, but generally, it can be estimated as follows:

  • Performance Exhaust System: $2,000 - $4,000
  • Suspension Upgrades: $1,500 - $3,000
  • Aerodynamic Packages: $3,000 - $6,000


Brabus, on the other hand, specializes in tuning and modification services, offering a wide variety of options to enhance the performance and aesthetics of your Mercedes. However, these upgrades come at a premium:

  • Performance Powerkits: $5,000 - $35,000
  • Wheels and Tires: $8,000 - $20,000
  • Suspension Upgrades: $3,000 - $7,000
  • Aerodynamic Packages: $7,000 - $20,000
  • Interior Customization: $10,000+ (depending on materials and design)

Industry Presence and Competitors

Smart and Maybach Collaborations

Brabus GmbH, a high-performance aftermarket automotive company, has built partnerships with both Smart and Maybach. The collaboration with Smart resulted in stylish and sporty city cars, while the association with Maybach led to the creation of luxurious and exclusive vehicles. Both collaborations contribute to Brabus's industry presence and showcase its versatility in enhancing various car segments.

Competing Luxury Car Manufacturers

In the luxury car market, Mercedes-AMG competes with other prominent luxury car manufacturers, such as Porsche and Rolls-Royce. Mercedes-AMG, a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, focuses on high-performance vehicles that embody luxury and speed. Some of the AMG-enhanced cars offer competition to Porsche's sports cars, while the luxurious high-end sedans can rival Rolls-Royce in terms of craftsmanship and refinement.

Additional Features and Services

Restoration and Brabus Classic

Brabus offers restoration services for classic Mercedes-Benz models under the Brabus Classic division. They perform comprehensive overhauls that include engine rebuilding, suspension and brake upgrades, and reupholstering of interiors. Their skilled craftsmen ensure authenticity and preserve the original character of the vehicles.

Bulletproofing and Security Options

Safety and security are also a priority at Brabus. They provide bulletproof and armored options for several Mercedes models. The upgrades include multi-layered ballistic glass, reinforced body panels, and other essential security features. Brabus maintains high quality and discretion in their approach to bulletproofing, ensuring that the original aesthetics and performance of the vehicle are not compromised.

Brabus Invicto Mission roof
Brabus Invicto Mission roof

Brabus Supercars and Limited Editions

Brabus also transforms select Mercedes models into high-performance supercars. These limited edition vehicles boast impressive performance figures, upgraded engines, and advanced exterior modifications. Some notable examples include the Brabus 900 Rocket (based on Mercedes-AMG G-class) and the 800 Adventure XLP (based on Mercedes-AMG G63).

In addition, Brabus offers customization options for Smart cars, giving these compact vehicles a sportier look and enhanced performance capabilities.


What sets Brabus models apart from standard Mercedes?

Brabus models are known for their enhanced performance and luxury. They are modified and tuned by Brabus, a German high-performance aftermarket tuning company, to offer more horsepower, improved handling, and premium interiors compared to their standard Mercedes counterparts.

How do Brabus and AMG compare?

AMG is the high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz, directly developing and producing high-performance vehicles and parts. On the other hand, Brabus is an independent tuning company that focuses on Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Both offers increased power and performance, but Brabus tends to produce more exclusive and customized models.

What is the price difference between Brabus and regular Mercedes vehicles?

Brabus vehicles typically come with a higher price tag compared to regular Mercedes vehicles. This is due to the extensive modifications, higher-quality materials used in the interiors, and the level of customization available. The exact price difference depends on the model and customization options selected.

How does Brabus performance differ from Mercedes?

Brabus vehicles generally offer improved performance over their Mercedes counterparts. This includes increased power, torque, and acceleration. The upgrades may also include enhanced suspension systems and larger brakes for improved handling and stopping power. Each Brabus model will have performance figures that vary depending on the base Mercedes model and extent of the modifications.

What is the distinction between Brabus G Wagon and Mercedes G63?

The Brabus G Wagon is a modified version of the Mercedes G63 AMG. It has performance enhancements, such as increased horsepower and torque output, improved suspension, and upgraded brakes. The Brabus G Wagon also typically features a more luxurious interior, exclusive body kits, and custom wheels.

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About the Author: Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and social studies. He then started his higher education at the University of François Rabelais in Tours with a DUT Information Communication. To expand his knowledge, he also followed a professional degree in e-commerce and digital marketing at the Lumière University of Lyon. On this project, he is in charge of articles covering language, industry and social.
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