2018 Suzuki Swift Sport
Introduced in 2000 as the Suzuki Ignis, the Swift was redesigned in 2004 and again in 2010 when the third-generation model was launched. In 2017, Suzuki brought the fourth-generation into the spotlight with the company’s brand-new design language, which debuted on the slightly bigger Baleno. Unveiled for the European market at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the new Swift received its higher-performance Sport version a few months later, at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Developed as a higher performance version aimed at similar offerings from Volkswagen and Ford, the Swift Sport has been around since 2005. The recipe was pretty much simple and revolved mostly around a slightly more powerful engine and a few chassis tweaks. Unlike hot-hatches like the Volkswagen Polo GTI and Ford Fiesta ST, the Swift Sport didn’t really stand out in the lineup styling-wise. But this changes with the new hatchback, which gained a more individual appearance and even a range of unique features. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Suzuki Swift Sport.
2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA
Although it has been toying with electric drivetrains for decades, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled more concept cars than production models up until now. The SLS AMG Electric Drive was its first important statement in the world of EVs, followed by the B-Class Electric Drive in 2014. In 2016, Mercedes-Benz announced its first family of battery-powered vehicles, called EQ, and a couple of new concept cars followed. One of them is the EQA, a compact hatchback that looks like an A-Class from the future.
Mercedes’ first EV in the compact segment, the Concept EQA joins Concept EQC, a small SUV that’s scheduled to move into production in 2019. There’s no word as to when the EQA will become a production model, but we do know that the German automaker intends to launch 10 EQ models by 2022. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that the EQA will be one of the first to enter the market and could arrive in showrooms for the 2020 model year. Until we find out more, let’s have a closer look at the concept car in the review below.
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2017 Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept
Launched in 2016, the C-HR is Toyota’s answer to the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. Only 4.4 meters (14.4 feet) long, the C-HR is the company’s smallest crossover to date and slots under the already iconic RAV4. The small SUV has received many positive reviews in its first year on the market, mostly being praised for its well-equipped interior, comfortable ride, and sporty interior. But nothing stands out more than its bold and rather unusual styling. Arguably the most exciting small crossover on the market in terms of exterior design, the C-HR became even more striking at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show thanks to a special package by ED2, Toyota’s European design studio. It’s called the C-HR HyPower, and it’s just a concept for now.
Much like most concepts, the HyPower includes features that you can’t normally buy with the regular C-HR. There’s a wild finish for the roof, a special body paint, and orange accents on the outside, while the interior boasts quilted seats and a bright contrast. As the name suggests, this concept car is more powerful than the usual C-HR hybrid. Not much is known at this point, but Toyota did confirm that the show car previews some sort of higher performance drivetrain that will be revealed in early 2018. Let’s have a closer look at the concept in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota C-HR HyPower concept.
2017 Audi Elaine
With Audi introducing cars like the Audi Aicon, it’s pretty easy to assume that in the near future we’ll find ourselves without even having the option to take the wheel and drive on our own. Then again, with the sheer number of traffic-related fatalities each year, one could really question if we should be allowed to the freedom to drive anyway, but we’ll leave that conversation for another time. Instead, let’s look at the future of sports cars, better known as the Audi Elaine – an all-electric sports car that can drive itself but also has a wheel and pedals for guys like me who like to really get into those corners from time to time. What we’re talking about here is a muscular “SUV Coupe” that sits somewhere close to the Audi A7 in the lineup and features an all-electric drive that’s good for a 4.5-second sprint to 62 mph, a range of at least 300 miles, and it even features autonomous technology with cutting-edge processing power and comfort.
When you combine this vehicle’s capabilities along with Audi Ai, and Audi Ai Zone, you get the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to drive yourself when you wish, let the AI take over on a whim, and even get door-to-door service thanks to the car’s ability to find a parking garage or place on the street to park itself. Audi envisions a time when the car will be able to drive itself to an advanced parking garage where it can charge itself, pick up packages, and even get a good washing before finding a place to rest. At 5 O’clock when it’s time to get out of work, you’ll walk out the doors and find your Elaine waiting to take you home. Suddenly, the future doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Well, let’s take a better look at the Elaine and see what the car is all about.
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2017 Audi Aicon
With the internal combustion engine living on borrowed time and fully autonomous cars on the horizon, we’re starting to see more and more futuristic concept cars that focus more on what cars of the future will be like than what we can expect to see in the next five or six years. Audi has really jumped on that wagon, and at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, it debuted the Audi Aicon – a vehicle that looks to the days of self-driving electric mobility with absolutely no compromises. As a 2+2 sedan, the Aicon has an attractive silhouette and a roomy interior. Comfort is of the utmost importance, and you’ll find that the interior is void of the usual necessities like a steering wheel or pedals and buttons. As an all-electric vehicle, it boasts four electric motors and a battery pack that should be good for nearly 500 miles of non-stop driving. And, not that it matters in a car that you can’t drive, but system output is rated at nearly 350 horsepower and more than 400 pound-feet of torque. Not bad.
With this in mind, and as attractive as this concept is, we’re still a long way out from Level 5 autonomy. The world just isn’t ready for a car of this nature quite yet (look at all the idiots that abused the functionality of Tesla’s AutoPilot in the early years) so don’t expect to see this thing shift into production anytime soon. It may someday, but I wouldn’t expect to see it before 2025 or 2030 at that earliest. Be that as it may, this concept is a very cool design study and a look at the future of the automotive industry, so let’s take a good look at it and see what all we can expect in our not-so-distant future.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Aicon.
2017 BMW Concept X7 iPerformance
No one can claim BMW’s lineup lacks enough models. The German automaker has split more hairs when it comes to niche segments than any other brand. But one thing BMW lacks is a three-row SUV. That will change when the X7 Sport Activity Vehicle begins production for the 2019 model year. In the mean time, BMW has teased the X7 with this concept version. It’s (hopefully) a heavily stylized and futuristic interpretation of what the X7 will be, and comes packed with high-tech features and overstated design elements.
The X7 will ride on BMW’s CLAR platform, which is currently used in the 7 Series sedan. Powertrain specifications haven’t been detailed, but BMW says the X7 will offer electric propulsion, which BMW calls eDrive, paired with a TwinPower Turbo engine. Obviously, this is where the iPerformance designation comes in. The gasoline-electric hybrid system will be of the plug-in variety and can run in full EV mode with zero local emissions. We expect BMW’s inline-six and V-8 engines will be available, too, with rear-wheel driving coming as standard and all-wheel drive being optional, perhaps depending on the powertrain. So, until BMW debuts the production version of the X7, this concept remains the best guess at what we can expect. Let’s just hope the overstyled exterior gets heavily toned down before the X7 hits showrooms in late 2018.
Updated 09/19/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s presentation at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance.
2017 MINI Electric Concept
The modern Mini Cooper was launched in 2001, some 42 years after the British firm launched the original model. This time build under BMW Group ownership, the Mini became more of a fashion statement rather than an affordable, people’s car, but this is exactly what turned it into a big hit. Redesigned in 2006 and 2013, the Cooper grew larger and larger and gained more technology with each generation. In 2017, Mini introduced its first hybrid model, the S E Countryman All4, and it’s now looking to launch its first-ever electric car. And it just unveiled the Mini Electric Concept ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Designed as a preview for a production model that will be introduced in 2019, the Mini Electric Concept arrives almost ten year since Mini built its first EV, the Mini E. More of a demonstration vehicle rather than a production car, the Mini E was produced between 2009 and 2010 in the form of a three-door Cooper. More than 600 cars were deployed in several countries for on-road testing in a project that eventually led to a couple of BMW trial cars and finally the i3. A modern reinterpretation of the Mini E, the Electric Concept moves Mini one step closer to joining the EV market. It’s a bit late to the party, but as they say, better late than never.
Updated 09/19/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Electric Concept.
2017 Volkswagen I.D. Crozz II Concept
Volkswagen is taking the shift to electric vehicles very seriously, and as such, it has been flooding us with concept after concept that features futuristic looks, new technology, and all-electric drivetrains. We’ve seen the I.D. BUZZ, the new Microbus, and the I.D. CROZZ – an all-electric SUV with coupe-like proportions and a desire to drag you over to the green side. When the doors to the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show kicked off, VW was there with the I.D. CROZZ II, and reinterpretation of the original that “points the way more strongly to the production vehicle.” With that in mind, there isn’t a lot going on here that separates the CROZZ II from the original CROZZ concept. VW claims it has revamped the front and rear sections of the vehicle, while the interior has been refined just a little bit. The 21-inch wheels are a little more production ready, but far from what we’ll probably see on the production model. VW promises 310 miles of range on a single charge, a top speed of 111 mph, and quick charging to the tune of 80 percent in just 30 minutes. Not bad.
With all of this in mind, the CROZZ II isn’t exactly a huge departure from the previous example and still features some pretty futuristic features. It’s still rocking the side view cameras, and unique interior, and the same general exterior look. It does appear to be a little bit longer, but even that could be our eyes playing tricks on us. What’s more important is that this model should be seeing its way to the market as a full-fledged, all-electric model by the turn of the decade. So, before we start seeing spy shots of the production model prototypes, let’s take a closer look at this concept and talk more about it.
2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI
Volkswagen’s most iconic model after legendary Beetle, the Golf became a performance hatchback all the way back in 1976, only two years after the nameplate was introduced. A popular model since day one, the Golf GTI inspired Volkswagen to design a higher performance version of the smaller Polo too. Although the first Polo GTi didn’t arrive until 1995, the model can trace its roots back to the first-generation G40 version. Following a limited-edition introduction in the 1990s, the GTI has become a regular member of the Polo family, and 2017 brought the latest-generation hatch into the spotlight.
Launched at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the latest Polo GTI is based on the latest, sixth-generation subcompact, also unveiled in 2017. Built on a new platform, it uses an updated design language based on the latest Golf and a redesigned interior that moves the new Polo into a higher class, closer to the premium market. More importantly, the new GTI gained a 2.0-liter engine instead of the old, 1.8-liter unit. On the flipside, if you were expecting a new Polo GTI with significantly more power, you’ll probably be a bit disappointed. But more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Volkswagen Polo GTi.
2017 Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
I suppose we should’ve expected something like this from Mini. Give the company an inch, and it’s more than happy to take a mile. Take the new John Cooper Works GP Concept for example. On the surface, the concept’s objective is pretty simple: pay tribute to its conquest in the Monte Carlo Rally back in 1967. But like everything that Mini does, it’s as interested in simply giving homage to a rally car as it is in making a statement and going above and beyond what’s needed. That attitude gave birth to the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit and the Mini John Cooper Works GP from 2006 and 2012, respectively. Now, Mini’s back with a new randy concept called the John Cooper Works GP Concept, and wouldn’t you know it, it looks positively stunning.
Nobody’s going to ever accuse Mini at being bashful, but even the JCW GP Concept seems to have been done with a simple purpose in mind: get a Cooper JCW and drown it in aerodynamic bits. Even Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer describes the JCW GP Concept as “driving fun in its purest form,” and it’s hard to even come up with a reasonable argument otherwise. The end result is a car that can make even the most demented of tuning firms blush with pride, though I suppose getting that kind of reaction is already old hat for Mini. Good to know then that after all these years, the BMW-owned automaker still has what it takes to grab everyone’s attention the way very few of its peers in the business are able to.
Updated 09/18/2017: Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept looked even more aggressive on the Frankfurt floor. Check our gallery for more images from the show.
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2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS
It should come as no surprise that while in search for a little differentiation for its R8 lineup, Audi decided to develop a special edition model that ditched one of its most important claims to fame: the quattro all-wheel-drive system. And so there it was at the Frankfurt Motor Show for all the world to see. The limited edition Audi R8 officially goes by the name R8 V10 RWS, and according to Audi Sport CEO Stephan Winkelmann, it’s a model that Audi developed specifically for purists with an “appreciation for essential driving enjoyment.”
The special edition R8 V10 is limited to just 999 units and each one of them will ditch the automaker’s famous quattro AWD system in favor of rear-wheel drive. That’s the car’s claim to fame, above all else, and it’s a claim that no other variant of the current-generation Audi R8 has. Beyond the RWD offering, the R8 V10 also features a good amount of exterior and interior changes, as well as significant modifications to its chassis and suspension to accommodate the rear-wheel drive set-up. If it’s hard to imagine what an RWD Audi R8 is all about, think of it as a lighter version of the standard R8 that’s been tuned specifically to put more control of the car in the driver’s hands. Think drifting in an AWD R8 is cool? Well, imagine what you can do with an R8 that sends all of its power in the rear wheels. This is what the Audi R8 V10 RWS is offering, among other things. Better be quick though because only 999 units will be made. Miss out on one and you’re once again staring at the aftermarket tuning scene to get your rear-wheel drive R8 fix.
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2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One
Just a few years ago, Mercedes floated plans to create a new hybrid hypercar, one that would dominate in the burgeoning world of electrified ultimate-performance machines. The German automaker confirmed those plans a year ago, and now, with AMG celebrating its 50th anniversary, the uber-car has made its big debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Mercedes says the new mega-machine brings “the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology to the road.” That includes a 1.6-liter V-6 that’s shockingly similar to the powerplant in Merc’s F1 car, spinning to 11,000 rpm and producing upwards of four figures. Drivers sit in a carbon fiber tub, stick harder with active aerodynamics, and turn better with push rod suspension. All impressive stuff, to be sure, but is it enough to topple the current top-dog performance machines?
Regardless, the Project One is already a massive hit, garnering huge attention for Mercedes-AMG and nearly selling out even before its big sheet pull. Drawing from Mercedes’ championship-winning experience at the top of the motorsport heap and developed with input from various AMG Formula 1 team members, the Project One is the very definition of a halo car, promising to set the technological drum beat by which all future AMG cars will dance. Read on for the juicy details and specs.
Updated 09/18/17: The Mercedes-AMG Project One has arrived, and we’ve got all the info you need right here. Also, check the "Pictures" tab for some images taken in Frankfurt.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG Project One.
2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept
With the EV war in full swing and every manufacturer trying to prove their dominance in this small but growing segment, it came as no surprise that there were plenty of EV and future concepts display at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. One such concept was the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept – a model that previews a production model that will slot between the BMW i3 and BMW i8, and most likely the BMW i5 that we thought for sure was coming to Frankfurt this year. Whether or not this thing is anywhere near being ready for a shift into production remains to be seen, it has a pretty wild exterior design but, as a sedan, it will slot in nicely below the i8. It features a futuristic-like exterior design, along with an all-electric drivetrain.
As of now, details about this specific concept are scant at best. BMW hasn’t even enlightened us with any information about the interior and has given us very little about the drivetrain itself, so this is pretty much a best guess scenario. It’s also one of the 12 promised, pure-electric models that will grace Bimmer’s lineup by 2025 and stand next to another 13 electrified/hybrid vehicles. With that said, it’s time to take a good look at the latest vision concept and see what we might be able to expect from the mysterious and evasive i5 or maybe even an i7 since the i5 could end up being an SUV according to a report back in 2016. So, there are a lot of unknowns here, but that just means we can have fun with it. Let’s get to it.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.
2018 Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster
The Lamborghini Aventador is crowned as Lambo’s most iconic model, and since its introduction in 2011, the family has grown considerably. After the base Aventador hit the road, it paved the way for models like the Aventador J, the LP 750-4 SuperVeloce, the Dreamliner Edition, and was even used as the basis for cars like the Veneno and Centenario. By the time late 2016 came around, the car that was responsible for the aforementioned models – and replaced the Murcielago in the lineup – was due for an update that brought about a revamping of the car’s aerodynamics and its chassis to go along with a mild update to power output as well. Now, in early September of 2017 – at least a month before the new 2018 Aventador S will be delivered to the first customers – Lambo has decided to present us with the Aventador S Roadster, a topless version of the new S that is destined to stand out next to its less-frisky counterpart by means of unlimited headroom packed into a head-turning package.
So that sounds good and all, but what does it really mean? Well, it means that the world’s only super sports roadster with a mid-rear V-12 is its own standalone model that’s highly customizable with five different interior configurations, and an unlimited choice of exterior colors via the Ad Persona program. It takes four-wheel drive to an all-new level alongside things like the active suspension system, four-wheel steering system, and Lambo’s classic LDS and LMS systems that were revised specifically for the Aventador S Roadster. So, even though the Aventador S Coupe is still fairly fresh in our minds, it’s time to take a good look at its topless counterpart. And, you better hurry if you want to be informed – this baby makes its first official debut to the masses at none other than the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show.
Updated 09/18/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster.
2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Porsche has a history of making absurd vehicles, but this might take the cake – at least for now. It’s the new 2019 Cayenne Turbo and it packs 550 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged V-8 that turns all four wheels while four-wheel steering and active aero bodywork scramble to keep it pointing straight. Think of it as the playboy’s version of the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
Porsche pulled the covers off the new high-powered SUV at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show to a crowd of gleeful onlookers. No doubt people fawn on whatever Porsche attaches its crest too, including tall SUVs and four-door sedans with a hybrid powertrain. Granted, the German automaker generally knows how to screw a vehicle together, but Porsche has certainly been carving out new territory over the last 17 years. As for the new Cayenne Turbo, well, it’s muy caliente, so keep reading for the juicy details. You’ll find it includes rear-wheel steering, a new three-chamber air suspension, and a 48-volt electronic roll stabilization system.
Continue reading for more on the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
Brabus Once Again Proves It’s The King Of Mercedes-AMG Tuning
Unless we’re in for a surprise in the next coming days, it looks like the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will only have one major aftermarket tuning company in attendance. It’s a little bit of a surprise, but then again, the tuner that did show up is Brabus, and we all know its place in the tuning hierarchy. Suffice to say, it’s the go-to tuner for Mercedes-Benz models. This week Brabus showed solidified this with not one, not two, but three different programs for three different Mercedes-AMG models, all of which, mind you, received insane levels of power and performance, among other things.
These are the kinds of things that we can expect from Brabus. As a matter of fact, these are the kinds of things that we’ve already expected out of the tuner. I’ve already detailed my thoughts about the Rocket 900 program for the AMG S 65 Cabrio and the 700 kit for the AMG E 63 S last week. But guess what; Brabus wasn’t done. Rather, it followed those two major reveals with another program, the 900PS, for the AMG G 65 V12. All that and the tuner even had the time to build and develop a concept for smart called the Ultimate E Concept and had one of its sub-brands – Startech – come up with an aero kit for the Land Rover Discovery. Those two aside, the three Mercedes-AMG tuning kits are prime examples of why everyone regards Brabus as one of the best tuners in the game today. It may be far from being the only one, but rest assured, if there’s somebody out there with a Mercedes or a Mercedes-AMG in his garage that’s dying to get some aftermarket tuning love, Brabus should be one of the first, if not the first, tuners he should call.
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BMW’s New Black and White Badge Is A Sign Of Things To Come
BMW showed up to IAA 2017, aka the Frankfurt Auto Show, ready to make waves, and make waves it did. There was no shortage of new models to look at, and a few others that we’ve already seen. Highlights included cars like the BMW I Vision Dynamics Concept, the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, BMW X3, BMW i3 and i3S, the new BMW M5, and the BMW M8 GTE – the car that previews the future M8. It also brought a couple of special editions in tow along with concepts we’ve already seen like the 8 Series and the Concept Z4. All of this is great, but at the same time, the German marque also announced something much smaller and maybe even a little controversial. See, the brand has decided to separate its “premium” models (is there such a thing as a non-premium BMW?) from the rest of the lineup with a special badge. That’s right; your next BMW might not wear the traditional black, white, and blue badge. Oh, how time changes things, huh?
The logo isn’t a departure from the iconic BMW badge that we all recognize. It’s still the same, except that it’ll be featured entirely in black and white, with no trace of blue. It’ll also feature the words “Bayerische Motoren Werke,” the automaker’s spelled-out name from which the “BMW” acronym comes from. Granted, Bimmer hasn’t specified which of its models will be given the simplified black and white badge, but a quick look at the company’s revamped lineup provides the likelihood that models like the 7 Series and the upcoming 8 Series and X7 SUVs all have the inside track at wearing the new badge. An announcement is expected to happen sooner than later, but in any case, start getting used to this new logo from BMW. It may be more of the same from a design point of view, but for as long as we’ve known and appreciated the black, white, and blue badge, it’s going to take as much time to get used to this new version.
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2017 Frankfurt Motor Show – Worst In Show
With the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show now written into the history books, we have a nice list of superb automotive debuts to look at and feel good about. But unfortunately, as is often the case, you gotta take the good with the bad, and there were a few reveals in Germany this year that didn’t quite cut the mustard. Between less-than-special special editions, lackluster SUVs, and uninspiring concepts, there was actually a good deal to pick from when putting together this list of Worst In Show.
Funny enough, we decided to toss in some controversial picks for good measure as well. That’s right – you may find one entry that managed to appear on both the Best In Show and Worst In Show lists! We here at TopSpeed are still arguing about it, so we want you, dear readers, to get in on the conversation. That means posting in the comments to let us know which cars did it for you and which ones fell flat. Are our opinions correct? Keep us honest! So without further ado…
Continue reading to learn more about the Worst In Show debuts from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Brabus 900PS
On one hand, a go-anywhere, do-everything car like the Mercedes-AMG G65 is already fine on its own. There’s not a lot this hulking machine can’t do. It’s fast, powerful, luxurious, and has all the utility chops to literally go places others can only dream about going. On the other hand, there is something appealing about having a car like the AMG G65 and still have options to do something with it. Maybe slap on an aerodynamic kit? Perhaps an engine tune? The possibilities are all there, and these possibilities are being brought to life – yet again – by Brabus.
I don’t suppose it deserves another mention as being one of the best Mercedes-AMG tuners in the business, and yet, here we are again. Brabus’ new program for the Mercedes-AMG G65 V12 touched down at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and as you might expect, it’s dripping in modifications. It features a wide-body aerodynamic body kit, a fancy-schmancy interior dress-up, a new set of wheels, and a massive engine upgrade that, at least according to Brabus, makes this vehicle “the world’s most powerful twelve-cylinder off-road vehicle.” At some point, all of Brabus’ claims become irrelevant because we already start to expect greatness out of its programs without the tuner telling us all about it. That’s what it feels like looking at the AMG G65 Brabus 900PS. The tuner may as well be right in saying that no other 12-cylinder off-roader is as powerful as this beast, but we expected that already to begin with. That’s clout that only years of excellence can justify.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG G65 V12 Brabus 900PS