Range-topping performance coupe is the newest member of the Rocket family

Like the world-class aftermarket tuner that rises up to the occasion, the tuning prowess of Brabus was at full display at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The German tuner was on hand to present a handful of its latest programs, including kits for the Mercedes-AMG C63 S and the Mercedes G500. As impressive as those programs were, the real showcase project of Brabus was the AMG S65 Coupe 900 Rocket. Yes, the Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe has just joined the Rocket family.

We already know what being a member of the exclusive Rocket club means. Not only did the AMG S65 Coupe receive a carbon fiber aerodynamic kit, it was also the recipient of one of the most gorgeous interior modifications we’ve seen in a long time. Most importantly, though, was the engine upgrade that Brabus gave to the high-performance coupe’s 6.0-liter biturbo V-12 engine. Suffice to say, the “900” designation is clear indicator on the kind of power the AMG S65 has under its hood.

The Rocket program is when Brabus is at its sickest. As if building impressive kits aren’t enough, the German tuner still has another level to go to when it really wants to put some serious power on its projects. The AMG S65 is the latest to be welcomed to this family and it once again proves that when it comes to turning Mercedes models into veritable rockets on four wheels, few do it better than Brabus.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

  • 2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V12
  • Transmission:
    seven-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    887
  • Torque @ RPM:
    1106
  • Displacement:
    6.3 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    217 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus High Resolution Exterior
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The exterior changes to the AMG S65 Coupe are limited to a few carbon fiber components, all of which are meant to improve the model’s looks and performance characteristics. Up front, Brabus installed a new spoiler with noticeably different air intakes. The Silver Arrows badge was also taken out in favor of the tuner’s unmistakable “B” logo. Move to the sides and the only significant changes are the carbon fiber mirror caps and side skirts. Finally, the rear section of the AMG S65 Coupe featured a more pronounced spoiler and a bespoke diffuser with its own cutouts to accommodate the quad exhaust tips on opposite ends of the rear. The German tuner finished off the exterior upgrades with a new set of either 21- or 22-inch wheels. There’s also an option to get the wheels in various design finish depending on the customer’s taste and preference.

Interior

2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus High Resolution Interior
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Brabus never wastes an opportunity to put its best foot forward at a show like Geneva. The tuner knows how to do it big and that’s exactly what it did with the AMG S65 Coupe’s interior. The most significant addition is the leather and trim combination, highlighted by a light brown and magnolia leather that create the perfect two-tone application that complements the gloss black exterior. The leather itself is complemented by a beige topstitching and “Fire” piping while the pedals, paddle shifters, and door pins all received aluminum versions of themselves. Dark wood inlays with open-pore surfaces and umbra-colorer wood trims finish off the decadent upgrades on the AMG S Coupe’s interior. Suffice to say, if first impressions count for anything, Brabus hit a home run with what it did to the coupe’s interior.

Drivetrain

2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus High Resolution Drivetrain
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As impressive as the interior of the AMG S65 Coupe is, the real main event of Brabus’ Rocket program can be found under the hood of the high-performing coupe. Pop it open and it reveals a world of unbridled power, the kind that gives justice to its “Rocket” name.

Brabus was able to extract an incredible 887 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque

The extensive modification began by actually increasing the displacement of the massive V-12 engine from 6.0 liters to 6.3 liters. Once that was accomplished, Brabus took out the V-8’s standard turbochargers and dropped in a larger pair to increase the amount of power that can be squeezed out of the engine. A special billet crankshaft with a longer stroke was also put in place, as well as a high performance exhaust and a reprogrammed ECU unit. All together, Brabus was able to extract an incredible 887 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque. By comparison, the “standard” AMG S65 Coupe produces a measly-by-comparison 621 ponies and 738 pound-feet of twist. A seven-speed automatic transmission sends all that power to the rear wheels where a Brabus-developed limited-slip differential waits to provide a smoother transfer of power to the rear axle.

The AMG S65 Coupe Rocket’s performance numbers are no joke either. For instance, it can now sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds. That’s three-tenths-of-a-second quicker than the standard model. Top speed also increases from the standard 186 mph to a supercar-worthy 217 mph.

Suspension

The huge engine upgrade wouldn’t be possible if Brabus left the coupe’s suspension alone. That’s why the tuner installed its own suspension lowering kit, helping the car drop its height by 0.6 inches.

Pricing

No word yet on how much this program will cost but considering the extent of modifications on all facets of the coupe, don’t expect the Rocket kit for the AMG S65 Coupe to come cheap.

Competition

Rolls-Royce Sanguin by Mansory

2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith By Mansory High Resolution Exterior
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This may sound like a little bit of a cop-out, but with the exclusive number of competitors for the AMG S65 Coupe, there are really just a handful of worthy rivals to the most powerful AMG-powered coupe. One of these models is the Rolls-Royce Wraith, which was the subject of a recent aftermarket work courtesy of Mansory. You all remember it by now as the Sanguin kit, which Mansory unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

The Swiss tuner unveiled the Sanguis kit with a comprehensive list of modifications. It had an aero kit made up of a carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber front wings, side sills, and rear widening components. It also had a cabin filled to the brim with hand-crafted leather and Makassar ebony wood elements. And, of course, it had a performance upgrade that brought the luxury coupe’s output to 729 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 737 pound-feet of torque, significantly more than the Wraith’s standard output of 624 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. That cuts the car’s 0-to-60 mph time to 4.4 seconds and pushes its top speed to 186 mph.

Read our full review here.

Bentley Continental GT Monster by Mulliner

2016 Bentley "Monster by Mulliner" Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The other model that’s most commonly brought up as a competitor to the Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe is the Bentley Continental GT. It’s worth noting that there aren’t that many tuning kits available for the Continental GT. That said, there is the Continental by Mulliner. The exterior of the project piece was dressed in a glossy shade of Onyx black paint finish with Hotspur red accents on a handful of components in the body. It also has black hood vents and a new set of polished, gloss back wheels.

Inside, the Continental’s customization is turned a few levels up and is highlighted by a bespoke audio unit made up of 3,400 watts and 16 speakers that Monster developed specifically for this model. Lastly, a 24-carat gold wireless headphone was also added to the cabin. Unfortunately, the Continental Monster by Mulliner didn’t come with an engine upgrade, leaving it lacking in power relative to its two rivals. It still has a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8, but with a standard output of 521 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus High Resolution Exterior
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The limits to Brabus’ tuning genius knows no bounds. That’s the best way to describe this program, which is just as awesome as some of the tuner’s past works. There’s a level of sustained excellence that only a few aftermarket companies have reached. I dare say that Brabus has already reached that level and with new programs like this AMG S65 Coupe Rocket, it’s going to be a long time before the German tuner loses a step to the competition.

  • Leave it
    • * Maintenance could be an issue
    • * Won’t be cheap
    • * Other tuners have just unveiled their own kits for this model

Press Release

BRABUS supercars have been part of the automotive elite for almost four decades. The new BRABUS ROCKET 900 Coupe based on the Mercedes S 65 now continues this tradition seamlessly. Powered by a BRABUS ROCKET 900 6.3 V12 twin-turbo increased-displacement engine rated at 662 kW / 900 HP (887 bhp) and producing 1,500 Nm (1,106 lb-ft) of torque, this exclusive supercar is one of the most powerful and fastest 2+2-seaters in the world with a top speed in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph).

2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus High Resolution Exterior
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Of course, BRABUS (Brabus-Allee, D-46240 Bottrop, phone + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777-0, fax + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777 111, Internet www.brabus.com) not only offers high performance in its purest form, but also sporty-elegant design with naked carbon aerodynamic-enhancement components, high-tech forged wheels with diameters of 21 or 22 inches and a luxuriously appointed interior.

The transformation of the twin-turbo V12 engine from the S 65 starts in the BRABUS engine shop, which is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery. To realize the displacement increase from standard 6.0 to 6.3 liters (366 to 384 cubic inch), the shop bores out the twelve cylinders and fits them with the matching forged pistons. In addition, BRABUS installs a special billet crankshaft with longer stroke and precision-balanced special piston rods.

Furthermore, the engine peripherals are upgraded with tailor-made high-performance components. The two production turbos are replaced with BRABUS turbos with larger compressor unit and turbine. The new turbochargers are adapted to the two cylinder heads with modified exhaust manifolds.

The conversion also includes larger down pipes with a diameter of 80 millimeters (3.1 in), free-flow metal catalysts and a BRABUS high-performance exhaust with actively controlled butterfly valves. This exhaust system offers active sound management at the touch of a button on the steering wheel. In addition, the two ceramic-coated dual designer tailpipes of the stainless-steel sport exhaust, which on the show car for the Geneva Motor Show 2016 sport a black satin finish, also add some thrilling visual highlights.

At the same time, BRABUS developed the BRABUS 900 intake module, which draws its air directly from the radiator grille through an air duct in the hood.

The new intake manifold also includes two special air filter boxes with larger intake cross-section and special filters. To lower the charge air temperatures further, the pressure pipes are wrapped in “Gold Heat Reflection” sheathing.

The special mapping for injection and ignition is the fruit of extensive testing on dynamic engine test benches and during road tests. It coordinates the perfect interaction of all high-performance components. MOTUL supplies the high-performance lubricants for the entire powertrain.

Collectively, all these measures make the BRABUS ROCKET 900 6.3 V12 twin-turbo increased-displacement engine one of the most potent power units on the market. The turbocharged twelve-cylinder engine churns out 662 kW / 900 HP (887 bhp) at a low 5,500 rpm and produces a peak torque of 1,500 Nm (1,106 lb-ft) at 4,200 rpm.

2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus High Resolution Exterior
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However, in the interest of the longevity of the powertrain peak torque is limited electronically to 1,200 Nm (884 lb-ft).

The power is channeled to the rear wheels by a seven-speed automatic transmission modified to handle the tremendous power and a BRABUS high-performance limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent. Thanks to the BRABUS RACE aluminum paddle shifters on the steering wheel, the transmission can also be shifted manually.

The BRABUS 900 ROCKET Coupe delivers a performance equaled by only a few top-class sports cars. The 2+2-seater accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds and reaches a speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) after just 9.1 seconds. The top speed is in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph), a fact accounted for by the BRABUS speedometer whose scale ends at 400 km/h (250 mph).

These tremendously fast speeds of course place especially high demands on the new aerodynamic-enhancement components, which like in motor racing are manufactured from carbon and which were subjected to extensive wind tunnel testing by the BRABUS designers.

The front bumper is upgraded with an additional BRABUS front spoiler. In concert with the distinctively styled air intakes, the aerodynamic-enhancement component lends the BRABUS 900 ROCKET Coupe an even more athletic front. At the same time, the BRABUS spoiler reduces lift on the front axle at high speeds for further optimized handling stability.

The BRABUS naked carbon diffuser with tailor-made cutouts for the tailpipes of the BRABUS sport exhaust and a subtle rear spoiler add some further athleticism to the rear. In addition, the designers have developed carbon attachments for the side air outlets in the rear bumper, which emphasize the sporty lines even more, and carbon covers for the exterior mirrors.

The “Shadow Gray” paint finish of all bodywork components that are chromed on the S 65 production car is tailored precisely to the color of the BRABUS carbon fiber parts.

Thrilling design, maximum quality and further enhanced driving dynamics are the outstanding traits of the BRABUS Monoblock wheels, which can be mounted on the BRABUS 900 ROCKET Coupe with diameters of 21 or 22 inches.

2016 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Rocket by Brabus High Resolution Exterior
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The BRABUS Monoblock “PLATINUM EDITION” 21-inch forged wheels come in various designs. The coupe presented in Geneva is on display with Monoblock F cross-spoke wheels, painted black to match the bodywork.

The wheels are manufactured using state-of-the-art forging technology and consequently offer an optimal blend of maximum strength and lightweight construction. In sizes 9Jx21 on the front axle and 10.5Jx21 at the rear, they make excellent use of the available space in the wheel wells. BRABUS installs the optimal Continental, Pirelli and YOKOHAMA high-performance tires of sizes 255/35 ZR 21 at the front and 295/30 ZR 21 on the rear axle.

As an alternative, the high-performance coupe can also be fitted with BRABUS Monoblock G “Platinum Edition” wheels, whose anthracite-colored paint finish is perfectly coordinated with the BRABUS carbon bodywork parts. The five-spoke forged wheels of size 9Jx22 with 255/30 ZR 22 tires on the front axle and size 10Jx22 wheels with 295/25 ZR 22 tires at the rear also make full use of the available space in the wheel wells.

The BRABUS suspension lowering module is calibrated to these sporty 21-inch or 22-inch low-profile tires. It lowers the ride-height of the two-door car by about 15 millimeters (.6 in).

An especially exclusive light brown and magnolia BRABUS fine leather interior in concert with beige topstitching and “Fire” piping add a sporty-elegant contrast to the black paint finish of the BRABUS 900 ROCKET Coupe. The umbra-colored precious-wood inlays with open-pore surface finishes are also custom-made for this BRABUS supercar. Sporty aluminum components such as the BRABUS RACE paddle shifters, pedals and door pins round off the cockpit. Scuff plates with backlit BRABUS 900 logo that change color in sync with the interior ambience lighting welcome driver and passengers.

The BRABUS 900 ROCKET Coupe is available as a complete car or can be built based on any current Mercedes S 65 Coupe.

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