2016 Mercedes S-Class Coupe "Ethon" By FAB-Design
Highlights of the program include a new aero kit and a performance upgradeby Kirby Garlitos, on
There’s really not a lot to say about the Mercedes S-Class Coupe. I could rattle off superlatives left and right and I still would arrive to the same conclusion: the car is just all sorts of awesome. So, with seemingly nowhere to go from the mountaintop where it’s perched, there’s really only one way for the S-Class Coupe to add to its already growing legend. Fortunately, noted Mercedes tuner FAB Design has the tuning kit that might do the work.
The German aftermarket specialist is known for its programs for Mercedes vehicles. Over the years, we’ve seen it come out with programs for the SLS AMG, SL600, and SL-Class, in addition to having its own programs for the likes of the McLaren 12C and the Porsche Panamera.
This time, it’s the S-Class Coupe that takes the spotlight with a wide array of modifications covering a wide spectrum of the car’s overall makeup. There’s a new aerodynamic program, a new set of wheels, and most importantly, a technical upgrade that adds even more power to the coupe’s 4.7-liter bi-turbo V-8 engine.
Fab Design’s kit for the S-Class Coupe is the kind of program that gives the high-powered coupe a chance to come out with a whole new look and more power to really redefine its segment. There are a few cars that can match wits with the S-Class Coupe, but with Fab Design’s Ethon kit, the Merc gets the opportunity to really stand out.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.
2016 Mercedes S-Class Coupe "Ethon" By FAB-Design
For those who are wondering why this program looks familiar, a backstory is in order. Back at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Fab Design showcased a program for the S-Class Coupe called the “Esquire”. This program, dubbed the “Ethon” after an eagle from Greek mythology, is essentially a more subdued version of the Esquire kit.
If anything, the tuner deserves some applause for going against the grain with its aerodynamic kit.
Even with that disclaimer, the kit itself isn’t what you’d consider awesome in all categories. The styling package, for instance, invites mixed reactions. Some people like it. Some people don’t. In any event, it’s hard to argue against Fab Design’s confidence in adding some modifications to a design that’s already considered as one of the best looks Mercedes has created in recent years. If anything, the tuner deserves some applause for going against the grain with its aerodynamic kit. There’s a new front bumper with a design that makes the car’s front end look a lot busier. A revised grille with mesh inserts are also part of the program, although it does feel like this part of the upgrade has been overshadowed by the new bumper design.
Fortunately, there’s far less drama on the side and rear sections of the car. The former only received aerodynamic side skirts while the rear section was the recipient of a new bumper with an integrated diffuser. The last bit notable detail of the exterior styling package is a new set of 22-inch forged EVOLUTION II alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires.
There are no interior modifications attached to this program. It’s a little bit of a disappointment because if there was a weak link to the S-Class Coupe, it’s the cabin. That’s not to say that the coupe’s interior is boring - far from it, actually - but there is that feeling of having far too many things going on. The controls on the doors alone could be overwhelming if you don’t know what they’re for. I don’t know what Fab Design would be able to add to make it better, which is probably why the tuner decided to leave it alone in the first place.
As provocative as the styling package for the S-Class Coupe is, we can all agree that Fab Design’s modification for the car’s 4.7-liter bi-turbo V-8 engine is the real highlight of the whole thing. The approach itself is pretty straightforward.
Fab Design itself didn’t dive into any details about the car, opting instead to say that the enhancements made on the V-8 engine gave the S-Class Coupe 630 horsepower and 678 pound-feet of torque. That’s a big jump from the V-8’s standard output of 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque and should translate to a 0-to-60 mph sprint time will be much faster than the standard 4.5 seconds.
Likewise, the tuner didn’t mention if it took out the speed limiter on the car. If it did, the S-Class Coupe could be able to reach a top speed in excess of 186 mph. If it didn’t, consider the standard 155-mph top speed to still be there.
There was no mention of a price for the Ethon tuning kit so if anybody out there is a little bit interested in Fab Design’s program for the S-Class Coupe, it would be best to reach out to the tuner directly to get a clear answer on what the price would be and what that price comes with.
As the range-topping coupe model of the entire Mercedes lineup, the list of competitors to the S-Class Coupe is very thin, so much so that you might have to look in the direction of two of the most opulent car brands in the industry to find models that are worthy of the Merc’s time.
One of these models is the Rolls-Royce Wraith, a car that is leading the market in redefining what the class and luxury means. Back in January 2016, The Wraith was also the beneficiary of an aftermarket tuning program from Mansory.
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 included a new air filter, exhaust system, and an n optimized engine performance graph. All together, the Sanguis program can deliver an output of 729 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 737 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 to 5,500 rpm. Those numbers are significantly more than the Wraith’s standard output of 624 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, cutting the car’s 0-to-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds to go with a top speed of 186 mph.
Read our full review here.
Since we’re talking about the Rolls-Royce Wraith as a true rival to the S-Class Coupe, it would be foolish to leave out the Bentley Continental GT from this conversation. Unlike the Wraith and the S-Class Coupe, the Continental GT has a lot of years on its tires. It’s been 13 years, in fact, since the Continental GT was launched in 2003. An all-new model is certainly on the horizon, but don’t expect it to arrive at least until 2018.
That leaves the Continental GT with the task of competing against two brand new models. It’s an unenviable task, but one that the model has no choice but to face head-on. It’s a good thing then that, despite its age, the Continental GT still has some aftermarket appeal left in its tank and only recently - January 2016 - a collaboration between Mulliner and audio equipment manufacturer Monster Inc. gave birth to the Continental GT “Monster 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, it would be tough to keep up with Fab Design’s S-Class Coupe.
Read our full review here.
I’m a big fan of how the Mercedes S-Class Coupe looks, so I’m not exactly too thrilled with the modifications Fab Design did on the car’s exterior, especially that of the front bumper. I do understand if some people like it, but as far as I’m concerned, the modified bumper looks a tad too busy. On the flip side, the performance upgrade is very exciting. With that kind of power, the S-Class Coupe should be capable of having the kind of power that can give its rivals a reason or two to sweat.