If someone who doesn’t like cars can buy the same car I have, is it really fair? Joe Schmo buys a muscle car or supercar to tool around in and only bought it because it was pretty. It got him brownie points with a few of the car guys in the neighborhood, but they are ignorant to the passion, the history and the heritage.
I am not one to stray too far away from factory cars. An occasional set of rims or a beautiful color combo with all the bells and whistles is usually enough for me. However, I appreciate the masterful engineering of a good tuner. In the brief space I have left, I will highlight two tuner cars that have recently gotten my attention.
The Dinan S3-R BMW 1M was featured in another publication and I was smitten. It seems to be the most outrageous iteration of the car BMW set out to be the new 2002tii. This is what happens when you stuff a 1M to the gills with everything and stop just short of making it an entirely different car: a straight-six N54 engine making 444 hp and 450 lb-f. of torque, a squat stance that looks like a mini steamroller (19-inch wheels). A massive carbon intake, stainless steel exhausts, engine software tuning a new wastegate and compressor wheel create the huge increase in horsepower. If you have a BMW 1M and an extra 17,000 dollars (you can get that in no time). I will gladly accept your “Thank you” for the recommendation.
How can you talk about a tuned BMW without mentioning a similarly outfitted Mercedes-Benz? How can one even discuss a tuned ‘Benz and not say the name of Brabus? In a future story, I will discuss the role of the Mercedes E-Class in Europe as the lowly burrow of vehicles, but for now, Brabus has made it a pinnacle of performance. The standard E 63 AMG makes 577 hp and the E 63 AMG S 4MATIC wagon is a superstar car. Not just because it is a wagon, but because it is a ground-pounding machine that will take on a Lambo with a load of groceries.
Enter: The Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo. The tuner mills the 5.5-liter block to 5.9 liters and loaded it up with billet internals, fitted the engine with a larger air box and bespoke intake manifold along with a free-flowing catalytic converters. They, like Dinan, ditched the old compressors in favor of unnamed Brabus-branded units, and to top it all off, the intake and compressor ducting were wrapped in gold-foil reflective sheeting. A mid-range sedan can only do 3.1 seconds to 62 mph and a top speed of 217mph when it is fitted with 838 horsepower and 1,069lb-ft of torque (tuned down to 848 lb-ft. to keep the car from literally destroying itself). Brabus also offers the 850 6.0 Biturbo as a wagon, and if your power demands aren’t so extreme the tuner also offers upgrades starting at 620 hp.
These two vehicles are what happen when a car guy buys a car and decides that there is something deeper inside. Dinan and Brabus have left nothing on the table. They threw all they had at these machines and pumped them to the gills with performance. There’s going to be plenty of tire-shredding and ear holding when these two linger near and the world is a better place because of them.