The Good Oil: Too much power is never enough

German company Brabus has customised a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, called the W222 S-Class.
German company Brabus has customised a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, called the W222 S-Class.

Desperately want a hot version of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but really don't want to have to wait for the AMG version? Relax, because Brabus have got you covered ...

The good people at the legendary German Benz-tuning outfit have released details of their latest mental offerings for the W222 S-Class, including performance kits for the V8 models, aerodynamic enhancements, exclusive interior options and custom-made wheels of up to 21-inches.

First up is the Brabus B50 - 520 PowerXtra CGI kit that bumps the power output of the S500 from 335kW up to 382kW, with maximum torque of 820Nm and a 0 to 100km/h acceleration time of 4.2 seconds.

If you can wait for the S63 AMG, but still find its 430kW/700Nm output a bit on the anaemic side, then the Brabus B63 - 650 PowerXtra CGI conversion may well suit you nicely.

Bumping the S63's twin-turbo V8's output up to 478kW of power and 1000Nm of torque, the conversion also offers the customer a choice of electronically limited top speeds of 250, 275 or 300km/h.

If, by chance, you are completely insane and still find 478kW and 1000Nm a bit limp, then Brabus have you sorted there too, with the truly mental Brabus B63s - 720 high performance conversion.

Made even more special thanks to Brabus' Gold Heat Reflection system for the intake and charge-air pipes, the B63s- 720 conversion replaces the two production turbochargers with two special Brabus turbos with a larger compressor unit to generate a higher boost pressure.

The conversion also includes a low-temperature water radiator for the intercooling system, a free-flow exhaust with metal catalysts and 75mm thick downpipes, as well as special Brabus mapping for the engine management system.

This produces an earth-warping 537kW of power and enough torque to split the planet in half, although because it would also probably split the car in half, it is limited to "just" 1065Nm from 1750rpm. Top speed is limited to 325km/h.

We are the world

*Last week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the name of the latest royal baby and since then young George has received many grand welcomes. But the best one has to have come from a crane hire company in the UK which named its newest 750-tonne crane after him. That is possibly the best thing about being a future king ...

*It seems that Florida boasts the worst drivers in the US, and it is not just a single source calling it either. An investigation by Slate.com found that Miami had the highest rates of
car-related fatalities, pedestrian strikes and ''obscenity-laced tirades of their fellow driver'', while The Huffington Post reported that Miami had the highest rate of hit-and-runs, with 35 a day. Transportation for America also ranked the most dangerous cities in America to drive in, with the top four all in Florida.

*Jessica Sawyer made one assumption too many when she went to have her convertible Bentley Continental washed in Manchester, England, recently. She assumed the man she handed the keys to worked at the car wash, she assumed he knew how to drive and she assumed he wouldn't drive it through the front of the building into the waiting room,
utterly destroying it. She was wrong on all counts and her insurance company is now suing the car wash because a man who didn't work there drove her car through the front of their building. Seems reasonable ...

Toyota chases the nerd dollar

Got a Segway but not entirely satisfied that it is quite dorky enough for you? Relax, Toyota has you covered ...

The Japanese automotive giant has just announced that it has begun public testing of the Winglet ''personal transportation device'' that it originally unveiled back in 2008.

The Winglet is part of Toyota's ''Partner Robot'' initiative, which aims to contribute to ''the development of a society where mobility is safe, freely accessible, and fun'', according to Toyota.

The battery-powered Winglet features a range of roughly 4km and a top speed of about 6km/h. It can be fully recharged within 90 minutes, or reach 80 per cent capacity within an hour.

Much like the Segway, the Winglet uses internal sensors to maintain stability; to move forward, backward or turn, the rider simply leans in the direction they wish to go.

Also much like the Segway, the rider looks like a total fool.

Passat hits middle age

The world's most forgettable car has recently turned 40 years old. The big news is that somebody actually remembered it!

The Volkswagen Passat is undoubtedly a very good car, but for some reason it is also extremely easy to overlook when talking about very good mid-size cars. However, that hasn't stopped VW from selling more than 20 million of them during its 40 years of production.

The Passat has evolved from a very good mid-size car with the B1 generation in 1973 to a ... erm ... very good mid-size car in the previous fifth-gen B5 car, which boasted a range of four, five, six and eight-cylinder engines.

With the sixth-generation, VW seems to have admitted that no one really remembers the Passat anyway and has split it up into three regional variants; the US market gets a unique model, the rest of the world gets the current very-good mid-size version both still called the Passat while the Chinese market gets a locally-produced variant called, rather more honestly, the ''New Midsize Sedan''.

Number Crunching

330 KM/H The world speed record for a street legal sedan set in 1996 by a Brabus E V12

350.2 KM/H The world speed record for a street legal sedan set in 2003 by a Brabus E V12 Biturbo

365.7 KM/H The world speed record for a street legal sedan set in 2006 by a Brabus Rocket

29.5 SECONDS The time it takes the 540kW twin-turbo V12-powered Brabus Rocket to get to 300km/h

- NZ Herald

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