Mad Tuners | Frankfurt Motor Show 2013

Alrighty. It’s time we stopped messing around with all the slow, timid ho-hum series production stuff at Frankfurt and paid a visit to the mad men of German automotive engineering.

I’m talking about Germany’s legendary aftermarket tuners, for whom an out of the box performance car is just the starting point in their quest to unlock and unload some proper, brain-frying horsepower.

Brabus has been doing outrageous things to Mercs and AMGs for 35 years, as well as beautiful restos on classic Stuttgart models.

The 2013 Brabus 850 Shooting Brake, launched at Frankfurt, is the world’s most powerful street-legal all-wheel drive wagon.

Brabus starts with a standard CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake and bores the 5.5-litre V8 out to 5.9-litres. Twin high boost turbos, internals made from unobtanium, ECU and induction/exhaust modifications liberate terrifying numbers: 1450Nm of grunt from 2500-4500rpm and 625kW of power –195kW more than standard -- at 4500rpm.

Drive goes to all four wheels via a strengthened AMG 7-speed transmission. The 0-100km/h trip takes 3.1 seconds en route to a top whack of about 370km/h. Not bad for $433,000.

If you’re a cashed-up, completely unhinged performance car freak, though, you’ll want nothing less than the mighty Carbonado, the latest monstrosity from the house of Mansory.

Here’s how it works. Take one Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 coupe or roadster. Replace every exterior panel, the engine bay, strut bracing and most of the interior trim with carbon fibre (hence Carbonado…get it?).

Fit forged rims with carbon fibre inlays and 255/30 20 front, 345/25 21 rear PZeros.

Add a little frisson of excitement by ripping the guts out of the 6.5-litre V12, replacing them with more unobtanium bits and two turbos. This delivers a handy performance increase, up from the standard engine’s 515kW to, ahem, 920kW.

Light fuse, stand clear and enjoy the mayhem: 0-100 in 2.6 seconds and 380km/h. Yours for $1,720,000.

Really, who gives a rat’s about the new VW E-up, Audi’s A3 cabrio or BMW’s i3? Wouldn’t you rather have a Carbonado in your life?

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