The Mercedes tagline “The Best or Nothing” certainly applies to the world’s foremost luxury automaker. Of course, there are ways to make “The Best” even better, as Brabus proves with its two high performance Mercedes concept cars, one a diesel hybrid, the other full-on electric.
Brabus is a well-known tuning house that specializes in Mercedes, and often their modifications are designed to improve horsepower and handling, not fuel efficiency. Going green and going fast are not mutually exclusive though, as these two (no doubt very expensive) concept cars prove.
The first is the Brabus is called simply Project HYBRID, and takes a stock Mercedes E 220 diesel, and adds two Protean in-wheel electric motors to the rear axle. With an 18.6 kWh lithium-ion battery on board, the HYBRID has an estimated all-electric range of75 miles, at which point the efficient 200 horsepower diesel engine kicks in. As an added bonus, the electric motors improve 0-60 mphacceleration by over a second in Sport mode, from8.7to 7.4 seconds. Shazam!
As cool as the Brabus HYBRID is though, the E-Class-based High Performance 4WD Full Electric (they need to hire someone to come up with better names) is even cooler. With an estimated range of217 miles, the HP4FE delivers a mind-boggling peak torque of over 2,300 ft-lbs.
Again, Brabus choose Portean electric motors, this time attaching them to each of the four-wheels. 0-60 takes just under 7 seconds, and top speed is an admirable137 mph, which may not sound impressive, except that this concept vehicle weights over4,800 pounds. Most of that no doubt comes from the 56 kWh battery pack on board, though charging time is said to take only 5 hours (probably from a level 2 or even 3 charger.) A small production run of the HP4FE is under consideration, though the price tag is likely to be as heavy as the car itself.
Still, I love seeing a blend of high performance and carbon neutrality, and it is yet another indicator that green cars are here to stay.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.