Flashback Friday: Brabus CLS Rocket Strengthens Its Position As World’s Fastest Street-Legal Sedan

In 2006 the BRABUS ROCKET, built in small-series production and based on the Mercedes CLS series was released

by  Chris Danielson  | 


Originally published November 22, 2006.

As you may remember, back in June Brabus and their 730 horsepower V12-powered Mercedes CLS Rocket set out on a mission: to become the world’s fastest street-legal sedan. The result was a top speed test run that boasted an incredible maximum velocity of 225.19 mph, fast enough to make the CLS Rocket the new king among luxury supercars.

Brabus CLS Rocket Strengthens Its Position As World's Fastest Street-Legal Sedan

Brabus CLS Rocket Strengthens Its Position As World’s Fastest Street-Legal Sedan

Not a group known to rest on their laurels, Brabus engineers felt the CLS Rocket was capable of more, more than even the aforementioned record-setting mark. So they set out again, venturing to the Nardo high-speed track in the South of Italy where they would once again try to improve on their already impressive achievement.

The result?

Brabus bettered the CLS Rocket’s original speed, upping its top figure over 2 mph to 227.24 mph.

Yes, you heard me right: 227.24 mph.

Truly an impressive feat, and one that shows exactly why Brabus is one of the world’s preeminent Mercedes-Benz tuners.

To learn more, keep reading for photos showcasing the Brabus CLS Rocket’s record-setting run along with the press release detailing the event.

BRABUS Rocket Betters World Record for Street-Legal Sedans to 366 km/h

November 22, 2006

BRABUS has been building the world's fastest street-legal sedans for several years running. This 'tradition' started in 1996 with the 330-km/h BRABUS E V12 and reached the next level in 2003 in the guise of the 350.2-km/h E V12 Biturbo. In 2006 the BRABUS ROCKET, built in small-series production and based on the Mercedes CLS series, improved the world record to 362.4 km/h. But the BRABUS R&D team wouldn't be the top-notch engineers they are if they were satisfied with that achievement. That's why in mid-October of 2006 they once more made the trek to the world-famous high-speed circular track in Nardo, Southern Italy. Under the keen eyes of the German Technical Inspection Agency (TÜV Süd) the 348,000-Euro ultra-performance automobile improved the world record for street-legal sedans to 365.7 km/h.

The BRABUS ROCKET is powered by a twin-turbo BRABUS SV12 S engine, fitted into the tight confines of the four-door's engine bay with almost surgical precision. The engine is based on the latest 600-series twelve-cylinder engines and was developed by BRABUS (Brabus-Allee, D-46240 Bottrop, phone + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777-0, fax + 49 / (0) 2041 / 777 111, Internet with the goal of combining maximum power with exquisite running smoothness and maximum environmental friendliness.

A special crankshaft, larger cylinder bore and larger forged pistons increase displacement from 5.5 to 6.3 liters. Airflow in both intake and outlet manifolds of both cylinder heads is optimized and sport camshafts are installed.

The engine peripherals also underwent numerous modifications: Larger turbochargers, a more efficient intercooling system and a stainless-steel high-performance exhaust system with four exhaust pipes and low back-pressure metal catalysts are all part of the BRABUS Rocket engine concept. Newly programmed engine electronics orchestrate the perfect interaction of all new components and contribute not only to maximum power yield but also to meeting the latest EURO IV emission limits.

The BRABUS SV12 S Biturbo engine, also available for all current Mercedes-Benz 600 and 65 models with twin-turbo V12 engine, produces a maximum power output of 730 hp / 537 kW at 5,100 rpm. Peak torque is 1,320 Nm, but is limited electronically to 1,100 Nm, available from a low 2,100 rpm. The top speed of 365.7 km/h, limited electronically for street-legal operation to 350 km/h, is not the only attribute that elevates the BRABUS ROCKET to the very top of its segment. The four-door is also among the fastest accelerating cars in the world: 0 – 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds, 0 – 200 km/h in 10.5 seconds, 0 – 300 km/h in 29.5 seconds are numbers as unique as this exclusive BRABUS automobile itself.

Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a modified five-speed automatic transmission and the BRABUS locking differential.

The BRABUS ROCKET engine and the entire drivetrain are operated with high-performance lubricants from technology partner ARAL.

To keep the enormous performance potential of the world's fastest sedan safely in check at all times the vehicle's aerodynamics, suspension and brakes were modified extensively.

Like all other BRABUS body components for the CLS models the BRABUS ROCKET front spoiler received its final aerodynamic touches in the wind tunnel. Its large air dams ensure optimal cooling-air supply for all radiators. More importantly, it reduces lift on the front axle and contributes to a further improved drag coefficient.

Its aerodynamic counterparts in the rear are the BRABUS rear spoiler lip for the trunk lid and the BRABUS rear fascia with integrated diffuser. They increase downforce and thus create a perfect aerodynamic balance.

The BRABUS rocker panels calm the airflow along the sides. As an additional feature the rocker panels and the rear fascia are equipped with integrated LED lights. Activated by the keyless-entry fob or by pulling on a door or trunk handle five LED lights an either side and in the rear of the vehicle illuminate the ground beside and behind the car.

To make the suspension even more agile and safe the BRABUS suspension engineers and test drivers in cooperation with Bilstein have developed a custom-calibrated height- adjustable coil-over suspension for the ROCKET. The gas-pressure shocks offer six selectable settings for bound and rebound.

Maximum stopping power is yet another active safety feature offered by the BRABUS ROCKET. The high-performance brake system features vented ceramic brake discs in size 375 x 36 mm and 12-piston aluminum fixed calipers on the front axle. Vented and perforated steel discs in size 355 x 28 mm and 6-piston aluminum fixed calipers on the rear axle complete this efficient and strong brake system.

The giant size of the brake components and the enormous vehicle performance necessitate the use of BRABUS Monoblock VI or S light-alloy wheels with 19-inch diameter. The BRABUS ROCKET features 8.5Jx19 wheels in front with 255/35 ZR 19 tires and 10Jx19 rims with 285/30 ZR 19 tires on the rear axle.

The BRABUS ROCKET also meets the expectations of the most discriminating customers when it comes to the interior: The cockpit is upholstered with soft and breathable BRABUS Mastik leather and Alcantara. Genuine-carbon-fiber applications are part of the sporty BRABUS interior as are an ergonomically shaped BRABUS sport steering wheel and the speedometer with 400-km/h dial.

For high-speed enthusiasts BRABUS sells it polo shirt in a "Special High-Speed Testing Edition." The high-quality shirt costs 75 euros and is available via the online shop at

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