This 2002 Mercedes-Benz Brabus CL 6.1 once again proves that the
best way to get A-list performance and luxury is to buy a car
that's a few years old. Showing just 50,761 actual miles and with
an original sticker price (in 2002 dollars, by the way) of
$125,000, this might just be the biggest bang for the buck in
German sports coupes.
Brabus is one of the best-known of the Mercedes-Benz tuners, turning out some pretty impressive hardware that neatly improves every aspect of performance without compromising legendary Mercedes-Benz reliability or luxury. This sleek sliver coupe started life as a CL500, already one of the top-of-the-line cars, and to it they added upgrades like new front and rear bumpers and some subtle badging. Many folks won't notice, which is how Brabus likes to do things, but those who recognize performance and polish, the Brabus stands out. With so few miles, it still looks spectacular, with icy silver paint that shows off what you get for your six-figure purchase price and excellent fit and finish. You can't see where the OEM work ends and Brabus's add-ons were installed, and the car has a very integrated look that enhances what was arguably one of the best Mercedes designs of the early 2000s. Perhaps the most telling upgrade are the four exhaust tips out back, but by the time anyone notices those, it's probably too late.
Inside, Brabus delivers a host of upgrades, ranging from a custom steering wheel and shift knob to new door sill plates advertising that this is no garden-variety CL, and even custom floor mats. You get an inkling as to where their priorities lie with a new 200 MPH speedometer, and this CL will use most of it because Brabus not only adds horsepower but also removes the factory's 155 MPH speed limiter. The comfortable leather sport seats are in excellent condition, the burled walnut throughout the interior is real, and every creature comfort item you can imagine was included as part of the package. Obviously it all works, even the entertainment system and navigation screen in the center stack. You'll find it's easy to get comfortable behind the wheel and it's ideal for long stretches of highway where the Brabus just eats up pavement with ease. The back seat is reasonably well-sized for adults and there's a giant trunk that reinforces the idea that this car is a substitute for an airplane, not mere transportation.
Brabus punches out the CL500's V8 to 6.1 liters (up from 5.0), with the result being 427 horsepower and 458 pounds of torque, all without blowers or turbos. Nice, right? It's dressed in a custom carbon fiber cover that advertises the Brabus 6.1 living underneath and the custom sport exhaust certainly has a deeper, throatier tone that stands out. On the other hand, it starts easily, idles smoothly, and goes about its business without any indication that it has been modified, a testament to the careful electronic tuning that went on behind the scenes. Underneath, the suspension was lowered and upgraded, the brakes are giant 15-inch front rotors with 6-piston calipers, and the 5-speed automatic transmission snaps off shifts like a rifle shot. It's supple enough to drive every day, but claws at the pavement with a tenacity that the stock CL just can't match. Part of that is surely due to the massive 20-inch 2-piece wheels, which carry sticky 255/35/20 performance radials.
Beautifully built and still insanely fast, this Teutonic hammer is an incredible performer available for pennies on the dollar. Call now!