Until recently, hearing news from tuner company Brabus was met with ambivalence. It was exciting to see their manic interpretations of the Mercedes-Benz line-up – but sad too, since local buyers weren’t able to partake in the array of aftermarket accoutrements.
That’s changed: South African Mercedes-Benz owners can now kit their cars out in the best from Brabus, with the Daytona Group becoming the official retailer for the brand. The newest package to come from Brabus caters for the GLA crossover.
Let’s start with the power figures. Although Brabus has developed packages for humbler derivatives in the GLA range, they’re most pleased about their work on the 45 AMG model. When we drove the model at launch earlier this year it was as madcap as we expected.
With the Brabus conversion, the numbers go to 294kW and 500Nm, from 265kW and 450Nm. But this power gain, although sizeable, shaves just a fraction off the car’s acceleration time. It’ll do the 0-100km/h dash in 4.4 seconds versus 4.8 seconds.
The GLA 250 jumps from 155kW and 350Nm to 180kW and 385Nm, while the GLA 220 CDI gets a boost to 155kW and 410Nm of torque from 125kW and 350Nm.
Of course, such gains in pace would be incomplete without the aural thrills. Brabus developed an exhaust kit which they describe as “sportier but never obtrusive.” An exhaust with a butterfly valve is available too, allowing drivers to adjust just how “subtle or sporty” they want their car to sound.
A diffuser insert for the rear bumper of models already equipped with the AMG Line styling package is available, as well as a front spoiler and elements for the intakes. But you can have Brabus styling additions even if you own a more humble, non-AMG Line GLA.
Take your pick from kitsch exterior underside lighting – which promises to make ingress and egress easier, a rear spoiler and beefy Brabus wheels that range from 18-inches to 21-inches. A variety of interior packages are offered, with smart stainless steel scuff plates, racing shift paddles, as well as leather and alcantara materials in “any desired colour” according to Brabus.
If, having read this far, you’re seriously considering Brabus-ising your GLA, you already know it’s going to be a costly effort. The GLA starts at R419 100 and goes all the way to R755 000 for the AMG flagship.
–Ignition Live Reporter