Brabus K8: Spotted


They say the best time to buy a convertible is in the winter because demand is so low. But we're not sure if the statement rings true for cars as rare and special as a Brabus K8. There's just one on the classifieds at the moment, which might make it difficult to convince the seller that you've got two more to see that day.

Those not familiar with the K8 will at least recognise that this is an enhanced version of the Mercedes SL55 AMG. Launched back in 2002 with a supercharged 5.4-litre V8 producing 500hp, the AMG convertible cost £90k and mixed deep throated drama with luxury and technology. It was the gentleman's performance drop-top, with enough class and style to turn heads without the need for garish details. A bellowing V8 exhaust note helped too, of course.


Then Brabus came along. The boys from Bottrop extracted 530hp from the SL55's handbuilt V8 engine, making the K8 95hp more potent than the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale and 80hp better than the 996 911 Turbo S. Sure, it weighed almost two tonnes, but with 571lb ft of torque it had the muscle to well overcome its mass. 62mph therefore came in just 4.4 seconds. Top speed was 186mph.

Brabus also tweaked the car's aerodynamics to enhance high speed stability with a new front spoiler, while a more prominent diffuser worked the air harder at the back to increase downforce. Underneath, the car's active body control suspension was also lowered by 15mm, with the slowing down handled by an uprated braking system. To the casual passer by, however, only a set of gorgeous 20-inch monoblock wheels signalled that this was no ordinary SL55.


Only six K8s were ever made for the UK market, meaning today's Spotted is a rare beast indeed. It's also in tiptop condition, with no sign of wear on the leather seat bolsters or marks on the gleaming wheels; mind you, the car has only covered 15,700 miles. Just 14 years ago this car would have cost its owner £165,000. Today, it's yours for £49,950. Isn't depreciation wonderful?


SPECIFICATIONS - BRABUS K8

Engine: 5,439cc V8, supercharged
Transmission: 5-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 530@6,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 571@3,000rpm
MPG: 22.8
Top speed: 186mph (limited)
Price new: £165,000
Yours for: £49,950

Click here to see the full ad.


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Comments (29) Join the discussion on the forum

  • st4 26 Jan 2019

    Amazing engine for sure but that's a car for the truly brave.

  • Gameface 26 Jan 2019

    Looks lovely but only 30bhp more than standard is disappointing for Brabus.

  • samoht 26 Jan 2019

    An extra 6% or so horsepower feels like it would be hardly noticeable, so I'm not seeing the attraction of this car.

    Either buy a normal SL55 for half the money, leaving £20k to fix the roof, or splash out another £10k for this Brabus SV12 https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/... , with 640hp and 757 lb ft of torque - now that would catch your attention.

  • AC43 26 Jan 2019

    Only this morning my head was turned by a beautiful standard silver 55K. Love those cars. If I won the lottery I'd by the best one I could. The K8 would do nicely :-)

  • ZX10R NIN 26 Jan 2019

    I'd buy that V12 version every time.

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