Crazy Fast Black Mambas from German Tuners AMG, Brabus and TechArt

Brabus VanishIn the world of super-powered exotics you’ve got to pedal fast just to stand still. Last year Mercedes-Benz introduced the SL65 AMG Black series, which got fabulous reviews from everyone but Jeremy Clarkson, naturally. With a 661-hp twin-turbo V12 and all kinds of artfully stated (see video brochure here) state-of-the-art features, the SL65 Black promised to be exclusive (only 350 to be made) and expensive (over $400K U.S.).

Brabus, the German speed tuner, got its hands on one, and the Vanish (above) is the result: Built for a wealthy Arab customer and now outputting 800 hp, the Vanish has “larger turbos, a new gearbox, larger brake pads, and a huge exhaust system,” says TopSpeed.

My compadre tgriffith thinks that white is right. But black is on the attack. Where and how will the black madness end?

SLS AMG BlackIt won’t, of course. There has been talk for some time that Benz-AMG will produce a Black successor to the SLS cars we reported on that were unveiled in Oaxaca. This is to be a super-fast road car, not one for the track like the GT3, and details are still sketchy, but development is underway.

BenzInsider says it’s to be “totally different” from the current SLS AMG—up to 600 hp, top speed 208 mph, price “around $274,500.”

TechArt Black Edition PanameraYet another German tuner, TechArt, has gotten black mamba fever and made a matte-black version of the Panamera. In truth, an ugly car is made still uglier. For “an €85,000 premium over the base price of a Panamera Turbo in Germany,” you get big 22-inch black wheels, fancy running lights, a custom exhaust system, and, says Autoblog, everything inside leathered or painted in… black.

Somehow, black has gotten sexy for exotics, especially German ones. Is it overdone? As Henry Ford more or less said, pick any color you want, “so long as it is black.”

Would a fast black German car appeal to you? Tell us why.

—jgoods

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