Tuner Shootout: Brabus Rocket 900 vs Alpina B7

Geneva sets the stage for one of the most spectacular motor shows of the year. High profile and boutique manufacturers alike from across the globe showcase the very best they have to offer. However, car manufacturers are not the only ones of note that arrive at this arena. Hitting the stage with a barrage of horsepower and insanity are car tuners and modders.

Some of the most notable ones even work hand in close association with major car makers. Two of the biggest German tuners, Brabus and Alpina showcased their flagships at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Dubbed the 900 and B7, the two cars are based off the Mercedes Benz S65 AMG and the BMW 7 Series respectively. We take a look at two of the finest super luxury speed demons.


Brabus Rocket 900

Major differences between the Brabus Rocket 900 and its Benz derivative are a few extra frills on the outside to handle the tremendous power under the hood. Key changes include a carbon fibre aero kit, lowered suspension and Brabus badging all around. While the S65 AMG was made to be an elegant, understated figure on the roads, the 900’s large 21/22 inch alloys, carbon fiber aero kit and  revised back end command the kind of attention customary to an 887 hp beast.

Mercedes Benz Brabus Rocket 900 Front Three Quarter
The Brabus Rocket 900 has been derived from the Mercedes Benz S-Class

Alpina B7

The Alpina B7 is based of BMW’s flagship sedan, the 7 Series. Similar to the 900, Alpina has revamped the sedan’s shell for improved aerodynamics and better cooling for the car’s revised engine outputs. The new B7 features a new front bumper, cooling vents, revised quad exhausts, lip spoiler and the tuner’s signature 20 spoke alloys.


BMW Alpina B7 Rear
Subtle aerodynamic mods help the BMW Alpina B7 retain its business like appeal

The changes made to the BMW 7 Series keep to the German car maker’s design philosophy and allow the B7 to sport a more coherent design language while the Brabus 900 is a chaotic mix of assertion and sophistication that does not work in the super sedan’s favour.


BMW Alpina B7 Front View
The Alpina B7 is one of the expensive German supersaloons currently in the market

Winner: BMW B7


Brabus Rocket 900

Changes made to the interiors are minimal. Brabus has swapped out the stock S-Class multimedia system for its in-house developed “iBusiness” infotainment system. The new system features an iPad Mini control unit located between the rear passenger seats on the center console. The iPad can be detached from its dock for ease of use and is connected to a Mac Mini found in the trunk of the car.


Mercedes Benz Brabus Rocket 900 Interior
The Rocket 900’s interior is a beautiful mix of leather and premium woodwork

Other notable changes include a 15.6 inch TFT screen that serves as the iPad’s primary display and revised leather interiors.

Alpina B7

The Alpina B7 is a slightly more outdated model. Although the sedan still competes in the same price bracket as the Brabus Rocket 900, the tuned 7 Series fails to impress. The car features no major changes made to the cabin save for a few Alpina badges sprinkled around the cabin. The dull beige interiors, conventional steering wheel and minimal use of wood makes for a conservative if not uninteresting cabin.


BMW Alpina B7 Interior
The B7’s interior is not as impressive as the Rocket 900’s partly due to the fact that the 7 Series has been around for quite sometime now

Winner: Brabus Rocket 900


Under the Hood:

Brabus Rocket 900

The Mercedes Benz S65 AMG is one of the most powerful super sedans in the world. Housing one of the largest engines of its class, the S65 AMG is a car unparalleled in numbers. Despite sporting a 621 hp twin turbocharged V12 under the bonnet, what Brabus decided the S65 AMG needed was more power. The result of which is a 6.3 l twelve cylinder motor that churns out a whopping 887 hp and 1106 lb-ft of torque.


Mercedes Benz Brabus Rocket 900 V12 Biturbo Engine Bay
The Mercedes Benz Brabus Rocket 900 sports a twin turbocharged V12

The new engine helps propel the staggeringly heavy Rocket 900 from 0 to 100 kmph in a mere 3.7 seconds and hits a top whack of 350 km/h.

Alpina B7

Alpina’s B7 offers something slightly more toned down. The luxury sedan is powered by a twin turbo charged 4.4 l V8 that produces an impressive 540 hp @ 5200 rpm and a peak torque of 538 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm. The massive power output from the V8 shoots the Alpina flagship from a standing halt to triple digit figures in 4.2 seconds.


BMW Alpina B7 V8 Engine
Alpina’s tinkering has led to a 540 hp BMW twin turbo V8

Although the folks at Alpina tinkered with the Bimmer’s V8 as much as they could, like the old motto goes, there is no replacement for displacement and the Rocket 900 annihilates its competition. 

Winner: Brabus Rocket 900


The BMW 7 Series has slowly begun to age and so has its supersport derivative. Despite being more than able to carry its own weight around, the B7 pales in comparison to the astronomical numbers that Brabus’ offspring produces. With the recently launched 2015 7 Series, we may see Alpina go back to the drawing board to match or even surpass the Rocket 900’s utterly unimaginable performance figures. Until then, the Brabus 900 wins this battle.

Mercedes Benz Brabus Rocket 900 Front Fascia
The Rocket 900’s aesthetics may not be for everyone but its utterly bonkers power figures more than make up for it
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