2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55AMG Brabus K8

Lot Number: 443

2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55AMG Brabus K8

One of only six factory-built cars in the UK.

  • Sold for: £37,125

LIVE AUCTION: This lot was auctioned on Saturday 28th May, 2022 at 1.00pm BST at Sywell Aerodrome, Sywell, Northampton, NN6 0BN

  • Body Colour


  • Drive


  • Registration Number

    GN53 YLH

  • Odometer Reading

    49600 Miles


One of only six factory-built cars in the UK.


Introduced in 2002, after some five years in development, the R230 Series SL Roadster was an engineering tour de force. Painstakingly modelled on a state-of-the-art supercomputer which enabled the designers to analyse every curve and line, it looked utterly sensational with an air of barely contained aggression that gave it huge road presence. With its balletic folding roof that takes less than 20 seconds and packed full of sophisticated electronic driver aids which made it immensely safe but still fun to drive, it was an instant success and is widely considered to be the best-looking Mercedes for many years. 

However, they were produced in commercial numbers, and there are always enthusiasts who would like something a little more exclusive and that market was catered for by Mercedes’ Performance Division, AMG, who in 2003 introduced their SL55AMG. Seriously powerful and impressively fast, the supercharged 5.4-litre V8 was rated at 493bhp and the AMG was fitted with larger wheels, bigger brakes, uprated electronics and some subtle cosmetic changes. The SL55AMG was expensive, exclusive and rather special but, as always, they were one or two customers for whom it wasn’t quite special enough and, for those discerning individuals, the Holy Grail was the Brabus K8.

BRABUS GmbH is a German high-performance automotive aftermarket tuning company founded in 1977 in Bottrop. Their ‘K8’ was launched at the Geneva Salon and marketed as a ‘performance kit’ but in truth it’s considerably more than that. The engine modifications require that each Brabus dealer has a dedicated engine builder and similarly the suspension, electronic and cosmetic changes all require experienced specialists, hardly a ‘kit’. The engine modifications were primarily to the supercharger drive with a custom vibration damper and a new pulley for improved belt-drive geometry, high-performance metal catalysts, and an auxiliary circulation pump with opposing radiator. This raised output to a minimum of 530bhp and a tree stump-pulling torque of 572 lbs.ft. and, when he was fully happy, the engine builder signed a small brass plaque and attached it to the top of the engine. Brabus also tweak the car's aerodynamics to enhance high speed stability with a new front spoiler, while a more prominent diffuser works the air harder at the back to increase downforce. Underneath, the car's active body control suspension was recalibrated using an electronic module for the ABC, lowering ride height by 15mm, and the braking system was uprated by the Brabus engineers. Whilst the additional 40 odd bhp produce a small increase in performance, we understand that it’s the K8’s amazing handling that takes the SL55 to another level.

The redesigned side skirts create an aerodynamic transition between the wheel arches and feature automatic illumination of the ground whenever the door is opened and the new rear apron incorporates a subtly altered diffuser. Externally, these modifications are not immediately noticeable which cannot be said about the striking polished 20” Brabus ‘Monoblock’ wheels.

On offer here we have an original UK-supplied, right-hand drive, 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55AMG developed to Brabus K8 specification at the factory during February 2003 before being delivered on 28/05/2003. It’s finished in gleaming Obsidian Black with an ‘exclusive’ Black/Anthracite leather interior and a Designo Alcantara roof lining in Alpaca Grey. It was well optioned from new (Panoramic glass roof, alarm, phone prep, Parktronic, Keyless-go, CD changer etc.) and would have cost around £165,000 at the time. The indicated mileage when photographed was 49,512 and the car has been in present ownership for the last ten years during which time it has been maintained to the highest of standards with recent expenditure covering two new batteries, fuel pump pressure sender, rear driveshafts, ABC pump and thrust arm. The ABC front struts have also been replaced and, more recently, brand new Brabus Monoblock VI wheels with Vredestein tyres have been fitted to further enhance this already head-turning Mercedes. A 5-year ceramic coating was applied last year alongside a deep clean and full paint correction. The car is accompanied by two spare keys, the full book pack and numerous invoices.

This is a very rare car in wonderful condition and, if ever a car was worth a trip to inspect, then this is and you won’t be disappointed.


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For further information regarding this lot please contact Charles.





Vehicles can be collected from Sywell Aerodrome, NN6 0BN, on Monday 30th May between 9am and 2pm.

Our transport partners, EM Rogers, can assist with collection and delivery. Please contact them on 01604 755511 or trafficdesk@emrogers.co.uk for a quote.

Any vehicles not collected by 2pm on 30th May will be taken to EM Rogers storage facility in Northampton for a fee of £175 plus VAT. Storage will be charged at £10 plus VAT per day from Monday 30th onwards.

Automobilia can be collected from Sywell Aerodrome over the weekend or on Monday morning between 9am and midday by prior appointment. After this time it can be collected from our offices in Warwickshire or shipped to you at your expense.

Enjoy the excitement of bidding, knowing your budget has been approved and confirmed by your dedicated Account Manager at Oracle Car Finance. For further information simply click HERE for your free quote or call 03308 387 7491.

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