This is the car that Brabus always wanted to make. They didn’t because it was deemed just too radical even for these obsessive Mercedes modifiers. The 3.6S Lightweight is based on an unsuspecting Mercedes 190E 2.6, but you won’t find the three-pointed star anywhere on this virtually unused Brabus – and you won’t find another one like it anywhere in the world.

Brabus have always specialised on making Mercedes-Benzes go faster. A lot faster. Unlike their rivals at AMG, Brabus remains independent of the Stuttgart Daimler empire and this car may be the high point of the company’s ambitions. It was commissioned from Brabus by Sven Gramm, a former PR director for the company, after the production 3.6S was toned down for being a little too racy. That’s an accusation that can’t be levelled at the 3.6S Lightweight.

There are still four doors, but those at the rear are at best redundant, since they open to reveal a bare aluminium roll cage and the raw Kevlar to the back of the two front seats that are the Lightweight’s only accommodation. Those seats are high-end Recaro race items, each equipped with a four point harness, in bright red to match the Lightweight’s startling Signal Red exterior finish, entirely unmarked as you’d expect from a car that’s only covered 6,487 miles.

Under the bonnet there’s more bright red, this time on the Brabus cam covers in a fully detailed engine bay. The power unit is more than just a good looker, however. A raft of modifications to the original Mercedes unit include increased bore and stroke, a new camshaft, a range of modified cooling systems and a stainless steel dual flow sport exhaust system. The exhaust manifold alone is a piece of automotive art, while the differential oil cooler is neatly tucked into the rear spoiler. You can begin to see how this build took a full ten months.