Brabus Shadow 900 review: Sun-Top and Cross-Cabin versions go head-to-head

What’s better than testing one 900hp Brabus Shadow 900? Testing two, of course! Jack and Hugo take the Cross-Cabin and Sun-Top for a spin in Poole to see which is best...

How does that old saying go? You wait ages for a (Bra)bus and then two come along at once? It’s something like that. Either way, having chased for a full test of the Brabus Shadow 900 since November 2019 when I first drove the pre-production mule at over 60 knots through a wintry Helsinki archipelago, I can scarcely believe my luck that both a Sun-Top and a Cross-Cabin (XC) have landed in Poole at the same time.

Both boats begin the day at what will be a familiar haunt for Brabus Shadow 900 owners – the fuel dock. There is a Spyder version of the 900 as well but, as cool as it looks, its open deck spaces are a little too exposed unless the weather is absolutely perfect so most will be choosing between the part-covered Sun-Top and fully enclosed XC.

Editor Hugo has joined me on the test intent on fighting the case for the Sun-Top but for me it’s the brooding Cross-Cabin that truly courses with Brabus DNA. It hovers menacingly as the Sun-Top takes on fuel, prowling shark-like with hull paint darker than oblivion and enough power on its transom to blast you straight into it.

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There are many differences between these two versions of the Brabus Shadow 900 but motors and hull shapes are shared and what a potent mix they are. The twin-stepped, 20-degree deep vee hull is borrowed from the Axopar 37 but here it’s mated to a pair of Mercury’s ferocious Racing 450R supercharged V8 outboards featuring a sports exhaust that can be opened and closed via the helm MFDs.

It’s a neat party trick that transforms the exhaust note from a throaty rumble to an angry growl resonating with sonic presence. Even at idle these things ooze menace.

Read our full review of the Brabus Shadow 900 in the August 2021 issue of MBY, out July 1.

Brabus Shadow 900 specification

LOA: 38ft 5in (11.7m)
Beam: 11ft 0in (3.35m)
Draught: 2ft 9in (0.85m)
Displacement: 4.93 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 730 litres
Water capacity: 100 litres
Test engines: Twin Mercury Racing 450hp outboard
Top speed: 59 knots
Cruising speed: 20 knots
Fuel consumption: 84lph
Cruising range: 138nm
RCD category: B for 10 people
Design: Axopar/Brabus Marine
Starting price: £462,937 (inc. VAT)
Price as tested: £583,417 (inc. VAT)


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