Unlike some of the recently announced and soon-to-be-shown SEMA design concepts for the Mercedes-Benz GLK - one of which was even done by Brabus - the Brabus version of the GLK that will see public sale is considerably more restrained. With no gratuitous side-scoops, a minimal front-end redesign and only moderately up-sized wheels, the Brabus GLK is hardly recognizable as a Brabus.

Known more for their over-the-top takes on cars like the C63 AMG or the SLR McLaren Roadster, Brabus has taken a calmer approach to the GLK, but that's not to say it's disinteresting. A 48hp (35kW) boost in power gives the GLK320 CDI version more go at the top end while the meaty 435lb-ft (590Nm) of torque gives it solid off-the-line performance. The 0-62mph (100km/h) sprint requires only 6.9 seconds, and top speed is reached at 142mph (228km/h).

The GLK350 petrol V6 version gets a Brabus B6 power kit for 15hp (11kW) gain to a total of 287hp (211kW), while an alternative upgrade path to a Brabus 4.0L engine, available to both the GLK350 and GLK280, ups power to 332hp (244kW) and torque to 310lb-ft (410Nm). The bigger engine produces 0-62mph (100km/h) times of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 155mph (250km/h).

A full body kit is of course part of the package, with new rocker panels, wheel arches, and front and rear fascias. LED lights are integrated into the underside of the panels for ground-effect lighting, while new exhaust ports in the rear make room for Brabus' quad-exit system. A roof spoiler, also enhanced with LED light, is fixed to the top of the lift gate.

A wide range of wheels, from 17" to 21", are available with any GLK kit, and a retuned suspension riding 35mm lower than stock also offers improved performance. Inside, the Brabus GLK gets a fully individualized customization treatment that focuses on leather accents, stainless steel scuff plates, Brabus-logo pieces, and a new ergonomically-designed steering wheel. High-end woods and carbon fiber trim are also available, and a 7" LCD screen with integrated DVD player is a standard upgrade on all models. Further multimedia additions to the rear cabin area are available upon special order.