Access More Boat Tests

Captain's reports and/or test numbers for this model are archived.

To Get full access to this content, please:

login   or   Register

BRABUS Shadow 500 T-Top (2020-)

2 x 250-hp Mercury Pro XS

Brief Summary

There has been a happy marriage since 2017 of instantly recognizable Finnish boat builder Axopar and Brabus, the renowned upgrader of high-performance luxury cars, to produce boats that give a shot of adrenaline to the sports-weekender market. And the relationship shows no signs of slowing down.

Key Features

  • Powered by twin Mercury Pro XS 250
  • Available in Platinum Grey, White Grey, and Glacier Blue
  • Available seat fabric/sun pad cushion colors: BRABUS Red or BRABUS Cappuccino
  • Twin stepped 20-degree V "Sharp entry hull"

Test Results

600 3.8 3.3 1.5 2.7 2.3 177 153.6 73
1000 5.6 4.9 2.6 2.2 1.9 147 127.7 73
1500 8.2 7.1 4.4 1.9 1.6 125 108.6 79
2000 10.1 8.7 7 1.4 1.3 96 83.8 78
2500 15.4 13.3 9.2 1.7 1.5 111 96.6 83
3000 23.5 20.4 11.7 2 1.7 134 116.3 83
3500 31 26.9 14.4 2.2 1.9 144 124.9 84
4000 38.9 33.8 18.7 2.1 1.8 138 120.3 86
4500 45.5 39.5 23.7 1.9 1.7 128 111.1 87
5000 51.4 44.7 28.1 1.8 1.6 122 106 89
5500 57.8 50.2 36.2 1.6 1.4 106 92.5 92
5990 62.7 54.5 45.7 1.4 1.2 91 79.5 95


Length Overall 31' 3''
9.53 m
Beam 9' 8''
2.95 m
Dry Weight 4,056 lbs.
1,840 kg
Tested Weight 5,714 lbs.
2,592 kg
Draft 2' 8''
0.80 m
Fuel Capacity 74 gal.
280 L
Total Weight 5,714 lbs.
2,592 kg


See the price by becoming
a BoatTEST member.

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.1 sec.
0 to 30 5.7 sec.
Props 13.6x21 Enertia
Load 2 persons, 1/2 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 67 deg., 25 humid; wind: 15-20; seas: 0

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2 x 250-hp Mercury Pro XS
Std. Power 2 x 250-hp Mercury Pro XS

Captain's Report

By Capt. Steve


The BRABUS Shadow 500 T-Top is a combination of two industry powerhouses to make a line of boats that turns heads both at, and away, from the dock.


When two powerhouse companies combined to make an exclusive range of high-performance boats, industry insiders knew this was a marriage for the ages. Axopar builds the boats that are not only instantly recognizable but thrilling to drive. BRABUS finetunes luxury performance cars that raise the bar on excellence and style. These two premium level companies are the foundation of BRABUS Marine and the results are extraordinary.   

“Every boat is hand-crafted to the highest standards using the finest materials, technology and engineering” according to BRABUS.  Now clearly these boats aren’t for everyone.  There’s a significant up-charge to a BRABUS upgrade.  But for those longing for quality and performance combined… welcome to BRABUS. 


First thing's first… This BRABUS Shadow 500 T-Top is built on the foundation of the Axopar 28 hull. This was among the first Axopar models we tested and it blew our most senior test captain away with its outstanding handling characteristics. Its twin stepped 20-degree deadrise hull and sharp entry allowed it to handle offshore conditions on test day in an unbelievable manner. Now while we haven’t tested this new Shadow 500, there’s no reason to believe that things will be any different. These boats are a different breed and their handling and maneuvering abilities are second to none. 

twin steps

With a deep-V bottom and twin steps, the BRABUS Shadow 500 T-Top is in a class by itself when it comes to handling characteristics.



Starting at the bow, the seating is a bit uncharacteristic from the usual V-Seating that we usually see. On the Shadow 500 T-Top, and for that matter, the rest of the Axopar models, there is seating that runs along the port side and across the bow. The starboard side is left for transiting the space to the bow anchor locker and forward cleats making a fair and clever compromise between utility and space. A pedestal table that stores under the seating, adjacent to point of use, can be added to increase functionality, also allow for a conversion to a forward sun pad. Padded bolsters measuring 9” (22.86 cm) in height wrap around the entire area. Under a deck hatch there’s access to the power steering pump, the bow thruster and the boat’s 42.28-gallon (40L) capacity blackwater tank.

bow seating

Bow seating is to the port side and continues across the front. Padded bolsters surround the area and a table stores under the seat.


Speakers and a stereo remote control are located at the bow social area. Notice how the bolsters wrap around the entire bow area.

A bowrail is raised 5” (12.70 cm) from the caprail and elevated further to 9” (22.86 cm) where it flanks the anchor locker. Forward, a hatch opens with a turn and lock latch and is held open with a gas-assist strut. Inside is an optional Side-Power windlass ($6,003).  The polished stainless 16.53 lb. (7.5 kg) anchor rides in a recessed stainless-steel roller that flips out to extend beyond the stem and allows the hatch to be closed when deployed. Controls for the windlass are right alongside the hatch and to starboard. Two 8” (20.32 cm) cleats are to the sides and under the elevated rails. One unusual design feature is the location of the shore power connection fully forward, and under the bow seating. As part of the BRABUS upgrade, the square stitched upholstery with multiple densities of foam support is ever-present. 


At the front of the deck house, a hatch opens on a lift and lock latch and is held open with a magnetic catch. An aluminum trimmed step at the top is branded with the BRABUS logo. The head compartment is accessed via two 14” (35.56 cm) steps. To starboard, there’s a solid surface counter with a sink recessed into it with contemporary fixtures.  Plumbing access is underneath. The porcelain toilet is electric flush. 


The head is upholstered in leather and includes an electric flush toilet. Mirrored panels open to provide access to the back side of the helm panel.


The helm of the Shadow 500 T-Top is uncluttered thanks to the integration of the two 12” (30.48 cm) Garmin MFDs (Multi-Function Displays) gracing the main panel. An extended Navigation Package ($6,440) is available. The console is offset to starboard with the engine controls mounted nearly vertically. The 7” (17.78 cm) VesselView display is to the left of the wheel. And this wheel deserves some mention as it is clearly an upgrade in the BRABUS fashion. Much like a high-end steering wheel in luxury cars, this one is fitted with controls to both sides of the hub for controlling things such as engine trim, trim tabs, stereo controls, and most notably, the bow thruster.


The helm of the Shadow 500 is well-appointed and uncluttered with gauges thanks to the dual MFDs and the Mercury VesselView.


Thanks to the BRABUS automotive heritage, the wheel is reminiscent of high-end luxury cars.

To the far left of the helm is a stainless and leather grab rail below a triple set of beverage holders and a recessed area for putting "stuff." Observer and operator seats are on elevated platforms with storage underneath. Both seats include flip armrests trimmed in carbon fiber, molded storage pockets behind as well as the upgraded upholstery ala BRABUS


An exclusive to BRABUS step is below the helm and adds not only to the upscale quality but the ergonomics.


Everywhere we look on the Shadow 500 T-Top there are examples of the upscale treatments that BRABUS adds.

The windshield wraps around from behind the operator’s shoulder and across to the other side. Curves in the windshield offer zero distortion and the entire assembly is framed in black powder-coated tube stock. 


The panel that supports the displays is carbon fiber. Electrical switching is just below.

Aft Seating

Behind the helm and observer’s seats are four-across seats that can be configured in either individual seats or with a single two-across center seat. The BRABUS upgrades are still present with the all-weather square-stitched upholstery. 

Overhead choose from a Targa Arch ($1,462), or a full T-top ($6,003) to cover the entire helm and aft seating areas. 


One of two configurations available for the aft seats is the four across individual seats shown here.

aft seating

The aft seating is offered in two configurations, the version shown here and another with the center seats as one double-wide seat.

Aft Deck

The stern of the Shadow 500 T-Top can be configured in one of three ways. The area can be left open for a roomier layout. An aft cabin ($13,317) creates a sleeping area under a large sun pad. Owners can also opt for a wet bar ($6,003) if a more entertainment-themed platform is desired. Decking is all rubberized matting, trimmed in black pinstriping and includes the Shadow 500 logo. A hatch in the center allows for roomy storage, and lest one think that this is too small for skis and boards, fear not. A center section continues for over 6’ (1.83 m) forward under the deck.

wet bar

The wet bar includes a full-length grab rail and storage underneath. Notice the large in-deck storage and still more storage is to the side bulwarks.

wet bar

The wet bar includes a 40L top open refrigerator, a sink, and electric grill. The gelcoat will match the hull color.

The aft cabin is under the sun pad and has been completely designed and outfitted by BRABUS. It includes illuminated plates on the entrance threshold, ambient LED lighting, reading lights, floor lights, and leather carpeting. The aft bulkhead includes a large mirror. The bed is made up of Alcantara pocket-spring construction. Black leather treatments with contrast thread make up the side bolsters and bulkhead panels.   Optional heating is also available ($3,711).  

aft cabin

The aft cabin gives the Shadow 500 T-Top overnight capabilities.

All versions of the stern layout will have storage compartments to the stern quarters with top hatches that open with lift and lock latches. A pair of staple rails are ahead of the engines that have curves to the uprisers. This allows them to be reversible providing more cockpit space one way, and room to tilt the engines out of the water for the other. 


The stern of the Shadow 500 T-Top includes reversible stable rails and storage to both quarters.

A watersports towbar runs from one platform, over the engines, and down to the other platform. To the sides is modest room to transition from the aft deck and onto the two platforms. Power for the Shadow 500 T-Top is a pair of 250-hp Mercury Pro XS outboards. 


The BRABUS Shadow 500 T-Top is powered by twin 250-hp Mercury outboards that take it to over 50 knots.

Options and Pricing

The BRABUS Shadow 500 T-Top has a base price of $183,276. It can be customized in one of three colors, Platinum Gray, White Gray, and Glacier Blue. It’s also offered in one of two interior colors, BRABUS Red or Cappuccino. Interior layouts include an aft cabin or wet bar. The stern can also be left open. The four-across aft seating can consist of four individual seats or a double-wide center seat. Fully loaded she’ll run upwards of $221,264. 


Here we see the Shadow 500 in the Platinum Grey gelcoat with the Cappuccino interior. Aft is the “aft cabin” option and notice the wide center aft seat.

white grey

Here is the White Grey gelcoat with the BRABUS Red upholstery.  Aft is the wet bar and this model also includes the individual four-across aft seating.

glacier blue

And finally, there’s the Glacier Blue gelcoat. In this instance we have the open aft deck.

t top

An optional T-top covers all six seats in the center of the boat adding much-needed protection from the sun and elements. An arch is also available as an option.


The BRABUS Shadow 500 T-Top is next-level and it takes a boat with premier operating and maneuvering characteristics and pairs it with an upscale level of fit-and-finish. It really is the best of both worlds. 

However, for those that aren’t satisfied with the upgrades that are included in this addition, BRABUS can raise the bar even higher. There’s a black Ops Limited Edition, meaning only 28 models, that adds an in-depth focus on precision and finish nearly unheard of. Here, BRABUS adds fairing, painting and polishing in a labor-intensive level that utilizes no automation. Therefore, it takes six weeks to reach the required level of finish. Oh, and you can get it in any color you want — as long as it’s Gunmetal Grey. Base price is $249,000 and $278,026 all in. 

fit and finish

The ultimate in opulence and luxury is the Black-Ops limited edition taking fit-and-finish to a whole new realm. We’d put it under glass, let alone let it get wet.

Related Boats