The madness of a tuned Mercedes

Published: 05 March 2010

Amongst the stars of the 2010 Geneva motor show (Porsche 918 Spyder, Pininfarina 2uettottanta, etc) there were also some utterly awful cars. The worst was the Mansory Rolls-Royce Ghost, a blue and gold monstrosity but with floor mats that didn’t match the external colour scheme. There was the FAB Design SLR too, though in no way was it fab.

But it’s relatively easy to make good cars crap by painting them in terrible colours or bolting on an OTT bodykit – we’ve all seen this sort of thing before. What’s even better (or worse) is when you delve into the options that some of these companies offer.

At Geneva I stopped by the stand of mad German tuner Carlsson to have a look at its C25. It’s built for those that find the SL65 AMG too slow, and the 350-run SL Black too ubiquitous. That means the base car is stripped back to its bare bones and over two months given new carbonfibre bodywork, a fixed roof and lots more power. A regular SL65 AMG is £156,965 and produces 604bhp and 737lb ft – the C25 has 743bhp, 848lb ft and it's £470,000.

But that’s not the outrageous part. And nor is the colour of the pictured car, which belongs to a customer who really did pick white paint with contrasting orange stripe. No, the funniest part is the options lists for the C25 – with utter seriousness, Carlsson offers gold exteriors, matching Smart cars and Max Power underbody lights. The full list is below, and the worrying thing is Carlsson will probably sell every C25 it makes with most of the options boxes ticked.

Right hand drive version


Personal logo embossed in the headrests


Personal logo embossed in the airbag leather


Carbon interior


Clubsport interior (race seats, roll-over cage, carbon interior, fire extinguisher, six-point safety belts)


Carlsson intelligent Sound System by FOCAL


USB and Apple iPod interface


Auxiliary heating system with remote control via mobile phone


Radar warning system type Valentine, hidden installation


Three-colour design concept


Colour design concept in matt colour


Complete 24-carat gold exterior


Four forged 20-inch wheels in personal design


Underbody lights


Smart Fortwo (100bhp) with matching design


>> Click 'Add your comment' below and let us know what you think of the Carlsson C25

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy