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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

£5442

Personal logo embossed in the headrests

£2102

Personal logo embossed in the airbag leather

£1008

Carbon interior

£14,401

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

£37,589

Carlsson intelligent Sound System by FOCAL

£20,029

USB and Apple iPod interface

£667

Auxiliary heating system with remote control via mobile phone

£4977

Radar warning system type Valentine, hidden installation

£2070

Three-colour design concept

£13,384

Colour design concept in matt colour

£5098

Complete 24-carat gold exterior

£165,720

Four forged 20-inch wheels in personal design

£10,130

Underbody lights

£1313

Smart Fortwo (100bhp) with matching design

£47,797

>> 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

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