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Germany's new super(expensive)car

2010-03-01 09:08
Carlsson, purveyor of stylish Mercedes-Benz go-faster kits, has now entered the low-volume supercar market with its very own design.

Operating from the historical Gut Wiesenhof manor house, Carlsson has always been the ‘other’ Mercedes-Benz aftermarket specialist in Germany - operating in the shadow of larger volume tuning concern Brabus.

Debuting at the Geneva motor show today, the Swabian tuning concern will cross the divide and become an official federal government approved manufacturer with its C25 supercar.

It was supposed to look like this...

The Americans get only one - like all the rest of us...

An exercise in hyper-exclusivity, the C25 is limited to only 25 units of total production, with an equal number of choice markets receiving one car each.

Carlsson says the peculiar marketing arrangement is to ensure unrivaled exclusivity. Subsequently, you don’t have to worry about another C25 stealing your thunder in Kuwait or Miami if you have one on order already.

The C25’s renderings, released towards the end of January, cued a car of generous proportions and true supercar presence. Images of C25 01 are a slight disappointment (as renderings versus reality inevitably always are).

Although Carlsson have retained those stunning dual twin-exhausts, the C25's front looks like a SLK/CL mismatch.

Rear three-quarter view best. Styling not really harmonious, yet purposeful.

Big bi-turbo power

Powering the C25 is AMG’s 6l V12 bi-turbo engine.

Thanks to a meticulous upgrade by Carlsson’s engineers, the V12 powerplant has added nearly 100kW of power (it turns over 554kW at 5 000r/min).

Peak rotational force (usually limited to 1 000Nm in Mercedes-Benz applications) levels out to a transmission testing 1 150Nm between 2 000-4 000r/min. Drive is exclusively to the rear axle via a five-speed transmission.

Although the C25 is no lightweight at 1 950kg, Carlsson says it will see 352km/h at the long end of the drivetrain’s endurance and dispatch the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.7 seconds.

Wheels are 20-inch jobs. At 11.2kg allegedly 40% lighter than anything comparable in size, you can have them custom made to your own design for €5 000.

LFA Logic?

Considering the epic velocities C25 is capable of Carlsson have slotted in 405mm rotors actuated by six-piston callipers behind the front wheels, whilst 380mm discs are clamped by four-piston callipers at the rear.

Keeping the C25 pointing generally in the desired direction at speed is Carlsson C-Tronic continuously adaptive air-suspension module, which adjusts damping rebound and ride height according to road surface conditions and driver input.

The C25 is set to retail for €429 00 – and you though an Aston One-77 was exclusive.

In fact, C25 is priced at levels which would make even Lexus LF-A owners blush. At least  - according to Carlsson – your local Mercedes-Benz dealer will be fully accredited to service the C25.

This raises a point of contention though: if it costs that much, and isn’t really such a differentiated engineering project (requiring special servicing care due to its unique technical specifications), why buy one instead of a Black Series AMG?

Cabin tailored to each individual requirements. There's no accounting for taste - obviously...

Options, options - everywhere

Carlsson is happy to obligate with an elaborate options list, which is plainly criminal considering the base selling price, yet adds to the appeal for the super-rich). If you wish to have your C25 delivered in right-hand drive (UK, Australia or South Africa), that's another €5 127.

Clubsport interior perhaps? Well, €35 400 will buy you six-point safety belts, a fire extinguisher, roll-cage strengthening, lashings of carbon trim and proper racing buckets seats. For the narcissists out there, a personalized logo embossed into the seats head restraints is another €1 980, whilst an USB/iPod interface is €629…

If your daughter wants in on the deal too, you can get her a Smart ForTwo, with identical design and cabin trim detailing to your C25, for an additional €45 000.

Pretty crazy, right? Even crazier is the fact Carlsson have sold the entire allotted production of 25 units already…


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