8 months with a Renault Clio

Top Car's Wayne Batty says goodbye to his Renault Clio. It’s not a soppy farewell but the little 'automatique' did its maker proud.

Kia's trendy family pick

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post experiences the upcoming Cerato.

Mercedes CLK gets Armani touch

2004-09-06 08:15

Personalised by the renowned Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani, the four-seater CLK convertible has a special paint in a warm sand tone plus an interior of high-quality materials to match.

Only 100 units will be offered worldwide as part of the exclusive Mercedes-Benz designo range.

Each of the 100 vehicles represents the common design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz and Giorgio Armani and will be issued with a certificate that confirms its limited-edition status.

Giorgio Armani worked closely with the Mercedes design studio in Como, northern Italy, on what was his first automotive design project.

Common language

"We very quickly found a common language," he says. "It was fascinating to see how Mercedes-Benz turned my design ideas into reality with such attention to detail. I think the result speaks for itself."

The entire vehicle exterior is painted in an Armani-trademark matt sand colour, with discreet green shading.

The unique matt paint was developed by Mercedes-Benz and translates the lines of the CLK-Class Cabriolet in a very effective way.

Glossy black decorative elements in various places add an extra touch. The roof covering, the colour of which was carefully chosen to complement the vehicle body, was developed exclusively for this high-class limited-edition series.

Inside, the seating fabric and a high-tech silk matt film harmonise with the colour of the exterior paint job.

Traditional materials

Giorgio Armani has achieved surprising effects, partly by removing materials from their traditional contexts and combining them in unusual ways to create something new.

For example, he has taken cuoio, a prized saddle leather often seen in the 1940s and 1950s yet rarely used today, and combined it with high-tech sportswear textiles.

Thanks to the three-dimensional textile structure, the seats and other parts of the vehicle are well ventilated.

In the limited-edition cabriolet all the interior decorative elements which would normally be made of wood are covered with brown leather, quilted in parts.

The anthracite-coloured multi-functional steering wheel is covered with finely perforated leather.

To avoid disruptive reflections in the windscreen, the upper section of the instrument panel is also dark in colour. The lower section repeats the shade of the exterior, creating an interesting contrast.

Matt trim

To keep reflections to a minimum, Giorgio Armani decided not to use shiny chrome inside the vehicle. Instead, all of the metal trim has a high-quality, matt "aged" look.

The Mercedes-Benz CLK designo by Giorgio Armani is based on the CLK 500 Cabriolet.

The car's V8 engine generates 225 kW and accelerates the cabriolet from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds.

In addition, the body of the special Giorgio Armani-inspired CLK-Class Cabriolet was further upgraded through the use of certain AMG styling features, such as dynamic front and rear aprons and distinctive side skirts.

Deliveries will start early 2005.


Inside Wheels24

Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in SA

Want to experience what it's like to be behind the wheel of a 419kW sports car? Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in our interactive Snapchat video filmed in SA.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.