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533kW PhantASM of the desert

2009-04-29 09:09
Gulf oil money can finance some great civil engineering and truly awful automotive retrofitting. The PhantASMA65 is something we wish we had never stumbled upon.

Holzmaden-based ASMA (how very aptly named) shocked the aftermarket tuning world earlier this year with its hideous SLR bodykit.

For a second instalment of repugnance, ASMA has taken the modestly attractive CL-series and embellished it with a level of tastelessness that would make even a Russian arms dealer wince.

In the background, a desert transformed by oil money with rampant construction - nice. In the foreground, a German tuner pandering to oil money by desecrating Mercedes-Benz's finest - not good.

ASMA’s idea was to create an aggressive presence for the usually reserved CL. They call it the PhantASMA65, but we consider it something not even BMW would wish upon the Mercedes-Benz brand.

What ASMA has ended up doing, thanks to a ridiculous front end treatment (which looks like it could filter tons of plankton if driven underwater), is shown why AutoCAD should always be used with strict supervision.

Around the rear, styling is as radical with a series of additional air-intakes (liberally cut into the bodywork) and the most ornate diffuser ever seen on a Mercedes-Benz road car.

Lowered by 35mm, the PhantASMA65 features Merc’s 6l, twin-turbo V12 in mildly tuned form. Power is up 83kW, from 450kW to 533kW, and rotational force increases from 1 000Nm to 1 180Nm – which is slightly senseless as the transmission can only handle 1 000Nm.

ASMA claims a top speed of 330km/h, which is plenty quick, but is it quick enough to outrun the insults?


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