Brabus may have beaten them to the punch by a few weeks, but you knew nothing was going to keep the engineers at Carlsson from getting their mitts on the big, bold Mercedes GL-Class SUV. The Carlsson CK50 begins life as a Euro-market GL 500 (currently, we only have the GL 450 here in the States). The base car is no slouch, dishing out some 388 horsepower, but we're talking Deutsch tuners here, and with these guys, horsepower numbers beginning with number "3" are routinely laughed at. As such, the CK50 kit turns up the juice with a healthy 435 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque.
Complementing the pumped-up engine is a Carlsson exhaust that gives the truck a meaner sound in addition to augmenting power and torque. The new mufflers are each tipped with double-oval outlets (not shown in the attached photos, btw).
They also drop the suspension 35mm with their C-Tronic lowering kit. C-Tronic automatically adjusts ride height based on road conditions and bestows improved handling and looks on the beefy GL. No tuner car is complete without an assortment of shiny new wheels, and the CK50 is no exception. Lightweight forged eleven-spoke 22" wheels or polished 20-inchers are available. Inside, Carlsson will deck out the interior as much (or as little) as you like. New leather, wood, carbon fiber, and copious amounts of electronic gadgetry can be had to create a real custom look.
Naturally, added power and improved handling are nice things to have, but in the case of the Carlsson CK50, the suspension / wheel package really improves the SUV's aesthetics. Carlsson doesn't bother with any unnecessary bodywork, instead keeping the GL's stock, handsome lines intact. The lowered suspension and larger wheels give it a sportier, more wagon-like appearance in profile, which we like very much. Appropriate, given that most of these trucks are probably being used on-road as big station wagons anyway. The CK50 is visually understated, yet possesses enough power to go 0-62 in 6.1 seconds. Not a bad combo for a pretty large SUV.
(Photos, press release after the jump)
Off-road vehicle with S class comfort / The Carlsson CK50
Carlsson CK50 with 435 bhp and 600 Nm / Intelligent lowering / 3-piece forged wheels
The most imposing vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz range is the GL Class. Despite its robust nature, this all-terrain vehicle is also distinguished by an ambience that captivates S Class drivers. Now, the impression of luxury given can be refined even more at Carlsson in the southwest German town of Merzig. The GL 500 promises a good combination of long-range ability and excellent performance. As the CK50 by Carlsson, however, it surpasses its standard counterpart by far in terms of power, speed and luxury.
In a class of its own: Carlsson CK50 engine kit
Developed by Carlsson especially for the GL, the CK50 engine kit accelerates not only the driver's pulse but also the elegant automobile in just 6.1 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. No less impressive is the engine output after being given the Carlsson treatment: the tuned V8 develops 435 bhp / 320 kW (standard 388 bhp / 285 kW) at 6000 rpm coupled with 600 Nm of torque at 2800-4800 rpm. Top speed according to Carlsson is 248 km/h.
Stainless-steel rear silencers, each with two oval double tail pipes
An attractive back is also a head turner. And this is certainly the case with the CK50 because Carlsson fits the vehicle with sports rear silencers that, with a total of four tail pipes, guarantee an athletic rear view. At the same time, the system impresses through a dramatic, sonorous sound. Compared to the standard version, the Carlsson exhaust is better with regard to backpressure and pipe run. The result: greater torque and a higher output
C-Tronic® SUSPENSION electronic lowering kit
Exclusively for the GL 500, Carlsson offers the C-Tronic® SUSPENSION electronic lowering kit that reduces the ride height of the vehicle by approx. 35 mm. Drivers can be sure that lowering the car gives it a significantly more sporting look.
The C-Tronic® SUSPENSION not only lowers the centre of gravity but also, thanks to the sophisticated technology, interacts intelligently with the road surface. On poor roads on which the suspension has to work hard, the car's ride height is automatically adjusted to ensure the spring travelling remaining is sufficient for constant ride comfort. Drivers notice the effects of the C-Tronic® lowering via a reduced tendency to roll and considerably more agile handling. In other words, the C-Tronic® SUSPENSION also stands for greater driving pleasure. Additionally, the C-Tronic® SUSPENSION ensures that, even at speeds in excess of 120 km/h, the car is not lowered beyond the standard minimum ride height thus ensuring sufficient compression travel for the suspension.
An incidental effect of lowering the car is a reduction in air resistance and lift because less air flows beneath the car.
For a perfect finish: 3/11 Ultra Light and 1/11 Brilliant Edition wheels
Carlsson offers 3/11 Ultra Light wheels for the front and rear axles of the GL in the dimension 10 x 22" (with 305/35 R 22 tyres). The attractive forged wheels have been designed especially for larger automobiles. They are significantly lighter than conventional cast wheels but just as strong. Moreover, thanks to their lower weight, forged wheels tend to tramp less than cast wheels (lower unsprung mass) and thus offer optimum road contact. For the driver, this means improved handling and greater comfort.
As an alternative to the three-piece 3/11 UL, Carlsson also offers the one-piece 1/11 BE wheel as a 20" model. The 11-spoke wheel for the front and rear axles comes in the dimension 9.5 x 20" (with 305/45 R20 tyres). However, trailer operations are not permitted with this wheel and tyre combination.
Elegance with a high comfort factor
Anyone familiar with Carlsson knows that the Merzig-based automobile specialists have a fine sense for luxury. Carlsson uses only top-quality parts and materials. No matter whether the finest nappa leather, combinations of Alcantara and leather, multi-media conversions or appointments in carbon and precious wood, Carlsson converts and individualises every GL in accordance with the customer's wishes. Customer satisfaction has the highest priority. Get in, feel at home and drive off - Carlsson turns every GL into a mobile wellness zone.