• Nov 7th 2006 at 11:03AM
  • 18
Ai Designs has been making a name for themselves over the past few years, customizing everything from 'Sclades to Skylines for a select clientele. When DC Shoes co-founder, Ken Block, decided his CLS55 AMG was too pedestrian in the performance and appearance department, the New York-based customizing firm got a call.

On the outside, the CLS got the in-vogue matte black treatment, while the chrome trimmings were bathed in a shiny piano black. A full body kit, including front bumper, side skirts, carbon fiber grill and spoiler were all sourced from Merc uber-tuner Brabus and Ai contracted a jeweler to create a custom DC logo that adorns the trunk lid.

The vented hood allows passersby to peer into the engine bay and get an eyeful of the AMG muscle that lurks underneath. Not content to leave the powerplant alone, Ai again tapped Brabus to provide their K8 engine kit, which, with the addition of a less restrictive exhaust, brings power output up to 575 HP.

A Brabus electronically controlled suspension module drops the CLS overtop 20-inch Radenergie R10 rollers, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2 rubber and 15-inch discs are under the pressure of eight-piston Brembos.

Inside, the Merc gets a custom slathering of interior materials, including a DC logo emblazoned onto the head rests. A Valentine One radar detector is hardwired, with the display etched into the rearview mirror.

The end result is incredibly trick, substantially quick and downright menacing. In short, we like.

(More pics after the jump.)

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      its doesnt take very much artistic skill to black out a car.

      looks nice, no doubt, but not like its all that special.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm sorry, Flat Black always looks like a amateur spray can job to me.

      I also really dislike these plastic engine covers. They remind me of toy cars where you could open the "engine compartment" and see a cheesy pseudo engine in there that was raised up from the surrounding plastic. I want to see REAL valve covers and manifolds... not some lame plastic rendition of some.

      The only exception I can allow is on Diesel engines, as they really are there to assist with sound deadening, but at least there, they are mostly flat, without pseudo-engine relief to them so their form follows function.

      --chuck (stranded by floodwaters)

      • 8 Years Ago
      Where is the hidden missile launcher?
      • 8 Years Ago
      looks like Ken is moving up in the world of cars. This beats out his 85 VW GTI we use to cruise around in when we were in High School. Good for him.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chuck, how can you direct your unfair rant on the ai Design CLS 55 towards its engine covers? Clearly any car made past 1985 has engine bits covered in plastic (worst aesthetics, Nissan’s VQ). Your post could be cut and pasted on every new car blog featured here. I’ve spent a bunch of time with the car in person—it looks as evil as sin.
      Also note the kit is straight from the Brabus Rocket and the orange valve covers match the Brembos.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice. But Brabus already did this without that amateur paintjob
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thank you #11
      • 8 Years Ago
      I've always like the CLS AMG 55. This car is nicely done. It's mean looking and it means business when you this car i rear view mirror. BRAVO!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      How do I send information to autoblog or suggest a story?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ken Block's metoric rise from SoCal skate kid to millionaire racecar superstar, X Games honeyboy and semi-retired shoe-industry mogul has been fun to watch. 10 years ago Ken used to ride dirt bikes in the desert fields outside my front door--now he's maxin' and relaxin' with the illest ride on the planet. Tell all the haters out there that matte black is the new metallic silver and that thin-tongued vulcanized shoes are the new fat-tongued skateshoes. Represent!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Tracy- Here is where you contact them with tips http://www.autoblog.com/tips/
      • 8 Years Ago
      Very nicely done!
      Ken should have fun parking that next to his rally car.
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