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There's always that guy at the party who takes the joke too far, and at this year's Geneva Motor Show that role falls on the shoulders of the German tuners at Carlsson with its CS50 Versailles. It has created a customized Mercedes-Benz S-Class covered in thousands of dollars of gold leaf.

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Carlsson has been expertly tuning Mercedes-Benz products for more than 20 years now, but we can't say as we remember the outfit turning out anything quite so racy as this SLK 340 Judd that it has brought along to the Geneva Motor Show this year.

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Carlsson's race-tuned versions of the Mercedes-Benz SLK have been taking checkered flags for years, and we won't be surprised if its SLK 340 hill climber fares any different. Developed by multiple German and Swiss hill climb champion Reto Meisel, the carbon-bodied SLK 340 with lightweight brakes and a closed underbody weighs 1,716 pounds. Propelling that tiny bit of weight is a 3.4-liter V8 from Judd with 610 horsepower, and it rolls on 18-inch wheels shod in Avon tires.

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It is clear that the Chinese appetite for luxury cars with monumental power and imperial luxury has barely begun, so automakers are positioning themselves to make sure they can provide a growing supply. Zhongsheng Group Holdings, owners of a dealer group that includes Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus showrooms, has taken a 70-percent stake in German tuner Carlsson according to a report in Reuters, and it has plans for its new purchase that offer enormous potential.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS350 by Carlsson – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Carlsson C25 - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Carlsson C25 rendering - click above for high-res image gallery

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Click the image above for more shots of the Carlsson Aigner CK65 Eau Rouge.

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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, th

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Mercedes tuner Carlsson has just released info on their newest über-coupe, the Carlsson CK60. Based on the already formidable Mercedes CL 600 with its bi-turbo V12, Carlsson works some of their magic and raises horsepower from 517 to an eponymous 600 and torque goes up to a staggering 740 ft lbs. Even in such a large coupe, this is enough to snap off 4.4 second 0-60 times all day long. Because of tire restrictions, top end is governed at 320 km/h or 199 mph.

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