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The high-end, super-luxury limousine market is a fairly limited one. There's Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Maybach and.... well, that's about it. But with Daimler possibly nixxing the struggling brand in the next few years, who will fill that gap for those who prefer to lounge in the back seat of a Mercedes rather than drive? Carlsson possibly has the answer with its... take a deep breath... Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont based on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This is the second vehicle that has been built in cooperation with Etienne Leather, the first being the Aigner CK65 Eau Rouge we spotted at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year. For the Blanchimont, Carlsson has installed enough items to use the car as a home office – custom leather upholstery, a Concert Hall infotainment system with surround sound, DVD system with three television monitors, hinged tables behind the front seats for laptops, and a wireless router that creates a personal hot spot inside the car. Oh yeah, the Blanchimont also features a 700-horsepower V12 and can reach 60 mph in under four seconds(!). More details can be found in the press release after the jump, and there's plenty of high-res photos in the gallery below.
Following the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Eau Rouge, automobile manufacturer Carlsson, a firm that specializes in refinements for Mercedes Benz, has introduced its next limited edition luxury car: the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont. Conceived in collaboration with the leather and lifestyle brand Etienne Aigner AG and developed by the Carlsson engineers, this luxury limousine, produced in an exclusive small series, catches the mood of an international clientele precisely. Inside the car the fine leather fittings, offset by a combination of selected woods, Alcantara and aluminium, bewitch and beguile. On the outside, the Blanchimont is discreet, sporty and seductive, with exclusive two-colour paintwork.
The fragrance of Etienne Aigner leather permeates the interior
The vehicle's interior trim and upholstery were created by the world-famous lifestyle brand Etienne Aigner. A combination of the renowned Aigner leather and Aigner Alcantara invite the viewer to climb inside and savour the ambience. The highest level of workmanship characterises the newly-created interior. The ergonomic design of the Carlsson sports steering wheel in leather and in Alcantara turns driving and controlling the Carlsson Aigner into a particularly enjoyable tactile experience. Carlsson aluminium sports pedal pads, illuminated door sill protectors and further visual touches all point the way into a world of luxorious elegance.
It goes without saying that the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont is only supplied fully equipped with all comfort and safety features. Navigation system, automatic air-conditioning system, ventilated seats with memory function, Carlsson multi-function steering wheel, Distronic, Parktronic, Comand, TV function, KeylessGo and many other inclusive options round off the appointments of the luxury coupé. Moreover, the interior colour scheme can be chosen from more than 30 different combinations. Processing the natural materials is time cosuming and calls for the highest degree of perfection and quality. The Aigner leather, the Aigner Alcantara and the matching wood trim are fitted exclusively by hand. Hence, in the view of the fact that the individual stages call for cooling and setting phases, the production and installation of the entire interior takes over two weeks.
The In-Car Infotainment System or Carlsson Office Concert Hall Infotainment System
Whether you want to be entertained or to work when you're on the move, Carlsson has the perfect solution. In terms of entertainment, only components by Alpine and Focal – companies that set the highest benchmark standards – are use. Passengers travelling in the front will experience the highest listening pleasure through 3-way loudspeaker system of the Focal Utopia Be Kit No.7 make, which the specialist press has praised as the "best system in the world" von. Power amplification is provided by a further benchmark in the in-car hi-fi sector, the 2-channel output stage Focal Dual Monitor. Muscular bass sounds are provided courtesy of a 33cm Focal Utopia Be 33 WX2 subwoofer. For the front passengers, the signal source is the original COMAND system, which works more effective with the Carlsson entertainment package. But it goes without saying that passengers in the back can savour high-tech sounds too. Carlsson's "Rear Seat Entertainment" creates the authentic atmosphere of a cinema. The ears are pampered with the patented 6.1 surround sound, while 7" monitors behind the headrests make it possible for the rear passengers to enjoy different programmes at the same time. Still more of a cinematic experience is provided by the 15" monitor integrated into the roof interior. Control of the system is handled by the Alpine F#1 Status DVD tuner, which has garnered countless awards worldwide. Three 3-way systems of the Focal Utopia Be Kit No.7 make are used for playback of the left, centre and right channels. The "Rear Seat Entertainment" system is completed by further Focal Utopia Be components for the surround sound channels and signal reinforcement. Bass sounds are provided by the subwoofer of the front system as soon as the rear system is activated. The rear centre console – which is probably unique in this form worldwide – has been converted by Carlsson to serve as the centre speaker. The entire entertainment system has been specially adapted to be compatible with the interior of this particular vehicle, thus making it possible to enjoy a sound quality you would otherwise expect to hear only from a top-quality home audio set-up.
Naturally, all the components, such as the loudspeakers or the power amplifiers, are unobtrusive or have been integrated into the decor attractively. The complete standard boot space remains the same. If required, the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont also functions as though designed as a workspace. Anyone who is being driven can take advantage of the Carlsson business solution, "Carlsson Office Concert Hall Infotainment System". Each of the hinged tables behind the front seats can easily accommodate a laptop, and the integrated power supply ensures this will remain ready for use even during lengthy journeys. The highlight – another worldwide first – is a WLAN UMTS router, enabling three laptops to go online, wireless and completely independent of each other. You don't need a UMTS card – all you need is a WLAN-enabled laptop. So users have their own personal hot spot right inside the car – in fact, they can even use it a short distance away from the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont!
A technical masterpiece
At work beneath the bonnet of the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont, there's a 12-cylinder engine with an output of 705 HP and an electronically limited torque of 1.100 Nm. The Carlsson engine conversion includes a newly tuned electronic control unit with special maps for injection and ignition. On the intake side, special sports air filters make sure that aspiration is optimised, while a stainless steel sports exhaust pipe system optimises exhaust gas back pressure. A further performance-enhancing modification to the engine is improved intercooling to reduce the temperature of charge air. The upshot is that the V12 is constantly at the top of its game – allowing the driver to relax, with an abundance of power resources to draw on.
An elegant vehicle with an incomparable finish, the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont must surely represent the most thrilling and luxurious limousine ride currently available. For example, the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont revels in a top speed of 320 km/h – electronically regulated for safety reasons – together with an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. Hardly surprising, then, that the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont can test virtually any other sports car to its very limits.
Ultra-light forged 3/11 UL wheels for greater driving comfort
Unlike the standard form of cast wheels, the Carlsson Ultra Light metal wheels are approximately. 50% lighter than the standard form of cast wheels. The result is that because of their reduced, unsprung mass, they are less inclined to tramp than cast wheels, thus providing an almost ideal level of contact with the road. For the driver, this mean improved handling, and thus greater driving safety and greater driving comfort. The Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont travels on three piece 3/11 Ultra Light forged wheels with dimensions of 9 x 21" at the front axle, using Dunlop SP Sport Maxx 265/30 ZR 21 tyres, and 10.5 x 21" at the rear axle, using Dunlop SP Sport Maxx 295/25 ZR21 tyres.
Electronic C-Tronic® SUSPENSION ABC-2 lowering gear
The Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont comes equipped with the electronic C-Tronic® SUSPENSION ABC-2 lowering gear, which lowers the vehicle approximately 30 mm further. However, not only does the Carlsson C-Tronic® SUSPENSION lower the centre of gravity, it also uses a sophisticated technology to enable the vehicle to react intelligently with the actual road conditions. On a poor stretch of road, or in the event of persistently heavy compression, the height of the vehicle is automatically readjusted to ensure that the necessary reserve of spring travel required for preserving driving comfort is maintained. The driver feels the effects of the C-Tronic® lowering gear in the form of reduced body roll and a much greater agility in handling. In other words, the C-Tronic® SUSPENSION also means greater driving pleasure. In addition it also guarantees that even at speeds in excess of 120 km/h, the vehicle is never lowered below the maximum depth permissible for the standard model – in other words, the minimum vehicle level – thus ensuring that the suspension travel remains optimal at all times. At the same time, with less air flowing beneath the vehicle, there is a reduction in aerodynamic drag and lift.
Stainless steel rear exhaust silencers: sonorous tones and enhanced flexibility
The Carlsson sports exhaust gas system produces a particularly powerful sound as well as improved output. Dominating the rear view of the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont are four exhaust tailpipes designed by Carlsson. The sporty, sonorous tones these generate are an impressive sound. In contrast to the regular production model, in this exhaust gas system both the exhaust gas back pressure and the pipe run have been optimised – thus allowing Carlsson to achieve an improved torque and higher output.
Real carbon for improved aerodynamics
Carbon is normally only used as a material in motor sports the aerospace industry. For the engineers at Carlsson, however, it is the material of choice. Which is why the sporty appearance of the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont is underscored by the front spoiler lip and the rear apron lip, both designed in a typical Carlsson diffuser look, and also by the rear wing. All the aerodynamic attached parts improve the contact pressure, this in turn improving driving stability. The cd value is kept down to 0.33 – significantly below that found in comparable limousines.
Blanchimont – the very life's breath of motor sports
The Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont provides luxury – not for nothing was it named after one of the world's most famous race track curves, the Blanchimont turn on the Spa Francorchamps track in the Ardenne in Belgium. Many of the technical developments in the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont have their origins in motor sports.
Individuality that knows no limits
The Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont is offered on an individual basis in countless two-tone combinations – with no limits imposed on the individuality and desires of its clientele. "With this car, we quite deliberately adopted a positioning between the S Class and the Maybach – while still remaining faithful to the essential manufacturing concept and to the desire for maximum performance. With a horsepower in excess of 700, the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS Blanchimont is the most powerful luxury limousine in the world," declares Markus Schuster, C.E.O. of Carlsson Autotechnik GmbH. Prices start at 464.100,00 Euro in Germany and 390.000,00 Euro for export.