Today is a historic event. No, not that one. The 2008 SEMA show is the first time Mercedes-Benz has participated in the aftermarket antics in Vegas and it's chosen the GLK to be the standard-bearer for its entry into the realm of U.S. tuning.
Four concepts graced the stage last evening ahead of their debut at the show, each attempting to highlight the GLK's strong points while taking sharp aim at the buyers Mercedes hopes to bring into the tri-point fold.
The first, and arguably most extreme of the four, is the Urban Whip from Boulevard Customs, which turns the cute 'ute into a true roadster by removing every pillar aft of the windshield (cut down by 5.5 inches) and fitting a biggie-sized grille, three-inch wider track and 15-inch Brembo brakes eclipsed by 26-inch custom wheels. In addition to adding a 5,700-watt stereo, Boulevard shaved the door handles to keep the GLK's lines clean and installed a remote-opening mechanism into the mirrors.
Far more impressive and 10-times more menacing is the RENNTech Pikes Peak model that gets a "concept" turbo/ hybrid V6 producing 375 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque to the wheels, massive brakes, a fully-caged interior, tons of race-ready equipment and a functional body kit and rear wing that's been virtually honed on a fluid dynamics system to produce downforce. According to RENNTech, it works... and we believe them.
Legendary Motor Cars (of SPEED Dream Car Garage fame) was tasked with creating a GLK that would take Xtreme (forgive us) sports addicts to the destinations they crave and allow them to test their predilection for suicide with a winch to drag them at 30 mph (!) up and over the Merc. In addition to side sills that extend out to provide grind rails, a ramp can be pulled out of the rear and a set of roof rails can be (theoretically) ground without fear of crashing through the sunroof (it's been swapped out with a plexiglass piece).
Finally, there's the Brabus GLK, which is the most subtle and easily most streetable of the four. A new fascia joins 21-inch wheels, redesigned fender flares and 500 sq-ft of brown leather that coats the entire interior, including the floors. In the tuner's own words, "It's black, fast and expensive. Everything a Brabus should be."
Check the galleries below for all the details, and we'd be remiss not to mention that the lovely ladies joining the GLKs are all wearing bathing suits pulled from Mercedes' sponsorship of Fashion Week.
Photos Copyright ©2008 Brad Wood / Weblogs, Inc.