Mercedes Benz tuners Carlsson have just released the most powerful naturally aspirated GL in the world. The Mercedes GL 500 comes from the factory with a 5.4 liter 48 valve V8 that produces 388 HP. The Carlsson Aigner CK55 RS Rascasse, benefits from a free flowing exhaust system, ported and polished cylinder heads, more aggressive camshafts and a reprogrammed ECU. All these modifications are worth an additional 70 HP bumping the peak output to 456 HP. Due to the added power the CK55 is able to sprint from 0-60 MPH (0-100 km/hr) in just 5.9 seconds, knocking off just over half a second from the standard GL 500 (6.5 seconds).
Carlsson decided to compliment the powerful SUV with a set of their three-piece forged alloys with a highly polished lip. The massive 23 inch wheels are wrapped in low profile 305/30 rubber. The German tuners have also modified the suspension to go along with the added bling. Using their C-tronic suspension (Carlsson electronic lowering kit) the CK55 lowers the factory Mercedes Benz Airmatic suspension by 40 mm.
The two tone Carlsson Aigner CK55 RS Rascasse will debut at the Geneva Auto Show and the German aftermarket company plans on a limited run of only 20 units.
Press release after the jump.
Exclusive automobile manufacturer Carlsson Autotechnik GmbH, and the luxury leather brand Etienne Aigner AG are proud to present the third model to emerge from their co-operative venture.
The Carlsson Aigner® CK55 RS Rascasse, based on the Mercedes-Benz GL 500, makes its world premiere at the Geneva Auto Salon. The Rascasse will be an exclusive limited edition of 20 cars.
Distinguished Exterior Design
The star qualities of this car are obvious at a glance. The striking two-tone paintwork, a hallmark of the Carlsson Aigner® range, confirms that the Carlsson Aigner® CK55 RS Rascasse is no ordinary luxury car.
Several coats of perfectly smooth, hand-rubbed wine-red metallic paint have been applied to just below the window line. Above this, rich black paint takes over with a thin, black coachline softening the transition between two shades. The visual marraige of these two contrasting yet complementary colours imparts a regal air to the Rascasse.
Adding to that presence is the Carlsson Aigner body styling kit consisting of wider wheel arches visually linked by side skirts. The front wings carry illuminated Aigner logos. The door rubbing strips are colour-coded in black, which visually lengthens the car.
The nose of the Rascasse has been made more imposing with a new bonnet carrying larger power domes. Under this, a new larger front grill and sub-grilles feature chromed wire mesh.
Additional driving and fog lights are set into the bumpers and LED daytime running lights are integrated into lower edge of the deeper front apron extension. All these elements give the Rascasse a much stronger face, reinforcing its already commanding presence.
The rear valence incorporates cut-outs for the four chromed exit pipes of the freer-flowing sports exhaust system. This is optimised for both lower backpressure and a throaty V8 soundtrack.
Apart from enhancing the look of the car, the front spoiler, side skirts and rear valence extensions are designed to help reduce aerodynamic drag and lift. All these parts are made from PU-RIM, the flexible material used by OE manufactures like Mercedes-Benz for their production bumpers.
PU is much more expensive than glass-fibre in small runs, but is lighter and has good low speed bump resilience. It also requires a much larger tooling investment, demonstrating Carlsson’s commitment to OE quality levels.
The 5,461cc, 48-valve, DOHC V8 motor has 388hp (285 kW) and 530Nm of torque in standard form. Carlsson’s proven conversion for this engine uses a free-flow exhaust system with metal catalytic converters, gas-flowed cylinder-heads, high-lift camshafts and a remapped ECU to boost output to 456 hp (335 kW) with 640Nm of torque.
Thus endowed, the Carlsson Aigner® CK55 RS Rascasse is the most powerful normally-aspirated GL in the world, accelerating from 0-100km/h hundred in just 5.9 seconds. This compares to 6.5 sec for the standard GL500.
To help transmit this extra power and torque to the road, Carlsson use their three-piece 3/11 UL forged alloy wheels with highly polished outer rims in 11J x 23-inch size with 305/30ZR23 tyres.
The forging process creates a very light but exceptionally strong alloy wheel that helps to counter the increased unsprung weight of the larger diameter wheels and tyres.
The Carlsson electronic lowering kit, C-Tronic® Suspension, drops the ride height of the Airmatic suspension by 40mm. In combination with the wider wheels and tyres, this delivers superior handling and roadholding characteristics.
An abundance of precious materials
Colour matching is one of the keystones of the fashion industry. Where Carlsson elevates the mechanicals to new heights, Aigner demonstrates the art of haute couture with the plush interior of the Rascasse.
Picking up the dark red shade from the bodywork, Aigner uses the finest hides and Alcantara in this colour to cover the seats, dashtop, door panels and centre console. The headlining is Alcantara, stitched in a bespoke pattern.
Total comfort for rear compartment passengers means sumptuous seats and plenty of space in all directions. For that reason, Carlsson and Aigner decided that the seven-seater configuration should be ditched in favour of just two individual rear seats.
Supporting this hedonistic concept is an integrated fridge in a compartment between the rear seats. Drinks can be served in bespoke hand-blown Carlsson-Aigner glasses also stored in this compartment.
The comprehensive Rear Entertainment System is centred around the eight-inch screens integrated into the headrests of the front seats. A surround sound audio system provides the soundtrack as well as just music if you just want to relax on a journey.