Wait, a blinged-out diesel SUV? And introduced in flashy Miami Beach, no less. GGI European Tuning, the exclusive North American importer of the Carlsson brand, announced its latest offering yesterday, based on the Mercedes ML 320 BlueTEC
diesel SUV. Apparently even the bruisers, rap stars, and millionaires who vacation in Miami are sick of fueling up their 6.2-liter Cadillac Escalades
, Hummer H2
s, and Range Rover
gas hogs. Or maybe just embarrassed by their hybrid-driving friends and business partners.
For bragging rights, Carlsson has upped the power of the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 to a respectable 269 hp. But more important is the swell in torque to a pavement rippling 451 pound-feet at just 1,800 rpm (that's 37 pound-feet more than the brawny Escalade
and 31 pound-feet more than the Supercharged Range Rover
gas hog). All that torque will get you from Miami International to your favorite hot spot in no time at all. And wafting forth from the dual stainless steel rear silencers with twin oval tailpipes will be ultra-clean, 50-state-compliant exhaust courtesy of Mercedes' particulate filters and NOX-killing urea injection system. They claim this exhaust setup gives "an impressive, sonorous sound," but we'd have to hear it to believe it as today's diesels usually end up sounding like muted air rushing from a turbocharger with a twinge of diesel clatter at startup.
The rest of the package is replete with all of the bling, sparkle, and extra technology that today's gussied-up SUV driver expects, from 22-inch rims (lightweight ones, at that), an aerodynamic body package, an exclusive alcantara and leather interior, and a suspension-lowering system that improves handling and aerodynamics based on speed and vehicle load (much like a Range Rover). The drilled aluminum pedals won't do much for weight savings, but they'll likely look nice nestled down in the footwell.
If you're interested in a Carlsson-tuned Benz, head on over to www.ggituning.com
or call 305-717-3133.--Colin Mathews
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