We get the whole aftermarket tuning thing, but here are ten reasons why it’s sometimes best left to the professionals. Or at least people with taste.
VEILSIDE 4509 GTR
Most tuner cars boast some sort of originality but not the 4509 GTR. From other manufacturers it unapologetically pinches multiple design cues (the bad ones). In fact, this poor creature has had so much surgery it’s forgotten what it was born as. Beware the “GTR” badge, that’s a Toyota Supra under there, quietly whimpering, “kill me”.
Swedish tuner Rinspeed grabbed a Porsche 996 Carrera, having driven under several ladders in its time, and turned it into a pregnant frog. And just as they had finished committing their crimes against automotive styling, they went and installed an LPG system. That raised rear hump? There’s a fold-out bed in there. You think we’re making this stuff up...
‘RED GOLD DREAM’ SLR
The big question is, would you pay $11 million for this car? If so, take our advice and spend the money on a brain transplant instead. Dutch entrepreneur Ueli Anliker took a perfectly fine McLaren SLR and bejewelled it in 700 rubies and 5kg of gold applied haphazardly in 25 layers. It was for sale in 2011 and – call it a gut feeling – we suspect it still is.
The ‘Tornado 750 GTS’ took a base Cayenne Turbo, muscled up its 4.8-litre V8 twin-turbo engine to 552kW and 1050Nm, then liposucked 250kg from its kerb weight. The problem was, when Gemballa replaced the bodywork with carbon panels to cure its obesity, the tuning company restyled the car’s face, leaving it looking like a surprised catfish.
D.A.D MERCEDES SL55
The thrill of driving a six-figure super convertible from one of the most prominent luxury manufacturers isn’t enough for some, which is why Japanese company, and perplexingly-named, D.A.D rocked up to the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon with a diamond-covered SL55 AMG. We’ve heard a lot of dad jokes in our time but this one takes the cake.
Putting a carbon fibre bonnet on a Bentley Continental GT is like asking for low-fat mayo on your Big Mac. But Mansory did it anyway, painted it pink and called it the “Vitesse Rose”. It not only looks like a Paris Hilton special order, but its happy hue was a thorn through everything Bentley stood for. Sadly, or fortunately, only three were made.
ATOMIK 500 EV
It might look like a Fiat 500 sucking a giant dummy but Paris-based tuner Atomik actually created something half interesting with this. Electric, all-wheel drive, and able to kiss 100km/h in a silent-but-deadly five seconds, or less, they even installed a bespoke multi-link rear end. But a $150K price tag made about as much sense as the pics of it, err, on the moon.
ASMA DESIGN CLS
Ever wondered where the door to your dryer went? German tuners ASMA apparently glued it to the front of a Mercedes CLS sedan to create the Design Shark II. As well as installing vents wherever their angle grinder took them, ASMA also fitted chrome wheels with an unsprung mass scientists are yet to create a unit of measurement for.
LINGENFELTER TRANS AM
With eyes like a lobster and orange-juicer rims, our respect goes to US tuners Lingenfelter for having a crack at a modern recreation of a Pontiac Trans Am. But it seems a bit odd to start with a Chevy Camaro. From there the kit costs US$45K. And for another US$33K you can drop in a GM LS V8 tuned by Lingenfelter with 488kW. Soft.
NIMROD FERRARI 458
The Ferrari 458 is possibly the best looking modern Ferrari ever, so why the people at Nimrod decided to redesign it almost entirely is baffling. Especially when you consider that they’ve turned it into something that appears to have been designed purely with a ruler and then assembled with Lego.