2010 Mercedes Benz GLKs at the SEMA Show

2010 Mercedes Benz Glk For Sema By Brabus Front View

I went to high school in Germany, and I've spent a lot of time there in the many years since, so friends often come to me with questions about how Germans and Americans differ. I can give examples about our differences in employment law, food, or even exercise habits (this one's particularly interesting-Germans exercise continually during the day by, say, walking to the grocery store. We take elevators up to the gym on the second floor and then spend a half-hour on the stairmaster).

And then there's the American; the GLK Urban Whip from Boulevard Customs. It's no less impeccably crafted, but it couldn't be more different than the Brabus-starting with its bold white paint. And then there's the absolutely enormous, Escalade-size chrome mesh grille. And the wheels-they're twenty-six inch Asanti forged wheels that are so enormous the fifteen-inch rotors behind them look tiny. In fact, they're so huge that the truck looks like a cartoon car-a cartoon Escalade with a Mercedes badge.

Oh, I forgot to mention one thing-the Urban Whip doesn't have a roof. Boulevard cut it off and chopped the windshield down six inches. A 5700-watt (that's not a typo) stereo system ensures that the entire neighborhood (or state, presumably) can enjoy whatever radio station the GLK's driver prefers.

5700 watts. That's 7.6 horsepower. Yeah, it would take more than three of your lawnmowers to produce enough power to run just the stereo. The stock alternator in the 3.5-liter 268-hp V-6 hp will have no chance keeping up. The GLK's door handles have been shaved; to open the front door, you simply touch the side mirror. A motorized hood behind the rear seats lifts to expose the stereo's amplifiers. There are thirteen-inch subwoofers in the doors. The suspension's been lowered by two and a half inches, the body widened by three inches, and the GLK's street presence multiplied by a factor of ten.

See the difference yet? Given a clean sheet of paper, the Germans made a street legal, environmentally friendly, bat-out-of-hell GLK that will no doubt run circles around the stock Mercedes. The Americans made a GLK that couldn't even run a single circle around a stationary stock GLK (its wheels are so big that it can barely turn), but it's the one that everyone will notice. It's huge style, little substance. And it's the GLK that everyone will take pictures of.

Nobody makes menacing performance cars like the Germans, but ain't nobody put on a show like Americans. See the difference?

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