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Auto blogWed, 06 Mar 2013 05:29:00 EST
Carlsson has been expertly tuning Mercedes-Benz products for more than 20 years now, but we can't say as we remember the outfit turning out anything quite so racy as this SLK 340 Judd that it has brought along to the Geneva Motor Show this year.
This SLK is meant for competition, obviously, and Carlsson has already booked the car to race in several hill climb events in the E1 category. The purpose-built racer should have a fighting chance to do well in said races, with a shape vetted in wind tunnel testing for maximum downforce, the SLK uses a carbon-fiber bodyshell to help achieve a curb weight of just about 1,720 pounds.
The featherweight SLK's name comes from its 3.4-liter V8 engine, which churns out a wicked 610 horsepower to go with its 317 pound-feet of torque. A Hewland transmission with paddle shift operation manages all of the thrust.
Ernst Lieb, the disgraced former CEO of American operations for Mercedes-Benz, will not be getting any more money from the Silver Arrow'd teat. His wrongful dismissal suit against MB's parent company, Daimler, was tossed out of a German appeals panel. This, followed the initial rejection by a lower court last year.
According to court documents acquired by Automotive News, Lieb was found to have "accepted payments of substantial value to which he - as he was aware - had no claim."
Lieb took over American operations from former CEO Paul Halata in September of 2006. Reports surfaced in October of 2011 that Lieb was dismissed from his posting at MB, with a variety of rumors swirling. Eventually, news broke that financial wrong doing was responsible for the German's firing.
To the concern of nobody in particular, Mercedes-Benz will not be re-upping its Maybach line of ultra-luxury limousines. No, instead the German automaker will be stretching its already roomy S-Class, to make this upcoming 600 Pullman version of the decked-out beast.
The car in our new gallery of spy shots is sporting beefy B-pillars and a massive set of rear doors that should allow perfectly graceful ingress and egress from what is likely to be a palatial rear space. (In one photo we can even see a long-wheelbase S-Class in line with the new Pullman, handily exhibiting the size of the new variant.) The exterior modifications are otherwise obscured, though we can guess at revised front and rear fascia and lighting elements, based on both end being heavily taped for these test runs.
It's a good bet that the Pullman will make use of M-B's twin-turbocharged V12 engine, though sources indicate that a hybrid version might eventually be in the offing, as well.