We're only a few short days away from SEMA, and Mercedes-Benz USA apparently can't contain their excitement. First they showed us renderings of four custom GLK variants that will debuting their next month, and now, as SEMA draws ever closer, MBUSA has released actual photos of each of the models as well.
It's certainly a diverse collection – especially Boulevard Customs' "Urban Whip" pictured above. Oddly enough, the first image that came to mind when I witnessed the Urban Whip was the Power Wheels Barbie Cadillac Escalade®, which is strange considering I've never seen nor heard of a Power Wheels Barbie Cadillac Escalade®. I just figured if there was one, this is probably what it would look like. For curiosity's sake, I then went to the Toys "R" Us website, and lo-and-behold, this is what I found. Apparently, the "Urban" Boulevard Customs is referring to in "Urban Whip" is in reference to the raw urbanity of Malibu, because if you ever attempted to drive this vehicle in a real city, you'd unquestionably be shot, just so whoever shot you could tell their friends how they shot some dude driving a Power Wheels Barbie Cadillac Escalade®.
Thankfully, the rest bear little resemblance to an SUV my three-year-old daughter would drive; however, Legendary Motor Cars' "Four Corners Rock Crawler" is equally if not more ridiculous. I don't know how much thought and effort went into designing the Rock Crawler, but the finished product looks like Legendary Motor Cars took a bunch of spare scrap metal they had laying around the shop and bolted it on. If you want to add some metal to the GLK, that's fine – someone did it to the M-Class in Jurassic Park – but clean it up boys, and lose the rivets. Not only that, where's the extendable vert ramp in the back? Inexcusable.
So that leaves us with just two: the BRABUS Widestar and the RENNTech Rally Racer. Of the pair, the BRABUS is the everyday driver. You could hop in it, as is, drive it, and look good doing so. It's clean, straightforward and composed, as is everything BRABUS puts out. But SEMA isn't about composure, it's about originality, so my money's on the RENNTech. Why? Because RENNTech took the GLK – a model most toted for its style, its luxury, and its appearance on "Sex and the City" – and transformed it into a model that you'd actually want to drive off-road. It's not pretty; it's not feminine; but it does look fun. I don't know about you, but I think if you and the boys took 10 or so of these RENNTech Rally Racers and threw them on a dirt track somewhere, that'd be one hell of a great weekend.
Imagine, driving an SUV on actual dirt...
And that's my brief-yet-insightful review. RENNTech, I know you're listening, so build us a rally track with the requisite jumps and water hazards, and you very well may have a hit on your hands. To our friends at Boulevard Customs, we love you, but Barbie called, and she wants to know if the Urban Whip comes in pink. Because if it does, she's like, totally going to get one.
The Urban Whip – Florida-based Boulevard Customs is sure to turn heads with a wide body styling kit, massive 26-inch wheels and tires, redesigned interior and ground-pounding stereo system.
BRABUS Widestar – Developed by Mercedes-Benz tuning experts Brabus of Bottrop, Germany, this striking wide-track “designer suit” for the GLK includes flowing front and rear wheel arch flares and redesigned front and rear bumpers complemented with exclusive BRABUS wheels and an interior to match.
RENNTech Rally Racer – Inspired by the unlimited-class rally cars at the storied Pikes Peak Hillclimb, the GLK concept represents the Mercedes-Benz performance specialist’s first hybrid powertrain to enhance acceleration off the line and out of the corners.
The Four Corners Rock Crawler – Exotic and muscle car restoration specialist Legendary Motor Cars design includes an innovative winching system to propel skate and wakeboarders up to speed and actually “grind” down the vehicle’s specially integrated side rails.
More Mercedes-Benz GLK at SEMA: