|997 GT2 properly tuned by 9ff|
The best tuners will work closely together with the original manufacturer in an attempt to create a reliable, effective, and safe end product. Some of the most prominent performance focused tuners are: Alpina, Brabus, TechArt, Novitec Rosso, RUF, Edo Competition, Sportec, 9ff, AC Schnitzer, Carlsson. Each one of these companies work under a similar philosophy: "To create a better performing car, coupled with a unique driving experience". Take for example Alpina, a German BMW tuner. Alpina will take your stock BMW, insert their own engine with patented fuel injection technology, tune the suspension to their standards, and subtly refine the exterior and interior trim. The end result is a car that is now faster than it's closest M rival; however, much softer and better suited for long haul driving as opposed to track use. Alpina sets itself apart from BMW's M division by targeting a different audience and marketing a different driving experience.
On the other side of the spectrum are the bling tuners. They'll employ fifty designers and only one engineer as they set about creating the most outlandish but rubbish cars humanly possible. The only bit of physics mathematics that comes in to play is exactly how much junk they can hang off of the front of the car without having it all come crashing down. They'll glue on three front lips, six sets of led's, a carbon fibre splitter, and a chrome grille without any regard for the car's original aesthetics. Fortunately, the now utterly ruined cars are sold at astronomical prices, which means they are shipped far away to billionaires in the Middle East. I suspect these cars are then used as practical jokes during Christmas gift exchanges. FAB Design, Gemballa, Mansory, Lumma Design, Wald International, Hamann, Project Kahn are the most famous bling tuners who each add their own unique signature touches in the form of wheels, upholstery, body kits, exhausts, and paint. The end result is an overpriced compromised car with body flares and shiny wheels ugly enough to make a grown man weep. And while they charge a steep price for all of the modifications, bling tuning never fails to reduce the resale value to well bellow any Middle Eastern equivalent of the Kelley Blue Book suggested resale value.
At this week's Geneva Motorshow, the tuners were out in full force and managed to produce a vomit inducing lineup of luxury cars. This year the Mercedes SLS and Porsche Cayenne were the popular cars to abuse, while last year it were the BMW X6 and Audi R8 that succumbed to the demands of wealthy people with a lack of taste. This year's SLS and Cayenne creations were a huge slap in the face to Mercedes' and Porsche's design teams. In contention for "Overkill Trophy of the year", here are some widebody Cayennes you wouldn't want to be seen in:
Contestant #1: 2011 FAB Design Cayenne
|Contestant #2: Lumma CLR 558 GT|