The Belgian tuning studio Expression Motorsport, a company that offers upgrade programs for literally dozens of Mercedes models from unassuming A-Class (W168) to the extravagant 2002-2011 SLR 230, has released a ghetto-style wide body appearance kit for the 2009 W164 Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG performance SUV. Probably inspired by those aggressive-looking DTM sports cars, the new kit makes the vehicle’s wheel arches even wider and the angry front bumper even more aggressive.
This eclectic body kit leaves dubious impression, though.
On the one hand, it seems to successfully transform the dry, but elegant ML 63 AMG into an overweight rice-rocket with its oversized wheel arches so huge, they look like the car is about to blow from a severe case of constipation complicated by gas bloating.
The front bumper, too, makes an impression of a piece of hardware that was designed by a twelve year old who spent too much time watching anime. Not only doesn’t it improve the ML 63’s aerodynamics in a slightest bit (it probably even makes it worse since I highly doubt that the new body kit was ever tested in an aerodynamics tube), it also fails to blend seamlessly into the vehicle’s design language.
While this is a normal thing when it comes to inexpensive Japanese sport coupes that are designed with very young drivers in mind, this stately Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG was created for grown-ups that know a thing or two about how a sports SUV -even if its utility factor is greater than sports- can beautifully combine elegance and extreme look. Well, of course, there is also a fair amount of successful young men and women with lots of cash to burn, so even this set of plastic will probably find its share of customers.
Judging by the photos that you can see in a gallery below, the kit comprises a pair of bumpers (front and rear with the latter being able to house two double-barrel exhaust tips), side skirt add-ons that are supposed to be attached to the real thing with 3M band, and aforementioned wheel arch extensions that, too, must be glued to the body.
There is also a front skid plate, as well as a rear diffuser that may even look like it naturally belongs to a car-based sports utility vehicle that is powered by a huge 6.3-liter V8 AMG engine producing up to 510 hp and taking only 5.0 seconds to propel the car from zero to 100 km/h.
Well, the Porsche-styled LED DRL in the front bumper kinda spoils the impression, but in return gives you more visibility during long gloomy days of an average East European winter.
The kit may be ordered with a set of blingy 22-inch wheels wrapped in ultra-thin performance rubber.
As for the pricing, it seems to be as impressive as the vehicle’s look, but, regretfully, not as aggressive. At this time, the whole kit is offered by some dealers at €13,500 although I am not sure whether it includes labor, paint job and handling.
Photos: Expression Motorsport