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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 02 2010, 10:20 PM


The German Automobile Tuner Association has been helping raise awareness with a “Tune it! Safe!” campaign, and famed German aftermarket tuner AC Schnitzer has chimed in with their MINI E Police Look Concept. Currently being shown off at the 2010 Essen Motor Show, the MINI E Police Car continues to promote tuning without compromising safety.

The MINI E puts out 204-hp with 164 ft-lbs of torque, doing 0-62 mph in 8.5 seconds. Naturally, AC Schnitzer didn’t touch any of the performance of the vehicle but overhauled the exterior with their body kit. Comprised of a new front bumper, side skirts and rear bumper the MINI E now sports a more aggressive look. The kit is further complemented by vents on the hood and a large roof spoiler.

On each corner of the MINI E is an 18-inch MI 2 wheel, wrapped with Hankook’s Ventus S1 Evo tire. AC Schnitzer also upgraded the MINI E’s brakes, tossing on 4-piston calipers in the front. The suspension has also been upgraded for the police to easily maneuver around the winding roads.

Interior upgrades includes traditional AC Schnitzer aluminum pedals, footrest and e-brake handle. All of these modifications are currently (or soon-to-be) available for any of the MINI models.

GALLERY: AC Schnitzer All Electric Mini E Police Car

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Check out the video after the break:

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 |  Dec 01 2010, 8:23 PM


Land Rover’s Defender 90 is a serious off-road machine and also tends to appeal to enthusiasts that love to give their vehicle a little personality. Startech, a Brabus affiliate, is showing off this Yachting Edition Defender 90 at this year’s Essen Motor Show. The car features a nautical theme inside and out, attempting its best to imitate a luxury yacht.

The lusciously bright white exterior is accented with 16-inch wheels wrapped with 265/75/16 rubber. To give the car an even sportier appearance, the front grille has been swapped out for an SVX custom model while the headlight covers were match-painted white. Even though that wraps it up for the exterior, the interior is where the nautical theme really shines.

Instead of the typical carpet one would find at the floor of their vehicle, Startech has outfitted the Land Rover with yacht-like wood flooring. The front Recaro seats have been reupholstered with navy-blue leather accented with white stitching. The doors, dash and center console has also been reupholstered to match the theme. The back of the Recaro seats have been painted a bright white, matching the exterior while the headliner has been redone in navy-blue Alcantara fabric.

GALLERY: Startech Land Rover Defender 90 Yachting Edition

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 |  Nov 26 2010, 10:21 AM

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Debuting today at the Essen Motor Show in Germany, famed Mercedes tuner Brabus took the wraps off the modified SLS we’ve been waiting for. We’ve seen several modified SLS models already, but they’ve either been minor tweaks or massively overdone monstrosities.

Brabus, however, has managed to go all-out while still remaining true to the SLS. The wide-body conversion uses new carbon fiber fenders that add 20mm (almost 1-inch) to the width of the rear of the car. This allows for wider rear tires, measuring 21×11-inches with 295/25/21 tires. The fronts measure 275/30 and are wrapped around 20-inch wheels. Those wheels, a stunning new design by Brabus, are Monoblock F Platinum Edition rollers, that weight 12 percent less than the factory SLS rims.

A complete Brabus aero package has also been used and is wind-tunnel tested to reduce lift and increase downforce, with some nice custom details as well – like the air outlets on the front fenders, and Brabus logos on the side skirts, with many of the items in exposed matte-carbon.

The ride height has been dropped by 1.2-inches with Bilstein coilovers with stiffer sway bars to further reduce body roll. An integrated Ride Control function will let the drive choose a softer setting for a more relaxed ride.

While we’d like to see a big horsepower upgrade, Brabus adds just 10-hp thanks to a new exhaust system, which also cuts weight by 26 lbs and includes a pneumatic flap that can be opened or closed by the diver from the cockpit for maximum sound fro the 6.2-liter V8.

Brabus will custom tailor the interior to meet the driver’s desires and the press release includes a note about a 250-mph speedometer, that suggests a more significant power package will be available soon.

GALLERY: Barabus Widestar Mercedes SLS

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 |  Nov 23 2010, 10:28 AM

Like a matte-black paint job, dress any old car up like a police cruiser and its instantly cool. But what if the car is already a fine machine? Well then, that’s something special.

Debuting at the Eibach Springs booth at the Essen Motor Show this year will be a Fiat 500 Abarth model sporting Polizia livery and a nice adjustable Eibach suspension kit. For those who don’t know, Fiat’s in-house Abarth tuning arm builds hopped-up versions of cars like the Fiat 500 (which just debuted in U.S. Spec as the LA Auto Show), including everything from new wheels and tires to a turbo under the hood.

The car will be on display at the Essen Motor Show (essentially Germany’s SEMA), from November 27 to December 5, alongside several other modified cars including a Golf R and Audi R8 – both sporting Eibach kits.