Hofele Mercedes ML-Class Starcruiser GT 550


The Mercedes-Benz ML-Class gets a new moniker and added style thanks to the guys over at Hofele Design.

Hofele Design out of Germany is known best for aftermarket work on Audis and VWs. The occasional Mercedes-Benz does make its way through the firm's doors and when it does, HD goes all out on the project. The most recent case-in-point is the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class, an SUV now titled the Starcruiser GT 550 and fitted with plenty of style and power. The first thing the German tuners added to the ML-Class was an extensive 14-piece wide body kit, complete with a new front bumper, larger air intakes and integrated LEDs.

New side skirts, wider front and rear fenders, rear trunk-lid spoiler and a new rear bumper with integrated diffuser and quad-pipes made out of stainless steel all combine to give the ML-Class a whole new look. Designed with aerodynamics in mind, the body kit combines with the use of an electronic lowering module on its air suspension for a much lower ride profile. The SUV is capable of being dropped by as much as 40mm up to speeds as high as 50mph. The project sits on a set of 20-inch in the front, 22-inch in the back Hofele Reverso II light-alloy wheels.

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The interior of the Mercedes ML-Class Starcruiser GT 550 features plenty of high-quality materials indicative of the Donzdorf-based firm's work. "Star-light" two-tone leather wraps the seats with intricate ornamental seams while the same covering can be found on the steering wheel, door panels, dash and arm rests. The German's work was so thorough and extensive that even the ML-Class's 350 BlueTec diesel engine has received an upgrade. It now produces 312 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, numbers which indicate a considerable boost from its stock output.

Hofele Design's Starcruiser GT 550 aftermarket program for the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class fits all ML (W166) models with the exception of the ML 63 AMG. Pricing for the body kit begins at €6,500 while the custom interior runs €5,900. Wheels and other amenities are sure to cost a bit of extra coin.