Goldfinger’s new ride: GoldStorm Mercedes G-Class

GoldStorm Mercedes G-Class front three-quarterThe Mercedes-Benz G-Class is an extremely capable vehicle. Designed in the 1970s for military use, the “G-Wagen” is a legendary off-roader with plenty of street cred. Hummer is kaput, but the boxy G-Class soldiers on. Still, no one ever accused this SUV of being pretty, which is why German Special Customs (GSC) stepped in to make some improvements.

GSC’s GoldStorm body kit definitely makes the G-Class look different; whether it makes it look better is another story. At the front, GSC replaced the G-Class’ round headlights with rectangular ones, and replaced the Mercedes three-pointed star with a grille badge of its own. The hood and front bumper get a smattering of vents, as if this 5,700 pound SUV was a race car that needed to cool its brakes and engine.

Wider fenders are usually a good idea for an off-roader, since they make room for bigger wheels and tires. On the GoldStorm, the fenders actually take up more room than the stock ones. They conceal part of the wheel well, which makes the car look lower.GoldStorm Mercedes G-Class rear three-quarter

The rear of this modified G-Class got a similarly bizarre treatment. GSC replaced the stock rectangular taillights with round ones, just for the sake of being different. Like the front bumper, the rear gets some superfluous vents. At least the quad exhausts give the GoldStorm G-Class a little attitude.

GSC may have overshadowed its handiwork with the Goldstorm’s golden paint. A stock gold-painted G-Class would probably get just as much attention as one equipped with the body kit. It would certainly make Goldfinger think about trading in his Rolls-Royce. The ostentatious paint is necessary, because this G-Class is all about show. GSC did not mention any modifications to the interior, or any mechanical modifications. The rear-exiting exhaust indicates that the GoldStorm is based on a G550, which has a 5.5-liter V8 with 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. That’s a decent amount of power, but other tuners would probably want more.

One of those tuners is Mercedes’ own AMG. The company’s in-house performance shop offers two souped-up G-Wagens: the G63 AMG, which has a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (544 hp and 560 lb-ft), and the G65 AMG, equipped with a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 (612 horsepower and 738 lb-ft). Both AMG models come with side-exit exhausts. Sadly, the V12-powered G65 is not sold in the United States.

Tuners can always be counted on to do something outrageous, but “outrageous” and “good” are not synonyms. Focusing on style over substance is fine, but the end product has to actually be stylish. The GoldStorm is outmuscled by Mercedes’ own AMG models, and it has not made the G-Class any prettier.

Product Review

A Mercedes so sophisticated, it connects to your watch to plan your massage

The mid-size luxury SUV segment is a must-win competition, and the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is the newest contender. With active suspension, driver assist, and even a connection to your watch, this is more than an SUV, it’s a mobile device.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

Lamborghini transforms the Urus SUV into a dual-purpose race car

Breaking stereotypes and tradition, Lamborghini has turned the Urus SUV into a race car that's equally at home on a paved track and on a dirt trail. The ST-X concept gets bigger air intakes, a full roll cage, and center-locking alloy…
Cars

Jaguar’s V2X technology will keep you from getting stuck at red lights

Jaguar wants to make sure you never have to rush through a yellow light again. The carmaker is building tools that will tell you what speed you'll need to drive to avoid getting stuck at a red light.
Cars

Drool over Lamborghini’s latest dream machine: The one-off SC18

The Lamborghini SC18 was built by the automaker's Squadra Corse racing department at the request of a customer. Based on the Lamborghini Aventador, it features upgraded aerodynamic aids and reduced weight.
Product Review

While other crossovers dabble in dirt, Toyota's truck-like RAV4 doubles down

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 gets a clean-sheet redesign, ditching the previous generation’s car-like styling for truck-like toughness. Toyota’s compact crossover also gets more tech and new powertrains.
Cars

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn ousted, arrested after whistleblower cries foul

Nissan will oust chairman Carlos Ghosn after an internal investigation revealed he underreported his salary to Japan's financial authorities for years. Greg Kelly, one of Nissan's representative directors, will leave for the same reason.
Cars

Tesla owners will soon be able to summon a repair van in a few taps

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out plans to expand the Tesla mobile app so Tesla owners can request on-demand service for common problems from Tesla Ranger mobile service vehicles in just a few taps.
Cars

2019 Crosstrek Hybrid has something no Subaru has ever had

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is the Japanese automaker's first production plug-in hybrid vehicle. It will go on sale before the end of the year. Subaru relied on plug-in hybrid tech from Toyota to make the Crosstrek Hybrid a reality.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Nissan turmoil, product designer Jae Yoo of Nerf, and more

For today's episode of Digital Trends Live, we turn our attention to the L.A. Auto Show and Lamborghini's race-ready version of the Urus. We also speak with Jae Yoo of Nerf and MLS defender Zarek Valentin about their origins, modern tech…
Cars

Mini’s most extreme hot hatchback will hit the streets in 2020

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the basic Mini Cooper.
Cars

Jaguar can take the next F-Type in one of two completely different directions

Jaguar needs to decide what the future has in store for the F-Type. Its options include turning the next-generation model into an electric car aimed at the Tesla Roadster or pelting it into the ring with a twin-turbocharged V8 from BMW.
Cars

With lessons learned from racing, Mercedes-AMG takes GT R sports car to next level

Mercedes-AMG keeps finding ways to make its GT sports car even more hardcore. If you thought the GT R variant was as good as it got, get ready for the GT R Pro, which will race into the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.