Lumma CLR G800 – A Truly Unique Tuned Mercedes SUV

In the world of exclusive, high performance European tuners, most car enthusiasts will recognize a few big names – Brabus, Mansory, Hamann, Renntech, and RWB, among others. Many of these performance companies sprang up sometime in the 1980s, and have continually pushed the envelope of Teutonic performance since then. All of them impart their own specific flavor onto the donor vehicles, but they all offer their variety of upgrades in the same hree key areas: exterior, interior, and performance. It’s safe to say all of these manufacturers have their own aesthetic, and German enthusiasts are usually able to tell one tuner’s work from another with even the most fleeting of glances. However, there are a few more very noteworthy companies who have been quietly churning out noteworthy creations for years, with a bit less fanfare in the North American markets than some of their competitors. One of these companies is Lumma, and their creation that we’ll be discussing is the CLR G800.

Lumma was founded in Germany in 1987, and is most notable for producing accessories and radical restyles of production BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche vehicles. While they may have a bit more notoriety overseas than here in the United States, their modifications speak for themselves – and present a tremendous value. Generally speaking, you can distinguish a modern Lumma “refinement” by highly stylized body panels (think Mansory-esque design cues), complete with carbon fiber and more scoops and vents than you can shake a stick at. They also feature bigger wheels adorned with the Lumma crest, and upgraded interior details. Rather than fully rebuilding a vehicle in the way that Brabus might for their most expensive offerings, Lumma describes their work as a “refinement,” and it’s a fitting descriptor. Based on the Mercedes GLE Class, their CLR G800 is perhaps the most unique and eye-catching of any vehicle they’ve offered.

The Lumma Refinements

Now, the standard Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe by itself is quite a work of art. Produced over a relatively brief run from 2015-2019, the most powerful trim level offered boasted 585 horsepower and 566 foot-pounds of torque, all supplied from a twin turbo AMG V8. One of the first designs to set in motion the “coupe SUV” craze, the highly distinctive styling serves as the perfect canvas for Lumma’s refinements, and the end result is a distinctive sport SUV for the most discerning of buyers. The exterior of the car features a laundry list of Lumma’s most distinctive styling traits. Both the front and rear fascias have been heavily reworked and feature a large splitter and diffuser, respectively. Four large, bespoke exhaust tips poke out through the diffuser. Large vents appear to supply all four brakes with improved airflow, and an aggressive hood that looks right out of a Need for Speed game covers the huge V8. Additionally, all of the Mercedes badging has been replaced by that of Lumma.

A proprietary set of their CLR Racing wheels finished in Black Smoke helps the rubber meet the road, and contrasts well with the branded calipers. One subtle, and very cool, change here is the inclusion of wheel spacers. These help give the G800 an even more aggressive stance, and enable Lumma’s designers to increase the width of the fender flares without making it look like the tires are being swallowed up.

The interior upgrades are not as numerous as those on the outside, but still serve to elevate the cabin to the level that this vehicle deserves. Inside, you’ll find custom floor mats and a trunk mat, all complete with red contrast leather. That colorway also carries over to the custom, black anodized pedals which are complete with red Lumma branding.

The Heart of the Beast

While the manufacturer seems to be a little coy on exactly what performance modifications make their way into the motor, we do know that they are good for a staggering gain of 87 horsepower and 90 pound-feet of torque over the standard Mercedes motor, which puts the G800 well above 600 horsepower. Thankfully, the modifications made to the exhaust system really improve the sound, and feature user-adjustable valves to control the sound of the motor. In Comfort Mode, the exhaust sound is the rich, raspy sound that is so typical of a crossplane V8 (a more American-sounding motor than most of their Italian competition). In Sport Mode, it gains a little more rasp and volume. It sounds great no matter where the exhaust valving is set, and the turbo whistle on let-off adds the final note in the symphony.

German Values

With Lumma, you can order some of these parts piecemeal, choosing which you’d like carbon fiber, and which you’d like body color. You can also order extras like door handles, side view mirror caps, and wheel style. Overall, the Lumma experience isn’t merely one cookie-cutter package, but an experience in customizing your Mercedes to your exact specifications. Because of the highly customizable nature of each Lumma G800 and the individual attention that each customer order is paid, it’s difficult to give an exact price on what this vehicle would run. That said, one can generally expect the extent of the “Racing” package described above to start at about $42,000 over the base price of the vehicle.

With all of the upgrades to the interior, the complete body kit, and the substantial performance upgrades that Lumma offers, it’s actually somewhat of a bargain. When you combine the build quality offered with the sheer rarity of finding a Lumma in the wild, a G800 would be an excellent vehicle for those wanting something a world more exclusive than your average consumer sport SUV. Because when you’re the only one for several zip codes around cruising around in your 640 horsepower designer SUV, what’s not to love?

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