At any given event, you’ll always find a select few cars that stick in your mind long after you leave. The 2021 Essen Motor Show was no different.
With the overall level of cars so high this year, my job of finding a couple to spotlight wasn’t exactly made hard. But then comes the opposite problem – which one do you chose? The answer? All of them.
Let’s start this spotlight with a focus on a bunch of cars – namely, these from Levella.
If you don’t know Levella, they’re a German tuner that started out modding high-end sports cars but nowadays mainly focuses on modern-ish classics from the ’80s and ’90s, often referred to as ‘youngtimers’. Levella showcases a lot of their work on YouTube and have made a decent name for themselves both in Germany and Europe. This was the first time I was able to see these cars in person, and boy do they deliver. They also have their own wheel line-up and each of the cars here wore them like diamond jewellery.
This Mercedes-Benz E-Class W124 sported Levella’s Retro R2 wheels on one side and their Retro R4 wheels on the other, and they fill up the arches nicely when the car’s aired out. Speaking of the arches, they’ve been cut out and rebuilt, so while they appear stock, they are actually a lot wider. The metal work was carried out by Andy Megerle, who also runs a YouTube channel to showcase his talents.
This W124 is definitely not all show. It started out as a E400, but the original V8 was removed and replaced with a 6-liter unit from an E60 AMG.
This BMW E34 5-Series received similar treatment – air suspension, new and bigger wheel arches by Andy Megerle, and Levella Retro R1 and R5 wheels on each side. Engine-wise, it’s packing a turbo BMW M50.
The Mercedes-Benz SL320 is a bit more tame: air, some fender work – not quite as extensive as the previous two cars – and just a stock engine. But it still looks absolutely brilliant.
Next up, we have a turbocharged monster: the L8-Night Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS. Producing 1,300hp at 2.5bar of boost from a heavily modified R32 engine in a full carbon body, this thing is nuts. All-wheel drive and a DSG transmission help put the power to the wheels. It’s been clocked at 321km/h on the half mile, and that was at a slightly lower boost level.
Staying with wide Audis, next up this 80 Coupe featuring a Prior Design bodykit. The car was built by JP Performance, but I have to say I wasn’t all that convinced when I saw it on their YouTube channel a while back.
But seeing it in person, boy is it something else. It takes the classic and elegant lines of the Audi Coupe and transforms it into something that looks like a worthy descendant from the mighty Ur-Quattro. A natural evolution, you might say.
Here’s a blast from the past – a VW Corrado G60 proudly wearing a Rieger GTO bodykit.
This kit was all the rage in the early ’90s, and here we have it with a modern twist. That comes in the form of air suspension and some 18-inch BBS RS wheels with low-profile tyres instead of classic 15-inch RSs wrapped in huge rubber balloons like they did it back in the day.
Next up, we have something that I know will cause a bit of controversy simply due to the camber. I for one can appreciate it, and was pretty stoked to see a Miata with a style you’d more expect to find at some shakotan meeting in Japan than sitting smack in the middle of Germany’s premier tuning show.
The pastel pink is enough on its own to grab attention, but coupled with the bodykit, the crazy camber, the huge dish on the wheels and the unmissable exhaust, I think people will either absolutely love this thing or absolutely hate it. The wheels are a touch of European classic, though, as they are vintage Tramont TY2s, if I’m not mistaken.
Let’s finish with what has to be my personal favourite of the show. I’ve always been a sucker for classy sedans and have often imagined doing something cool with an older Jaguar. This gleaming wine red XJ40 looked like it drove right out of my dreams.
Obviously bagged on some absolutely beautiful BBS RS (I mean, name a car these wheels don’t look good on, I challenge you…) it was the perfect combination of class act and modified. Just look at it. If I could’ve taken home any car from the show, this would be it – no question.
Stayed tuned for one final look at the 2021 Essen Motor Show.