German tuner, Hofele Design revealed their new 14-piece widebody kit for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML and dubbed it the “Starcruiser GT 550.” The Starcruiser kit includes a new front bumper with large air intakes and LED DRL, aggressive wheel arch extensions, a wider rear bumper diffuser and quad exhaust tail pipes. The Starcruiser GT 550 can be fit with a set of REVERSO II alloy wheels in sizes 9×20 and 10×22. The ML can be dropped by up to 40 mm thanks to a lowering module, this can be done at speeds of up to 49 mph.
Hofele Design also boosted the Mercedes SUV’s engine, improving output to 312 horsepower and 516 lb/ft of torque, an increase from the standard 258 horsepower and 457 lb/ft of torque. The interior has a bi-color leather interior with ornamental seams and stitched elements.
For those of you unfamiliar with Hofele Designs, as they may now be more well known for working with Audi or VW than with Mercedes, but that wasn’t always the case. Hofele Design’s founder, Karl Hofele, worked alongside Carl Benz at Benz and Cie, on a 200 HP Benz-airplane engine in 1915. From there, Karl Hofele became a pioneer in the aviation industry before his son, Bruno Hofele took the reigns.
Bruno Hofele participated in the construction of the New Unimog in the 1950’s. Bruno went on to develop his patented ski-box that was later adopted by Mercedes-Benz for corporate vehicles. The came Bruno’s sons, the Hofele brothers, interested in rally car racing and rebuilding and redesigning cars. There first major tuning job was on a Fiat-Bertone X 1/9. And as they say, the rest is history.