At other motor shows, you often have to go out of your way to find the really niche manufacturers. At Geneva, I’d have gone a long way out of my way just to avoid seeing some of the stuff this week on the Gemballa, Mansory, Kahn, Hamann and Fab Design stands. Profound wrongs have been done to all sorts of undeserving cars by some of these companies, most notably the Porsche Panamera – and just as it had become a quietly pretty thing to look at.
For me, it’s the fascinating little companies who limit their ambitions and concentrate their expertise that are really worth seeking out. One of them is Klassen. It's the first time I've come across this company, whose primary reason for being appears to be fitting out Mercedes V-Class people-movers and Sprinter vans with super-luxury interiors that wouldn’t look out of place in a private jet, on a super-yacht or even in a stately home.
I’ll admit that idea may not have the instant appeal, to some, of a carbon-clad Mercedes-AMG G63 or a Ferrari 488 with 101 added aerofoils – but, to me, the incongruousness of it is utterly fantastic. Klassen’s Geneva stand has two black V-Classes parked side by side. Their mind-blowing interiors are opened up for all to admire and fitted out with LCD TVs big enough for your living room, quilted leather recliner chairs, veneer and padded leather panelling, tablet computers, monogrammed glassware, LED ambient lighting and more.
Have a look at the Klassen website and you’ll be amazed at the breadth of choice that this company can offer on design themes and material treatments. And it’s all within the confines of an otherwise ordinary-looking V-Class, on which they’ll do you a sports styling kit, a two-tone paint job and a set of big rims if you want them – but on which I think I’d want the least attention-grabbing exterior I could get. But, for the more exotic taste, Klassen’s conversion on the high-roofed Sprinter looks like it’s big enough to stand up in, and there appears to be one with a drinks bar, double bed, corner sofa and gold-plated armchair.
The stretched limousine’s goose is now well and truly cooked, it seems to me. VIP transport doesn’t get better than this.