Used cars

The Strange Tale Behind This Modified Mercedes S-Class

With news of the new Mercedes S-Class being launched today, its high time to look back at a very interesting blinged out S600 that probably didn’t even exist. 

When anyone in the automotive circle mentions money can’t buy taste, this phrase is often used in the same breath as automotive tuners like Mansory and Kahn Design. The one stop destination for the rich and famous to satisfy their gaudy automotive tastes. 

However, for a brief moment in 2016, there was a newcomer on the scene attempting to gain a foothold in this mad bad world of luxury automobile modifications. And that came in the form of Scaldarsi Motors and its Scaldarsi Emperor I. 

Under all this gold and chintz you see in the picture here was once a Mercedes-Maybach S600. It may not look it though as this once understated German luxobarge was thoroughly reworked by Scaldarsi into this thing presented here. 

Aside from the imposing front grille that actually looks about the same size as the newly launched S-Class, the Emperor I features massive front air-intakes and equally massive multi-spoke alloy wheels. Not to mention the equally huge exhaust tips flanking a what is most certainly a pointless exposed rear diffuser.


Stepping inside the Emperor I, many of the S-Class features remained. However like any competent luxury car modification specialist, Scaldarsi offered the option to have the already opulent Mercedes interior upholstered in 24 different hides, most of which are animals you won’t see on any normal car interior, and can be dyed from a range of 28 different colours. 

The customisation does not stop there though, as 78 different types of wood can adorn your dashboard. Along with 16 exterior paint options to complement the bronze-looking exterior trim pieces, which in fact are actually 24-karat rose gold. 

There was even the option to spec custom engraved Champagne flutes, matching tote bags, and a custom Emperor Rolex watch. Not to mention that on their (now defunct) website, there was even the possibility of personalising one’s private get or yacht in the Scaldarsi way to perhaps match one’s Emperor. 

To those who view the Emperor I as the worst fate to befall this once stately German luxury sedan, there may be one redeeming feature about this gaudy monstrosity, and that would be the engine. 

Scaldarsi allegedly partnered with widely-regarded Mercedes tuner Brabus to tune the 6.3 litre turbocharged V12 under the hood to produce an immense 888 hp. Capable of rocketing this 2,335 kg beast to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds. 

That being said, all this speed and all this customisation didn’t come cheap as the price for a Scaldarsi Emperor I apparently started at £1.1 million (RM 5.7 million). Besides, only 10 units were supposedly available for sale. However the story of Scaldarsi takes a turn for the intriguing as most likely none of these Emperors actually made it to production. 

Scaldarsi claims that this modified S600 was to be the first of many under their Emperor collection, with other Emperor models supposedly coming in the pipeline, including the Emperor II (a Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe), Emperor III (Bentley Bentayga), Emperor IV (Mercedes-AMG G65), and Emperor V (Bugatti Chiron). However, as far as we know all this points to nought, as the company was probably the definition of vapourware. 

As alluded to prior by their now defunct website and inactive social media accounts, it is quite safe to say that this Canadian-Saudi company that got its 10 seconds on fame in mid-2016 has now probably gone bankrupt. That is if the company even existed in the first place, as allegedly there is no known Scaldarsi anything that exists today. 

For all we know, it could all be a talented render artist flexing his skills to create the most outlandish S-Class out there. What is certain however is that the fate of this Mansory-copycat will still continue to be shrouded in mystery. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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