2014 Geneva Motor Show: Gold-plated Carlsson CS50 Versailles

Gold-plated Carlsson CS50 Versailles shines at Geneva Motor Show.


For China’s ultra-wealthy ‘Taipan’ clients, the new ‘royalty’ of the Middle Kingdom, German tuning specialist Carlsson is displaying the world’s first gold-covered car at the Geneva Motor Show this week. The bling-bling Carlsson CS50 Versailles based on the new S-Class is a gold-plated car produced in a limited-edition of 25 units, each customised to fit the tastes of their future owners. Large HD screens, a REVOX sound system, humidor, and bespoke business facilities with a Wi-Fi hotspot are just some of the infotainment technologies that can be incorporated.

According to the manufacturer, ten of the Carlsson CS50 Versailles (priced at 359,000 euros ($498,000) have already been reserved. The car is among the priciest vehicles at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

In a process taking over 200 man-hours, the bodywork of the Carlsson Versailles is adorned with more than 1,000 sheets of wafer-thin gold leaf. A special Squirrel hairbrush is used to absorb these 80 x 80 mm gold leaves, and place them on the suitably prepared surface in an irregular laying pattern known as a Roman Association. This is merely the start of an elaborate process taking more than 14 days, during which the bespoke clear-coat undergoes its labour intensive application, drying and sealing to ensure a unique and perfect finish whose practicality and durability is comparable to that of conventional paint.

In a specially developed process, a further 278 interior and 30 exterior components receive a lustrous gold finish, with exterior elements such as the radiator grille, door handles, and grille inserts in the front bumper left glistening with a rich golden sheen. In the plush cabin, various buttons, knobs, air vents and even the speaker grilles also take on a golden glow, forming an aesthetic symbiosis with the gold leaf covered frame, panels and trim inserts.