Indonesian Showstopper // Mahendra’s Mercedes Benz SLK200 R171

If you’ve been around the car scene for long enough, you may have already figured this out. But, if you’re new around here, let me fill you in on something. Indonesian car culture is among some of the best in the world, especially when it comes to the little niche of cars that we all love around here. Inside of that subset, it has always appeared to me that they’ve got a handle on how to make a showstopper of a European car. So, when I see arguably the coolest Mercedes SLK out there in this beautiful photoset by Kyle Fletcher, it makes perfect sense that the car is located in Indonesia.

The owner of this R171 SLK200 Kompressor, Mahandra, has taken about three years turning his car into one of the most heavily modified examples of this chassis that I can recall. Nearly everything on the exterior is one off, from the custom SLR look front bumper, to the custom widebody, all the way down to the many carbon parts that adorn this thing. The body of the car, everything that isn’t covered in carbon fiber at least, is re-sprayed in an outrageously perfect shade of pearl metallic yellow.

Under the hood, the factory equipped supercharged 4cyl sports a few key changes. First off, there’s a smaller pulley from IBF to up the boost. There’s a Greddy intercooler in there to keep the intake temps down, as well as some killer looking pie cut intercooler piping. A valvetronic exhaust by Techpro rounds out the performance upgrades while a custom carbon fiber cover tops it all off.

As a big supporter of #teeverything, the wheels are obviously a big draw on this car for me. Measuring in at 18×10.5 and 18×11.5, these Volk TE37V’s make a huge statement. I actually had to re-read the wheel specs a couple times, because I can barely believe how well these et5 fronts and -10 rears are swallowed up by this beautiful widebody. It looks as if the car is made for these wheels, something that almost never happens without the perfect offset math. Inside the Advan Neova shod TE’s are a color matched set of 6 and 4 pot Brembo brakes with 380mm front rotors and 300mm rears.

It’s no small task to get a car to sit like this, even with perfect offsets and fantastic bodywork. Mahendra enlisted the help of Indonesian airride specialists, Airpride, to get the remaining piece of the fitment puzzle sorted. His SLK rides on a set of Airpride bags over KW V3 coilovers, assuring the car can perform just as great as it looks. In the trunk, you’ll find the Air Lift Performance 3p management hardlined in with a cascading stack of seamless, color matched airtanks.

The interior features almost as much custom carbon work as the exterior. Most anything in the cockpit that could be covered in carbon is done. The trim, steering wheel, cluster, roll bar panel, and center console to name a few. The soft surfaces are all adorned in beautiful saddle brown leather, which is a perfect contrast to the bright yellow on the exterior. The carbon and saddle come together in the focal point of the interior, a set of carbon fiber shelled Recaro A8’s.

Mahendra knew from the start that this wasn’t the easiest car to start with. He had very few references and even fewer companies with off the shelf parts to choose from. Maybe that’s the genius of a build like this. Since there was little for him to copy, what you see is an unfiltered version of the aggressive SLK that he envisioned from the start. Void of direct inspiration, the end result is a unique tribute to modifying cars in the purest form. Imagination over inspiration.