Neuss, Germany - There was a time when the standard transport of a rock band was a van - originally a Ford Transit and later, as the equipment needed to make hard rock music became bulkier, a Mercedes Sprinter.

And the heavier the metal, the more outrageous the modifications to the van had to be - eyeball-searing paint, luxury trim, fancy rims on lowered suspension and, of course, a sound system that would rattle windows as it drove by.

By those or, indeed, any standards, this Sprinter by Hartmann Tuning of Neuss in Westphalia is a rock star in its own right.

Based on the recently facelifted long-wheelbase 319 CDI version, Red and Racy was created using mostly off-the-shelf components from Hartmann's Vansports line of styling accessories for light commercials, starting with front and rear spoilers, side skirts and special SP6-stream foglights.

SETTING THE TONE

But what sets the tone for the whole ensemble are the fire-engine red paint job and the 20” two-tone Zaro rims shod with 265/45 Pirelli P-Zero Nero radials - and even then they're not outrageous for a vehicle this large.

The interior has been trimmed in leather with a chequerboard pattern and red contrast stitching, the door panels are lined in alcantara synthetic suede (also with red contrast stitching) and tricked out with Vansport accessories such as a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift lever, pedal covers, carbon-fibre trim elements and chromed door sill plates.

Now where did I put that Metallica CD?