Tuning Trophy Germany: Interview with co-juror Axel Stein

At the The Tuning Trophy Germany from AUTO BILD and eBay Motors starts at DMAX on September 27th. The name gives it away: We are looking for the best tuning car in Germany. Not an easy job, which is why Sidney Hoffmann and Maximilian Götz have brought some co-jurors on board. Also part of the party Actor Axel Stein, whose car craziness is just as well known as his films and series. In the jury trio Hoffmann, Götz and Stein he wants to take on the role as a neutral authority.

AUTO BILD: What are your personal points of contact with tuning?
Axel Stein: I am very careful when it comes to tuning. I find tuned cars fascinating, but personally I prefer things to be subtle and inconspicuous.

So the typical performance tuning in the Sleeper?
Performance tuning, yes, but depending on the vehicle, it is also sufficient to simply install a few track plates so that it looks a bit fuller.

What do you think is exaggerated when it comes to tuning? Is there a tuning sin for you?
When the show goes beyond practice. Undercarriages that are too deep, for example, have to be suitable for everyday use. I don’t necessarily need bright colors and fat spoilers either.

Would you say that to the owner on the show too?
Of course, it’s all a matter of taste. One likes a Honda Civic, the other a Porsche 911, everyone has their own taste. But I’m being honest about that. When a car arrives that I like as standard, but that is tuned but not at all my taste, then I will say that very clearly. There are cars that you can really get out of. But then there are also those that I wouldn’t do anything more.
Have you ever tuned vehicles or owned a tuned vehicle?
Except for track plates and one or the other powder-coated rim, everything is standard with me. As I said, there are cars that you don’t have to do much anymore. I attach great importance to longevity. If vehicle engineers have thought about the power output of an engine, then there is a reason for that. You don’t necessarily have to get the most out of it.

You’re on the jury with tuner Sidney and racing driver Maximilian. What will make you different from the two?
Exciting question. One of them knows a thing or two about technology, the other can drive, and I’m there. I am very interested and soak up everything, I can also drive a little. But in the end I arrive with a neutral taste side and have to hit the table with an honest hammer (laughs).

How hard are you going to pull the vehicles down?
I’ll be careful with that. That’s all expensive material that was passionately assembled. That’s why I feel my way and won’t go to the limits by bending or breaking. That’s what Maximilian will probably do first and foremost.

What is your tip that you can give to the participants?
Preparing well is probably difficult with the various jury tastes. Ultimately everyone can win, but everyone can also go home without a trophy.

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