Mercedes-Benz as a brand leaves me feeling conflicted; its vehicles either seem to be safe and restrained middle management shuttles, or ridiculously tempting and tuned to mentalist level weapons. I mean really, what’s its game? There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground.
The same goes for modified examples too. You either see them very low with OE additions and running some immaculately considered wheels, or again, the modifications look like those of a death-obsessed lunatic who saw potential nobody else could identify, let alone act on.
Which is where this late ’90s E55 AMG comes in.
Mercedes has always been good at disguising potential in its vehicles, and the E55 from a distance was such a ‘blend in’ model. This one being silver just backs that up. The most common Merc colour of the last 20 years? Probably… A duckbill spoiler and screw-on arch extensions could be considered vulgar additions to some, but I doubt very much whether the owner/builder of this saloon gives a rat’s ass what anyone else thinks.
I’d spotted the four-door through traffic at the Forge Motorsport Action Day back in September. My friend Jamie is a Benz nut, and when I asked him what he knew, he told me tales of a supercharger, manual conversion and on track hilarity. But when I finally tracked it down to a grassy corner of the pits, the driver propped the bonnet up and walked away telling us to put it down when we were done looking.
I’m guessing, when you’ve mounted a massive Vortech supercharger onto the standard 350hp-ish V8 and sorted the gears with a Viper-sourced T56 manual box, you’ve probably listened to enough people asking stupid questions! Me, I just wanted to congratulate him on being a man of vision.
So if you’re reading this Mr. AMG, then hats off to you. Maybe this well-observed, tyre-slaying saloon is the distillation of why I’m conflicted by Mercedes-Benz. On paper, this route to track happiness is anything but obvious, yet seeing the car sat in all its brutal glory, its sanity was refreshing and irresistible. Awesome stuff.
Ive always thought the same of Mercs. Thats why i totally loved the boxy aesthetic to the models of the last several years to the organic approach taken before and currently; it created a middle ground at least visually.
@AMG You have a great car here, mate, can't imagine it was anywhere near the bright side of cheap. Now watch out coz here come the Mercedes geek questions....
High or low compression pistons? What cams are you running? I don't think the stock 221/232 non-kompressor cams have enough duration for this kind of power, did you do the 224/245 SLR cams or are they a custom grind? Also, where did you get the T56 adapter, is it a custom job? How about engine control is that a custom setup or did you use the stock one? What about the fuel pump/ignition relay, I've seen enough of those conk out at the slightest provocation? Have you had any water pump issues? Dude, please tell me you have a build thread or something to answer or at least address the myriad of questions I have about this?
@AMG @Trentworth Thanks so much for adding the info Mr AMG (:)), glad you found this. That's a seriously impressive power figure, we were guessing somewhere just over 500!
That's fantastic though, it shows how well built the AMG stuff is.
I look forward to seeing it out and about this year.
@Trentworth Totally standard engine , 10.5 compression , 9.5 psi of boost . emerald ECU, near stock ign timing , 1200 cfm supercharger , been running like this for 4 years now , does run alittle hot when worked hard :( New mods for 2016 as picture
@open your eyes can you guys just ipban this guy already..every article he has to leave his sour ass comments..
@Larry Chen Please sir...
I thought this might be the E55 that Stavros on Driftworks built with the rear-mount variable geo turbo and the fighter jet noises, but this is cool, too.
@Slappy_Pistons I'm still kicking myself for not getting down to see him and shoot it, that looked like a riot! I should probably check with him that it sold actually.
Finally a Benz that did not have a Japanese or US engine swapped in. All those MB engines have so much potential. And are cheap to get.
Love stuff like this. Don't have the time or space - or possibly even the guts - to do something like it myself, which makes it all the easier to appreciate from those who have.
@RDS Does that look "stock" to you? Or did you mean the internals?