Launched in 1999, the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG was a huge success with a little more than 12,000 units produced over five years, about 2,500 of which were imported to North America. It naturally-aspirated V-8 engine churned 349 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque at first and was updated to 355 horsepower for the 2001 model year, when AMG adopted the facelifted E-Class .
But when the W211 E-Class arrived in early 2002, AMG had to come up with a more aggressive package and squeezed even more power out of the 5.5-liter unit. The plan was to take the supercharged version of the V-8 mill offered in the SL 55 AMG and drop it into the sedan , but a number of updates had to be operated.
Using their experience in motorsports , AMG engineers reconstructed several parts of the powerplant, including the crankshaft, the pistons and the cylinder heads, and increased the engines speed from 5,600 to 6,100 rpm using a brand-new valve train. Engine electronics were also a crucial part of the developing process, with the resulting logic-controlled activation of the supercharger playing a huge role into turning the E55 AMG into a feared machine.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG
Unless you ignore the exhaust pipes coming out from under the rear bumper and the fancier, five-spoke wheels, the E55 AMG is nearly identical to the regular E-Class
Unless you ignore the exhaust pipes coming out from under the rear bumper and the fancier, five-spoke wheels, the E55 AMG is nearly identical to the regular E-Class. Of course, the smaller details, such as the remodeled bumpers and side skirts, are noticeable at a closer look, but this sedan has that cool sleeper feel attached to it. Naturally, the E55 AMG also sits a tad lower, which is essential for handling and ride given its enormous amount of power.
Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG - Dimensions
|Wheelbase (in / mm)||112.4 / 2855|
|Length (in / mm)||190.9 / 4849|
|Height (in / mm)||50.9 / 1293|
|Width (in / mm)||71.7 / 1821|
The interior is spacious, well-equipped and refined altogether, but, just like the exterior, it remains somewhat understated
The interior is spacious, well-equipped and refined altogether, but, just like the exterior, it remains somewhat understated. The bi-color seats are wrapped in a combination of Nappa and Nubuck leather that can be had in a classy combination of dark gray and dark blue. The same pattern is transferred to the door panels, which are rounded off by gloss black inserts.
The standard 10-way, adjustable sport seats are equipped with four inflatable air bladders for lateral support, as well as three-stage heaters. Ventilation is only available as an options.
The instrument cluster, however, is standard E-Class and could’ve used a lot more attention from the company’s performance division. The most annoying thing is that the tachomoter doesn’t come with a redline.
Forget about the naturally-aspirated unit found in the previous model, because this 5.5-liter V-8 wears a supercharger as a hat and packs an enormous amount of technology
The E55 AMG may look a bit mild inside and out, but it hides a beast of an engine under the hood. Forget about the naturally aspirated unit found in the previous model, because this 5.5-liter V-8 wears a supercharger as a hat and packs an enormous amount of technology. Power has gone up 34 percent, while torque has increased by 32 percent for a new output of 476 horsepower and 516 pound-feet.
Delivered at 6,100 rpm and 2,650 rpm respectively via a five-speed automatic, the oomph enables the sedan to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds on its way to a top speed limited at 155 mph. The quarter mile can be completed in only 12.4 seconds. Of course, all those numbers don’t come cheap and will require a few trips to the gas station with fuel economy rated at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.
Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG - Drivetrain/Specifications:
|Type||5.5L Supercharged V-8|
|Displacement (cu in / cc):||332 / 5439|
|Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm)||476 / 350 @ 6100|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm)||516 / 700 @ 2650|
The E55 AMG was retailed from $75,000 in the United States.
Introduced for in 2005, two years after the E55 AMG arrived in dealerships, the E60 M5 was motivated by a 5.0-liter V-10 engine. Slightly superior to its Mercedes competitor with 500 horsepower on tap, the Dingolfing-built sedan lacked the astonishing torque figures of the AMG, having only 380 pound-feet at its disposal.
Connected to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic, the V-10 mill enabled the M5 to reach the 60-mph mark from a standing start in 4.7 seconds, nearly half a second slower than the E55 AMG, while its top speed was limited at 155 mph.
Fitted with Formula One-inspired transmission control, the E60 also benefited from launch control and a three-mode Power option that helped the driver set the car to act either as a daily driver or with all guns blazing. Also retailed with a wagon body, the E60 M5 retired in 2010, making way for the current F10 model in 2012.
The E55 AMG was arguably the most attractive sports sedan back in its day, mainly due to the fact that Audi was still trying to find a proper identity for the C5 RS6. And while the E60 M5 was no slouch either, the Mercedes packed an awesome torque punch that was to be matched by its rivals only years later. The supercharged E-Class is a car many Mercedes fans will miss.
- Big torque
- Mild interior
- No redline