Across the pond, in the UK, there is a slightly revised lineup for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class than we see in the U.S. In the U.S. we only get to see the E350 and E500 – not inclusive of the AMG line – but in the UK they get the E200, E220, E250, E350, and E500. The E500, being the top trim in the lineup, boasts the largest and most powerful engine, a 4,663cc V-8 engine that pumps out 300 Kw (408 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm and 600 Nm of torque (442 foot-pounds) at 1,600 to 4,750 rpm.
Those are all pretty acceptable numbers for a full-size sedan or coupe, but our UK friends are capped off there, as they do not have access to the 518-horsepower E63 AMG . Vath has come to the rescue for said owners, by releasing an all new array of upgrades that not only make the E500 look sportier, but bump its horsepower into E63 AMG territory.
Click past the jump to read all about this new upgrade kit and see how it compares to the E63 AMG offered in the U.S.
The example car Vath shows us is draped in a glossy coat of black paint, but you can get it in whichever color you would like. On the front of this revised E500 you’ll get a grille that does not have a Mercedes-Benz emblem on it, giving the front end a more slick look. When you receive the grille, it is in primer, so you can paint it whatever color you would like. Also on the front end, you get a carbon-fiber front lip spoiler.
Around the back end, you will receive a carbon-fiber diffuser on the base of the E500’s rear bumper, which boasts cutouts for the quad-exit exhaust pipes to pop out. On the top of the trunk, on limousine models only, you get a small carbon-fiber lip spoiler.
On the corners, Vath tosses in a set of wheels featuring an aluminum rim and titanium-colored spokes. You can opt for special colors at an additional cost. You can get the rims in a variety of sizes, including: 8.5J x 20, 9J x 20, 9.5J x 20, 10J x 20, and 10.5J x 20.
We like what Vath has done to the exterior of the E500. It retained the elegance that comes with driving an E-Class, while increasing its sportiness just enough to make it look more stylish.
On the inside, Vath replaced the climate visor, gear shift gate, gear shift knob, door visors, and seat adjustment plates with black carbon-fiber pieces. The E500’s steering wheel is removed and replaced with a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel with the option of adding in carbon-fiber or wood inlays on the wheel. In addition to all of this, you will get a 360 km/h speedometer – you’ll find out later why you need it – aluminum pedals and 4-part velor floor mats with “Vath” embroidered into them.
At 408 horsepower, the E500 is no slouch, but Vath wants its customers to have the feel of the E63 AMG. It achieves this goal by fine tuning the E500’s ECU, installing a sports air filter, and putting in a stainless steel exhaust system from front to rear. At the rear of the exhaust system are four 90mm exits that are polished to a mirror-like shine.
A secret weapon in this tune is the installation of a fuel cooler. Much like air, cooler fuel is more dense and denser fuel burns more effectively. This results in additional power, decreased emissions, and higher fuel economy. You also get a high-flow cooling system and a high-efficiency cooling system for the transmission.
All of these modifications push the E500’s power output to 381 Kw (511 horsepower) and 810 Nm (597 pound-feet of torque). This positions it just 7 horsepower less than the E63 AMG and a whopping 81 pound-feet of torque higher than the AMG. This gives the E500 a 300 km/h (186 mph) top speed and a 0-to-60 time of just 4.5 seconds. That’s 31 mph faster than the AMG with the same 0-to-60 time.
Suspension and Braking
You can opt for various wheel spacers that widen the track by 20 mm to 30 mm on the front and 20 mm to 40 mm on the rear. The wider track your car has, the better it handles.
The braking system includes a highway of brand-new racing brake lines and Castrol SRF racing brake fluid. The base brake system boasts 360 mm (14.17-inch) front rotors with 6-piston calipers squeezing performance brake lining onto them. The rear rotors measure in at 330 mm (12.99 inches) and have a set of 4-piston calipers lined with performance pads hugging them.
You can opt for a more aggressive braking system, which includes 390 mm (15.35-inch) front rotors with 6-piston calipers.
The final addition to the stability of this ride is its addition of a limited-slip differential. This helps transfer power from slipping wheels to gripping wheel, getting you through through corners quickly and safely.
To let people know that you mean business, you can opt for a “Vath” emblem to replace the “Mercedes” emblem on the hood and trunk, as well as “Vath” lettering for the trunk. A nice touch to your newly customized sleeper.
The options are plentiful, so the price range fluctuates greatly. The price for the base kit is €32,250 ($40,360 at current exchange rates). Add this to the ₤53,725 ($84,890 at current exchange rates) initial pricing for the E500 and you get a grand total of ₤79,255 ($125,230 at current exchange rates). That makes the E500 €29,029 ($36,330 at the current exchange rates) more than the E63 AMG.
That’s quite a price to pay, but it is almost certainly less than attempting to import an E63 AMG into the UK.
While the upgrade kit is rather expensive, it sure beats importing an E65 AMG to the UK or buying all of the pieces needed to build this beast one-by-one. The power output is stout and the torque is totally impressive. The body additions are subtle, but nice and the additions to the interior are a nice touch. Our favorite part is the close attention Vath paid to the small parts of the engine, like the fuel cooling system.
- E63 AMG power without the import fees
- Nice, subtle additions to the outside
- Awesome attention to even the small details
- A little more exterior styling would be nice
- How about some interior pictures?
- Very expensive