Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2004 E55-1970 280SEC
Location: Houston, Texas USA
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A quick one from Car and Driver....
Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG
Three years ago, the E55 was outpaced by the M5 in every standing-start acceleration category, as well as the lane-change test and Nelson Ledges racetrack lap times. The E55 had to plead no contest.
Flash forward to â€™03: an all-new E-class, which prevailed in our most recent comparison of mid-lux sedans (â€œThe Magnificent Not-Quites,â€? March 2003) and an all-new AMG derivative. No danger of playing second fiddle to the BMW in the sprints this time.
Propelled by the same supercharged 5.4-liter SOHC 24-valve V-8 employed in the SL55 AMG, albeit with a little less horsepower, itâ€™s even faster than the SL55 we tested last November, clocking 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds, 0 to 100 in 9.9, 0 to 150 in 24.5, and the quarter in 12.5 seconds at 116 mph. Thatâ€™s quicker than anything else in this roundupâ€”quicker, in fact, than any production sedan weâ€™ve ever tested. Sports-car quick. The last Corvette Z06 we tested (December 2001) hit 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, 100 in 9.2, and 150 in 24.1, and it covered the quarter in 12.4 seconds at 116 mph.
The E55â€™s torque reserves seem bottomless, peaking at just 2650 rpm and staying there until shortly after noon. An electromagnetic clutch reduces supercharger parasitic losses when the driver isnâ€™t calling for max thrust, but tromp that pedal at almost any speed, and the Benz squashes its occupants into the beautifully contoured seatbacks.
Clearly, this is a much different animal than its predecessor. Ride quality hasnâ€™t suffered much, thanks to the three-way-adjustable Airmatic DC suspension, but the seductive omnipresence of so much brute force gives the new Benz a bad-boy dimension that was previously absent.