12/22/08

Mercedes S55 AMG Review

Serious stoppers for a swift sedan.  Nice wheels tooFind an open stretch of highway, floor the Mercedes S55 and you'll soon know what it means to kompress the time/space continuum. There's a small pause and a gentle jerking sensation-- as the five-speed gearbox kicks down and the supercharger spools up. And then the AMG-fettled sedan launches itself at the horizon with a single, seamless blast of forward thrust. Any doubt that the massive S55 can obliterate time with acceleration dissipates the moment you watch the speedo arc gracefully past 140 miles per hour, and keep on going.

I guess that's what happens when the W├╝rttemberg Wirbelwinds stuff 493 horses and 516ft.-lbs. of torque under the hood of an S-Class sedan. Even in these horsepower mad times, when a stock pickup truck can out-drag a 60's Ferrari, that's a lot of grunt. It's enough shove to put Mercedes' 5.5-liter V8-powered leviathan on a par with a Porsche 911. (Both sprint from 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds.) No wonder the technician who builds the S55's supercharged powerplant signs his name on the engine; Guido Nordheim wants you to know who owns your adrenal glands.

 

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