Posts Tagged ‘MB’

The Germans aren’t typically known for their passionate expressions of emotion. And this attitude especially applies to their cars. A standard German vehicle is sensible, built like a bank vault, understated, and is happy to drive by unnoticed. There must be something in the drinking water however, around the part of Mercedes-Benz factory that builds the G-Class, and there are definitely particles of nuclear waste floating in the coffee at MB’s tuning division, AMG. The proof of contamination? The maniacal G55 AMG, an environmentalist’s worst nightmare.

It may be their worst nightmare (it gets 9 MPG in the city), but if you’re an auto enthusiast or a star of Real Housewives of New Jersey, the G55 AMG is a divine machine, capable of making all your dreams come true. The recipe for this distinctly Germanic brand of success starts with the standard G-Class, which is then handed over to the lunatics at AMG. They proceed to drop a supercharged version of MB’s famous 5.5 liter V8 into the engine bay to the tune of 507 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. This titanic grunt annihilates the blitz to 60 mph in a shade over 5 seconds. This, plus its low slung exhausts and stiff suspension, make the G55 more of a pavement pounder and less an off-road conqueror, though it is still vastly more capable than machines like the Porsche Cayenne or BMW X6 when the road gets rugged.

Weighing in at a dainty (haha!) 5,700 pounds, the G55’s roots lay on the field of battle. It was purpose built as a military vehicle and has a service record like that of General Patton. It was first offered as a civilian model back in 1979. Since then, the recipe hasn’t changed much: boxy styling, body-on-frame construction, four-wheel-drive, three locking differentials, and a host of other off road goodies. In civilian guise, the G-Class is a tremendously fluent machine for tackling a wide range of wild terrain. The G55 AMG on the other hand, its natural habitat is the main drag and it rules the land with unparalleled street cred. When this thing cruises down the boulevard, window tinted and side exit exhausts rumbling, your brain triggers one of two responses: “Hot damn, I gotta get me one of those,” or “Susie, grab the kids and run, the Mafia hitmen are here.”

Check out Richard Hammond from Top Gear and his review of the G55. Watch the video HERE.

This blacked out G55 was spotted parked in the South Willow Plaza in Manchester. Speckled with rain drops and rockin’ a near full tint on its windows, it looked especially menacing. The G55 AMG is good for two things: Making tree-huggers wring their hands in fury, and putting a leather-gloved smack down on the art of ridin’ dirty. And handing other pansy SUVs their eviction notice.

Normally, the kinds of cars that end up on my dream list have exotic names, come from exotic places, and aren’t from the early 1990’s. The faster, more expensive and newer they are, the better. And I like passionate cars: Wings, loud exhausts, shattering speed, and more soul than an Aretha Franklin concert. Having a ‘90’s Mercedes-Benz sedan on this coveted list seems impossible, or at least highly improbable, especially when you stop and consider the recent batch of hot MB’s: the C63 AMG Black Series, E63 AMG, SLS AMG, and the luxo-rocket S65 AMG. These cars all pack enough horsepower and torque to alter your perception of reality and would make a sweet addition to the dream list. So what are we doing looking at this antiquated MB sedan? Think of the 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II as the exception to the rule of boring ‘90’s cars and being totally worthy of a place on the dream list.

The Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II is to the regular 190E sedan what the Subaru WRX STi is to the standard WRX: It’s more powerful, more flamboyant, and wears the absolute daddy of rear wings. The Evolution II’s monstrous rear wing makes even the current generation of Subaru STi’s look all sedate and civilized. First unveiled at the 1990 Genva Motor Show, this fantastic Merc was born from Mercedes’ involvement in the Group A Tour Car Championship racing which required that the aerodynamic components of the race car match the road-going production version. Much of that racing pedigree can be found in the car’s flared wheel arches, deep front splitter, upgraded brakes, and firmer suspension. The 2.5 liter four-cylinder had its compression ratio, valve lift, timing, intake tract and exhaust all retuned to help make a potent 232 horsepower.

Inside, it’s classic Mercedes with leather, wood trimming, and no-nonsense style. On modern MBs, we expect buckets full of tech, and the Evolution II sports some of its own gadgetry including a switch near the steering wheel that allows the driver to adjust the ride height to three different levels. It’s a rare car too with only 500 or so ever being produced, so it’ll make an equivalent BMW E36 M3 seem commonplace and tame. All these go-fast parts did count for something on the racetrack; the Evolution II claimed the 1992 DTM driver’s title. Thank goodness the nineties brought us more than Vanilla Ice and Trapper Keepers.