There's still plenty of love for the W211 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. For those not familiar with Merc's platform designations, this is the third-gen E-Class that spanned a majority of the 2000s. In E 55 AMG trim, both saloons and estates packed a supercharged 5.4-litre V8 engine churning out 469 bhp (350 kilowatts). That's still a hefty figure today, so you can imagine what these monster Mercs were like 15 years ago.
Actually, you don't have to imagine. AutoTopNL has a 2004 E 55 estate primed and ready for a speed run on unrestricted sections of Germany's Autobahn, and it's blissfully stock save for two features. Being an early model, it wears an upgraded E 63 fascia. But for the purposes of this video, you'll be more interested in the factory speed limiter that's been wiped away. Mercedes-Benz originally set that speed at 155 mph, but without restriction, how fast can this 18-year-old AMG estate go?
Before making any wagers, here are a few more mechanical titbits to consider. A five-speed automatic transmission is paired with the V8, and that final cog is a long one. It requires a healthy chunk of motorway to fully stretch its legs, but with enough space, there is still ample power for impressive velocities. In fact, it's more than ample – despite the age and approximately 62,000 miles on the odometer, the estate posted around 500 bhp (373 kilowatts) on a recent dyno pull. With a fresh set of Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tyres all around, all that's required is a clear highway.
And that's just what we get for a series of speed runs. The first blast easily sees the big Merc surpass its original electronic limit, though acceleration noticeably slows once the car shifts into fifth gear around 130 mph. It steadily climbs, however, ultimately reaching 168 mph before letting off for another attempt. This time the speedometer gets as close as you can get to 300 km/h (186 mph) without going over. Traffic forces a throttle lift, but the final attempt sends the E 55 estate over the top. 303 km/h (188 mph) shows on the speedometer, with 297 km/h (185 mph) briefly registering on GPS.
It takes nearly a minute for the E 55 to reach that figure, suggesting it's well and truly the car's aero-limited maximum speed. Considering a new Audi RS 6 Avant tops out at 190, it's not a bad showing at all for the old Mercedes.
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