Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG: The OG of fast Mercs
And it hides an interesting story...
The W124 may just be one of my favorite Mercedes-Benzes. There, I said it. It's very muscular, it has got lots of presence on the road, and it's indestructible. I just like the subtleness of the design, and the angular lines. It's simple, straight to the point, yet beautiful. It started life in 1985 and was produced all the way through 1995, and I remember seeing a lot of W124s on the road when I was a kid. When I first noticed this car, I immediately thought that only very important people, or taxi drivers, were allowed to drive it.
Mercedes-Benz made a W124 AMG?!
The E60 AMG is an extremely rare car, and it is believed that only 45 cars were ever created. Yeah, only 45. Last year, RM Sothebys sold one for £138'000, which is a real fortune for a W124, and we can expect the prices to rise even more in the future. However, this particular E60 AMG has kind of a funny story. Meet the E60 AMG that isn't one.
Yet, everything is as it was when it left the factory. This car started life as a Mercedes-Benz E500. So far, so good. The E500 was already a pretty nice piece of kit as it was created in collaboration with non-other than Porsche. The sports car manufacturer worked on redesigning the chassis to accommodate a larger 5.0-litre V8 that made 320 horsepower, plus improved the brakes and suspensions. The result is a sedan that can nearly match a Ferrari Testarossa from the same era, with a standstill to 100 km/h in only 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 260 km/h. The E500 was hand-built and it took 19 days to produce just one single car. However the E500 quickly became an icon. The ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing, the King of the Autobahn.
Due to this car's success, Mercedes-Benz hired AMG, which was still at the time a separate company, to work on an enhanced version of their super sedan. The engineers from Affalterbach cooked a very special hand-built 6.0-litre V8 that now made 381 horsepower. That same engine would later find its way into the mythic Le Mans CLK GTR. However, the crazy guys from AMG didn't stop there. It had even better in-house suspensions, a cooler (also in-house) exhaust system, and big fat wheels that came straight from the mad 190E Evo II. Everybody wanted a piece of it, yet only about 45 lucky people managed to get there hands on this special Merc. But all was not lost.
AMG wanted to capitalise on the E60 AMG's success and invited E500 owners to send over their cars for an AMG makeover. The solution was called the "957 AMG Technik-Paket", a pack that allowed people to convert their already very potent W124 into an AMG beast. Between 50 and 100 cars went through this conversion process, which makes it rather complicated to differentiate which cars are the real ones, and which aren't unless you take a look at the VIN number. And this is exactly what happened to this particular car. Basically, it is identical in terms of performance and looks to an E60 AMG. This one doesn't have the AMG exhaust fitted, but otherwise everything is there. Inside, it's just like going back to the 90's. The seats, even though slightly sportier in this version, are extremely comfortable and there are wooden panels here and there that give it this old school classy look. I am also a huge fan of the massive monobloc wheels that give the E60 AMG even more presence on the road.
So that my older lads understand the true meaning of my article's title, OG means Original Gangster. And it perfectly fits to the general appearance of this car. Yes, I think it looks like a gangster's car that just came out of a 90's rap music video. Good thing, or bad thing it's refreshing to see rappers driving a cool car. Let's face it, they did not always have the best taste in cars.
The E500 also gained a lot of attention thanks to Luc Besson's Taxi film. In the movie, you can see the bad guys driving these cars at high speeds in the city of Marseille, France following the famous white Peugeot 406 taxi. The W124 kind of looks like a mafia's, or villain's sedan, especially when painted black. Therefore, if you're looking to earn some respect from your neighbors, consider investing in this car.
Today, the world of fast sedans have reached considerable heights. The E60 AMG's natural successor would be the E63 S, a 612-horsepower sedan capable of reaching a top speed of 300 km/h, while taking only 3.4 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h. But the E60 AMG reminds us of the good old days, when you did not need a drift mode, 9 gears, and a Sport+ button. With great simplicity, this mighty W124 is capable of showing us the dark side, because isn't it fun to play the bad guy every once in a while?
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Drivevintage.ch and V. Luzuy for making this possible. Drivevintage.ch is car conciergerie that takes care of some of the most exclusive cars ever made, and we can't wait to do some more work with them. http://drivevintage.ch & https://www.instagram.com/drivevintage.ch/
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Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG