Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Non-repair car talk
kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Mon May 18, 2020 5:36 am

I knew this was around in the back of my mind but I was intentionally ignoring it. The W211 E55 was made from 03 through 06 with the M113K engine. This is a 5.4L SOHC supercharged V8 rated at: 469 hp just like the STS-V. It turns out the STS-V probably benchmarked this car because there are a lot of similarities.

I don't have time to get into everything right now but apparently these are actually reliable cars. I have a few data points that this is the case. And for what breaks, there is solid DIY support. I'll try to list a few items to draw a comparison with the STS-V but the main draw of the E55 is the following:
- Faster than the STS-V. Despite having the same HP rating and weighing about the same, this car is significantly faster. They run around 12.6 @ 114 whereas the STS-V is more like 13.3 @ 107 or so. That is enough to absolutely feel in the seat of the pants and really closes the gap with a V2. Just saying.
- Has options not available on the STS V like adaptive cruise, cooled seats, dual moonroof, power rear shade, quad zone auto climate. I like all that stuff.

So it's faster, and probably the better luxury car. And they are quite possibly reliable enough. Here's the kicker: they are far more available and also generally cheaper, or at the very least, not more expensive. They might even do better in the corrosion department but that has yet to be proven.

Downsides are the old 5 speed transmission, while super solid, is just an older transmission. I think the 6L80 in the STS-V is probably better all around. But the M113K has 77 lb-ft more torque (and more actual power) so maybe not a problem overall. Other downsides are the chassis. The steering is fairly slow (Rockauto says it is the same rack as they used in lame cars like the E320) and the whole suspension isn't really setup for handling (it is air ride with adjustable shocks). I guess it has a stiffer mode but I am pretty sure the STS-V has the more sophisticated chassis and steering.

Check out this one:
https://newhaven.craigslist.org/cto/d/p ... 52723.html

I guess 06 was a refresh and also the last year of this engine making it potentially quite a desirable year. EDIT: 07 was the refresh. I read the Wiki wrong. I think 03-06 is basically the same.
2006 Mercedes Benz e55 AMG Supercharged - $11500 (Prospect)

2006 Mercedes e55 AMG Supercharged
fuel: gas
odometer: 140000
title status: clean
transmission: automatic
For sale is my 2006 Mercedes Benz e55 AMG Supercharged with 140k miles. Completely stock no mods. Car is a beast. Last year of the m113k motor and e55. Runs and drives great. New pads and rotors all around which were installed less than 2k miles ago by Mercedes Benz dealer. Recent oil and filter change. Brand new continental tires and freshly powder coated wheels. Factory xenons with auto leveling. Dynamic seats and heated and cooled seats also.

Suspension works as it should with no leaks. They were replaced in 2015. No cel. Clean and clear title. Exterior is 8/10 has some rock chips on the front end. Interior is in excellent condition. No rips or wear marks. Asking for $11,500. Please call or text me at
I don't see the extended sunroof and not sure on the adaptive cruise. 143k on the odo from the pic. So definitely high mileage. But I think this could be a 250k mile car....and it is in great shape.

In some respects I just want to reject this car out of hand because I thought I settled on the STS-V. But they are hard to find, may be more expensive, and is also lacking in some areas compared to the E55 (though possibly better in others). From an objective perspective, if I am in the market for an STS-V, I think I have to be in the market for the E55.

Here's what Edmunds says were options on the 06:
Massaging Driver's Seat
Massaging Passenger Seat
Ventilated Front Seats
Adaptive Cruise Control
Front And Rear Parking Sensors
Power Activated Trunk
Leather And Wood Steering Wheel Trim
Wood Center Console Trim
Wood Dash Trim
Wood Door Trim
Power Rear Sunshade
Adaptive Headlights
Headlight Cleaners
Self-Leveling Headlights
Xenon High Intensity Discharge Headlights
Extended Sunroof
AM/FM/CD Changer Audio System
Satellite Radio System
Voice Activated Navigation System

I'm going to take a guess that this 06 does not have adaptive cruise based on the grill but not sure where they put the sensor on these.
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kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Mon May 18, 2020 5:39 am

Dough DeMuro on an 04: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPQWsXtWY_k

An owner's perspective on the pros and cons of the E55: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwDTc-TIV8M

One-Take on an 06: https://youtu.be/PsfaakvtNco

Very good sounding engine.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Mon May 18, 2020 6:06 am

https://jalopnik.com/this-mercedes-benz ... 1733450258

Here's Tavarish's posting on Jalopnik to tell everyone that the car is good (5 years ago).

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Mon May 18, 2020 11:49 am

I had some good discussion with Bob over text and I wanted to capture some of those thoughts here.

After looking into the E55 some more and reading that the suspension and steering aren't really focused on handling, but the thing has a strong engine and it is a comfortable car, you'll never guess what thought I had: The E55 actually should replace my Roadmaster.

I know, I know, it's sacrilege. And I agree. But consider the following:
- Bone stock these are within spitting distance of a V2 for acceleration
- You can bolt-on your way to high 11s or possibly a bit further. Pulley and tune would put it faster than a gen 6 Camaro SS, just for reference.
- It's a 4,3xx lb sled that is never really going to be set up to turn. More of a muscle sedan wrapped in a luxury car shell. It's.....a Charger Scat Pack more than 10 years prior to the Scat Pack's availability.
- They are relatively cheap. Say I was able to pick up an example like that New Haven one for $10k. Yeah it has 143k but I'd not drive it daily, but probably more than I drive the Roadmaster.
- The V1 is my chassis car with a manual if I want to actually throw the car around, even if it is also considerably slower. Bob's Elise is slower than his V-sport. Same thing.
- For what it would cost to LS swap my Roadmaster, I could nearly pay for a nice used E55, and that's if my labor is worth $0.
- Again that 5.4L V8 has 516 lb-ft stock. My estimates put the real crank horsepower at 539 or so (extra 70hp over the rating). This makes sense when you look at a same-weight V2 with 556hp at the crank, which is a little faster, but not a lot faster. So 500+ hp and 500+ lb-ft. That's nothing to sneeze at.

With a B-body as a frame of reference, all of these critiques against the E55 for steering or handling completely evaporate. It's an amazing thing.

Point is, the last 15, maybe 20 years, has really changed the game on performance. It's been a renaissance for sure. And what seemed completely unattainable 5, 10, 15 years ago, is actually perfectly affordable today. Building a B-body to run what this E55 can run bone stock, for what it would cost to just buy an E55, doesn't make sense, the way it DID make sense in, say, 2005. Times have changed. There is a lot of used stuff out there in the luxury/performance spectrum which I tend to enjoy. But it's seemingly rare that a car like the E55 is actually considered reliable, while also having a pretty low purchase price for the performance.

Now theoretically I'd STILL like an STS-V as a daily replacement. And a V2 as a V1 replacement. But the Roadmaster is closest to being ready to sell whereas I am not ready to sell the STS or V1 yet.

I do also think the E55 is a perfectly viable platform, especially for the DIY type. Yes the air ride shocks supposedly cost $2100 for a set of 4 (or coil over conversion for a little less). And you factor this into the purchase price. The black one in New Haven says they were done in 2015. So not exactly fresh, but way better than original or something.

Again, for the ~$10k mark, this is a very appealing package, and seems to be a turn-key solution to what the Roadmaster COULD have been. Unfortunately, I just don't think I can devote the hundreds of hours required to make the Roadmaster into what I'd like it to be. But I can pretty easily find $10k cash (and would have had to find nearly that anyway to finance the Roadmaster upgrades - the delta is very small).

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Tue May 19, 2020 9:11 am

kevm14 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 5:36 am
- Has options not available on the STS V like adaptive cruise, cooled seats, dual moonroof, power rear shade, quad zone auto climate. I like all that stuff.

...........................................................

Here's what Edmunds says were options on the 06:
Massaging Driver's Seat
Massaging Passenger Seat
Ventilated Front Seats
Adaptive Cruise Control
Front And Rear Parking Sensors
Power Activated Trunk
Leather And Wood Steering Wheel Trim
Wood Center Console Trim
Wood Dash Trim
Wood Door Trim
Power Rear Sunshade
Adaptive Headlights
Headlight Cleaners
Self-Leveling Headlights
Xenon High Intensity Discharge Headlights
Extended Sunroof
AM/FM/CD Changer Audio System
Satellite Radio System
Voice Activated Navigation System

I'm going to take a guess that this 06 does not have adaptive cruise based on the grill but not sure where they put the sensor on these.
Leave it to the Germans to make this complicated. And have all these options be optional on the top end version of the E-class. Cadillac did it right with the V series.

https://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticl ... ptions.htm

I am not going to get to play too many games here as some stuff may be common and others not so much. I would have to evaluate each car as a unique combination of options rather than rule things out unless I REALLY want something. Like even the Keyless Go (standard on ALL 05+ STSs) was apparently optional on even an 06 E55. That's just stupid.

Also I have no idea what the "upgraded sound system" is on an E55. Sheesh. STS-V got the top end 15 speaker BOSE system. Done. Easy.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Tue May 19, 2020 12:11 pm

Been there, done that, got the Carfax (and Autocheck).
Attachments
Carfax_ WDBUF76J36A889709.pdf
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Autocheck_ WDBUF76J36A889709.pdf
(187.24 KiB) Not downloaded yet

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Wed May 20, 2020 11:50 am

Forgot to mention ..the seller gave me the VIN which seems obvious because I ran the reports.

He also confirmed no on the following:
Keyless Go
H/K Logic7 audio
Distronic
So that sucks. I kind of wanted all of that. I may be able to give up the dual moonroof. It adds weight at the top of a heavy car and may have a reputation for.... issues. Shocking.

I should post some Legit street cars videos on his pursuit of an E55. He got one and did some bolt ons. They are pricey when you add it up but he got his car to like 11.5 @ 123 which is very quick, especially for a heavy car with a slow shifting 5 speed auto.

Anyway his car was a bottom of market car with like 100k and was an 03 purchased about 3 years ago (for $9000) having lived its life in the salt belt. He put it on his lift in one video and I was pretty impressed how clean it was. There was SOME rust but more here and there. I could live with that if that's a nominal representation of the undercarriage condition for being a northern driven car.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Fri May 22, 2020 5:05 pm

It keeps getting better.

So I already feel like the 05-06 is where it's at. But look at what I found.
front.jpg
They've extended the warranty on the Sensotronic braking system to 25 years/unlimited miles. Amazing what a company will do when they actually care about their reputation.

That leaves the next most expensive thing as the air suspension. The solution is to find one that's not totally original. Like this 06.

I just feel like I want keyless go and that Logic7 audio. Plus 143k is kinda high....

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Fri May 22, 2020 8:49 pm

So apparently the engine is actually 493hp. They derated it to protect some other cars in the line like the SL55.

https://youtu.be/Gb32BwQMbho

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Mercedes E55 AMG hunt (W211)

Post by kevm14 » Sat May 23, 2020 8:31 am

Posting deleted so I assume it sold. I hope I didn't miss out on a really good deal.

This one got away but I have learned a lot about these cars in a short time.

Side note I am not sure I could have looked at it even if I tried. I am not sure the RI/CT border was really open for this kind of thing. Love the police state. It's my favorite.

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