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Cars Worth Noting: 2005 M-Benz CLK55 AMG

2005 M-Benz CLK55 AMG

One and two and three and four and five. That’s how long it takes this $70K luxoperformance coupe to blast from zero through 60 mph on its way to wherever your nerve can take it. That’s about a second short of ’05 Corvette territory, but this beauty has a back seat.

AMG, Mercedes-Benz’s the in-house performance arm, beefs up otherwise ordinary Benzs and stuffs them full of muscular engines ranging from the SLK55 AMG’s 355-hp 5.5L V-8 to the SL65 AMG’s incredible 604-hp twin-turbo V-12. Each engine is assembled crankshaft to harness by an individual technician, who then bench tests it and affixes his personally signed plaque to it.

For reasons of, we suppose, market oneupsmanship (“Match this, BMW!”), there is, has been or soon will be a white-hot AMG version of virtually every product in this Teutonic maker’s portfolio, including a 469-hp supercharged variation of the brick-shaped G-class off-roader. This AMG-ized C-Class compact coupe gets a 362-hp 5.5L V-8 capable of pumping 376 lb.ft. of torque through its 5-speed AMG-calibrated Speedshift manu-matic.

Also amazing is the gorilla grip of its 225/40 ZR18 front and 255/35 ZR18 rear tires when the going gets curvy. They’re fitted to 7.5×18 and 8.5×18 in. wheels, respectively, and bolted to a 20 percent stiffer suspension. Front and rear styling is unique, the body structure is beefed to handle such prodigious power, and the brakes are larger, stronger, vented and the front rotors perforated for added cooling.

Inside the cozy cabin are AMG-designed gauges, steering wheel and two-tone Nappa leather with perforated Nubuck soft leather seat panels and door trim. If this doesn’t get your adrenaline going, Bucky, could we show you something in a 604-hp SL65 AMG coupe or roadster at just under $180K? Or one of eight other ’05 AMGs?

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Wed. May 22nd, 2024

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