Installing a V-8 engine under the hood of the smallest Mercedes-Benz sedan demanded major surgery. The nose section from a CLK coupe was appended to the rear two-thirds of the revised C-class sedan’s body structure. Filling the powerhouse hole is an AMG-tuned 5.3-liter SOHC V-8 that pumps out a potent 362 hp. The C55 AMG retires the C32 (supercharged 3.2-liter V-6) and provides Mercedes with the ammunition to fight the -V and the evergreen . Interior upgrades include AMG-designed sport seats, a new instrument cluster, and a steering wheel fitted with manu-matic shift buttons.
ON SALE: Now
PRICE: $55,000 (est.)
ENGINE: 362-hp, 5.3-liter V-8
BOTTOM LINE: Where’s the manual transmission?