'Kompressor' Engine Makes E55 AMG the Fastest Mercedes Ever
Each E55 AMG engine makes a towering 469 hp and a massive 516 lbs.-ft. of torque, making easy work of the 0-60 mph sprint in just 4.5 seconds. Its 5.5-liter, supercharged and intercooled V8 engine is hand-assembled one at a time by expert technicians at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach, Germany and is bench-tested to ensure top performance. The sturdy V8 engine uses a positive-displacement, Lysholm-type (or screw-type) belt-driven supercharger with scrolling aluminum rotors, providing usable boost virtually from idle speed, and generates a maximum of 11.6 psi (or 0.8 bar) of boost pressure.
The Kompressor V8 also uses a specially developed air-to-water crossflow intercooler located in the "V" of the engine block beneath the supercharger. The intercooler reduces intake air temperature, creating a denser charge and further boosting power. Other developments for the Kompressor V8 include a fast-acting electronic throttle, revised cam timing, high-rate valve springs and lightweight valves.
SpeedShift Gear Selection at the Steering Wheel
The E55 AMG's prodigious torque requires a high-capacity five-speed automatic transmission with SpeedShift programming that nets 35-percent quicker gear changes. In manual mode, gear changes can also be made by pressing either of the two steering-wheel mounted shift buttons -- left side for downshifts and right side for upshifts. If asked (by holding the gear lever to the left when in Drive), the SpeedShift transmission can also switch to an "Optimum Gear Selection" program, automatically downshifting and determining the best possible gear for maximum acceleration in any situation. The SpeedShift transmission will also hold a selected gear under high cornering loads, preventing an upshift in mid-corner. As well, a lightweight torque converter can lock up in all forward gears when conditions warrant. This makes for the liveliest, most dynamic performance possible when needed, yet exhibits refinement when driven under normal conditions.
Like all Mercedes-Benz cars, the E55 AMG uses ESP stability control to prevent skids and spins in poor weather driving. However, because the E55 AMG expands the performance envelope, ESP is programmed specifically for the model, with high power, handling grip, dynamics and braking performance all playing a crucial role in its new programming.
New Design Is Unmistakably E-Class
The prior-generation E-Class sparked a design trend with its distinctive elliptical headlights, and the new car features an even sleeker interpretation. The oval headlights are tilted back even more sharply, and the E-Class line exudes a fresh, sporty design theme.
The E55 AMG can be differentiated from other E-Class models by its sculpted side skirts, front bumper and rear apron. Completing the exterior look are blue tinted glass, LED brake lights and optional bi-xenon headlights with headlamp washers. Inside, special AMG gauges and sport seats finished in nappa/nubuk leather upholstery hint at the performance that's always on tap.
Stronger and Safer Than Ever
Underneath the sleek, elegant E-Class exterior is an even stronger body structure than before, providing a solid foundation for occupant safety. Although the E-Class has added more standard safety and luxury equipment, extensive use of lightweight materials has helped keep the new car within 50-100 pounds of its predecessor. The E-Class is the first large-scale Mercedes-Benz model to make extensive use of aluminum, which accounts for 10 percent of the car by weight. Aluminum parts include the hood, front fenders, trunk lid, as well as the front subframe and bumper crossmembers. In addition, the amount of high-strength steel has been nearly doubled, from about 20 percent of vehicle weight to about 37 percent.
Advanced Restraint Systems
Adaptive front airbags deploy with lower force in less severe accidents and with higher force in more serious collisions. Taking its signal from a special sensor in the front passenger seat, the front passenger airbag even takes passenger size into account. In addition, new crash sensors help determine the severity of the collision, controlling seat belt tensioners and belt force limiters accordingly. In more severe collisions, the seat belt tensioners remove slack sooner, and the belt force limiters then loosen the belts progressively, reducing chest loads and gaining greater benefit from the front airbags. The 2003 E-Class is equipped with a new rollover sensor that can deploy the curtain airbags and belt tensioners if it detects an imminent rollover.
Large-Scale Use of Electronic Braking
An innovative electronic braking system -- another Mercedes safety first -- is standard equipment in all 2003 E-Class models. The new electronic braking system provides faster, more sure-footed response, especially in emergencies. Although electronic braking made its industry debut on the SL roadsters, equipping all E-Class models with electronic braking represents the first large-scale use of this revolutionary technology.
With electronic braking, the brake pedal works with an array of sensors, an electrically driven hydraulic pump, a high-pressure reservoir and a computer that tells four fast-acting valves exactly how hard to apply the brakes on each wheel. With split-second accuracy, the system can change brake pressure on each wheel over uneven surfaces and can even increase brake pressure on the outside wheels when braking in turns.
S-Class Derived Dual-Control Air Suspension
The E-Class rack-and-pinion steering, four-link front suspension, and patented five-link rear suspension are similar to that of the S-Class. A new AMG-developed four-stage version of the Airmatic air suspension from the S-Class provides unparalleled wheel motion control on the E55 AMG. Airmatic suspension uses sensors that monitor road conditions, driving style and cornering forces to ensure that the system always chooses the best air spring and shock absorber settings. The system can switch between different suspension modes in a fraction of a second, and the driver can also select from four pre-set suspension response programs. In essence, the Airmatic suspension system eliminates the compromise between handling and ride comfort, because it continually and automatically optimizes both.
Even Greater Luxury
All E-Class models feature a stylish interior with a sweeping dashboard and center console, soft-touch trim surfaces, elegant wood and chrome trim elements as well as a full array of power amenities such as power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power windows with one-touch up/down operation and auto-dimming mirrors. The E55 AMG comes with standard four-zone climate control that allows different temperature settings for the rear outboard passengers as well as the driver and front passenger. Also standard on the E55 AMG is a Harman Kardon Logic 7 audio system that features seven-channel surround sound, concert-quality output and 12 high-end speakers.
(Feb 12, 2003)