The Ultra-Rare 1999-2000 W202 AMG C55.
The W202 Mercedes C-class was available between 1993 and 2000, and if you were in the market for a German four-door saloon, it was a great alternative to BMW's phenomenal E36 3-series. But for those looking for a bit more oomph, AMG had just the thing.
1995 saw the introduction of the AMG C36 with the 276bhp 3.6-liter M104 inline-six. 5,400 global units were produced between 95-97, 896 of which arrived on U.S. soil.
In late 1997, as a 1998 model, the world was graced by the AMG C43 and its 302bhp 4.3-liter M113-E43 V8. Available in both saloon and estate configurations, the C43 was the first AMG vehicle built completely in-house and the first C-class to receive a V8. 4,200 were produced for the global market between 98-2000, 1,425 of which were for U.S. consumption. With a 0-60 sprint of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 155mph, the C43 was enough to satisfy most E36 M3 hunters. Most.
A few well-heeled customers were able to turn aim their Bavarian sights more accurately with the help of the upscale W210 AMG E55 and its bigger, more powerful V8—a practice dating back to the golden era of hot rods and still a fan favorite today.
During the final two production years of the W202 body, AMG offered the C55, a modest upgrade to the C43 known by very few. For roughly $40,000, you could send your C43 to AMG’s Manufaktur division for the installation of the 340bhp 5.4-liter M113-E55 V8—good for 5.5 second sprints to 60mph and a 155mph maximum velocity. A revised ECU tune, upgraded transmission, and a rear differential borrowed from the CLK55, were fit to round out the premium package.
With these modifications, the C55 become a true E36 M3 competitor, setting the engine-swapping stage AMG would become known for. A total of 59 “true” W202 AMG C55 models (7 estates) were produced during the 99-2000 model years, while countless home-built variants roam our streets in search of a M3 or two.
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