From the outside, this 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190 (without the ‘E’ as it was a carburetor model) may look largely like any other example of Stuttgart’s C-Class predecessor but under the skin, this wild animal is far from stock.
The W201 series compact executive is owned by an enthusiast in the Netherlands and was once powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivering a measly and laughable today 89 hp. However, that engine has been removed and replaced with a monstrous 6.0-liter V12 engine sourced from a Mercedes-Benz 600 SEL.
As you could probably imagine, slotting a massive V12 engine into the engine bay of a car that was not only once powered by a four-cylinder engine, but qualifies as a regular compact-size sedan today, wasn’t exactly easy. In fact, the owner spent no less than six months fitting the V12 under the hood.
Comprehensive changes were made to the 190’s engine bay so it could fit. For example, the radiator had to be moved so far forward that the stock headlights have been customized as the radiator now protrudes into the edges of the lights. Ensuring the engine gets enough air are two air vents in the headlights, much like the front intake of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
All up, the 6.0-liter V12 is said to be good for 424 hp and 431 lb-ft (585 Nm) of torque. Not bad for a car that in its original form, had a starting curb weight of around 1,400 kilograms or 3,000 pounds.
Numerous other modifications have been done. For example, there is the five-speed automatic transmission from a Mercedes-Benz CL 600, the steering system of a Mercedes-Benz W210, BC coilover suspension from a – wait for it- E36-generation BMW 3-Series, wheel hubs of a Mercedes SL 500, and the 18-inch wheels of a Mercedes S 600. Also featured is a custom exhaust and the leather interior of a 1987 W201 190.
The presence of a powerful V12 engine allows the car to get of the line with an impressive amount of speed. The owner claims that in theory, it could hit a top speed of 217 mph (350 km/h) – even though he hasn’t tested the theory – while also claiming to Autobilde that it needs 4 seconds to go from 100 to 150km/h (62-93 mph) and 11.0 seconds from 100 to 200km/h (62-124 mph).
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