The early 1990s were heady days for car manufacturers, who had discovered that they could make something really cool by taking an ordinary sedan and stuffing it with a powerful engine and potent mechanics. General Motors had done it with the Lotus Carlton, and Mercedes-Benz, never one to be left out of a good thing, replied with the 326 horsepower 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500E. The assembly of this supremely powerful car was farmed out to Porsche, who fitted a factory engine into a heavily modified body shell. On the outside, the only difference were the slightly bulging and flaring fenders, but underneath, things were really roiling!
The 500E was powered by a 5-liter V8, producing 326 horsepower and all the torque required to ensure that it was very, very quick of the line. Top speed was an artificially limited 155 miles per hour (that’s plenty fast!), and 0-60 a mind-blowing 5.5 seconds. Remember, this is a four door, four seat sedan with a trunk! Mechanically speaking, most of the suspension elements were lifted from the SL roadsters, and the 500E was fitted with an advanced traction-control system, the ARS, which ensured a controlled behavior, no matter how heavy your foot was.
The 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500E remained in production until 1996, with only minor modifications; it is still today one of the most sought-after Mercedes-Benz cars made, and the ultimate sleeper.