Mercedes RennTech S60
A Bold Experiment...
What happens when you take Mercedes lastest, greatest, finest new model car, buy a new one, and completely gut the powertrain in the interest of more performance before you've put a single mile on the car? You are about to find out.
RennTech parked by the observatory...
I put down a deposit on the Y2K S500 as soon as I drove one at the local Benz dealer. Unfortunately, they couldn't get me a car sooner than February 2000, which was something like 9 months later. Several months after that, I chanced on an ad in the Du Pont Registry that offered a Renn Tech S500. Wow! I'd always read about RennTech and their famous tuning program, so I decided to go for it. Seems they could get me the car in about 3 months. Modesty prohibits my saying what it cost, but suffice it to say you'd have to be an idiot to pay that much for a car. Fortunately, I am just such an idiot and went for it!
Except for wheels, exhaust tips, and S 60 badge, it looks stock...
I love the futuristic front treatment...
RennTech will improve suspension, brakes, and most importantly the engine. The motor is bored and stroked to take it from 5 liters to 6, and horsepower is reported to be just over 400. "Hooo, aaaah," as Pacino says in The Scent of a Woman.
Cool Fittipaldi Modular Wheels...
Don't these wheels rock?
As expected, the car is black, and sports a Java interior. I ordered every available option. The cool radar-based cruise control is not available in the good ole U.S. of A. because of lawyer fears. God, I really hate that about our country. However, it does have such wild and crazy features as GPS, air-cooled seats (fans in the upholstery), complete rear seat climate and position control, power rear sunscreen, and parktronic, which is a sonar parking distance sensor system. Of course, the RennTech package is the ultimate option for any Mercedes. Styling cues are subtle. I'm currently running the car on Fittipaldi/Oz modular wheels that give it a more aggressive set. In addition, RennTech provides upgraded exhaust with big oval tips and a cool electric blue lighting system for the instruments instead of the stock white light.
Blue backlit instruments and built in radar detector...
How does she drive? This car is a real rocket. 0 to 60 times are in the 4.9 second range and the top speed is in airplane territory. Actually, I think this thing is quite a bit faster than the Cessna 182 I normally fly! Handling is excellent. The car has an active suspension, so it is oh-so-soft-and-supple until you blast into a corner and then it tightens up just the right amount to go through without any drama. This thing is the ultimate boulevard cruiser. I love it!
It's probably worth comparing the car to the new model BMW M5, which I am also familiar with. The BMW is a much more conventional car, while the Mercedes screams "New Millenium"! The BMW has a fairly stiff suspension, and feels more like a sports car. But I'm not at all convinced it can be driven that much faster through the curves--the Mercedes active suspension is really good and I've got even more rubber on the road than a stock vehicle. Where acceleration is concerned they are also different. The BMW feels a little torquier, probably because of the stick shift. The Mercedes is smoother. For what it's worth, the owner of the M5 definitely thinks the RennTech is the faster of the two. Certainly the Mercedes is the more comfortable and the more futuristic of the two.
The Java interior I
The Java interior II
All material © 2001-2006, Robert W. Warfield.