The W210-generation Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG was a fantastic high-performance luxury sedan, but there was one downside: Mercedes only sold it with an automatic transmission. If you want an E55 with a manual, you’ve got to build your own. Or you could buy this one that’s already been manual-swapped and save yourself a whole lot of time (and potentially money).
Currently listed on Cars & Bids, this 2000 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG is mostly stock aside from the definitely-not-stock stick shift between the seats. That transmission, by the way, comes out of a Chrysler Crossfire. It may sound like an odd choice at first, but it actually makes a lot of sense. After all, the Crossfire. was a Mercedes under the sheet metal.
According to the seller, they “chose the Crossfire trans because it directly bolts to the M113 bell housing, no need for an adapter plate.” Considering how much torque the 5.4-liter V8 makes compared to the Crossfire’s 229 lb-ft, it would be understandable to be concerned about how it will handle the swap. It’s purely anecdotal, but according to the seller, “[t]here are about a dozen of ppl who have done the swap before me who had no durability issues with this trans.”
Other modifications include a new flywheel and clutch kit, a custom ECU tune to remove the “check engine” light reportedly caused by the swap, and a limited-slip differential from Quaife Engineering.
It looks like an absolutely fantastic conversion, but the car itself is far from perfect. After more than 20 years on the road, though, that’s to be expected. It’s got a few scratches, cracks, and dings, as well as some interior wear. The biggest issues appear to be power locks that don’t work and a little bit of rust on the fenders, quarter-panels, and underbody.
Rust isn’t ideal, but especially if you live somewhere that never sees snow, why let that stop you from buying it? After all, it’s an E55 AMG with a manual transmission!