Dream MPV: the Mercedes-Benz B 55

A pair of creative trainees working at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt factory have recently come up with these mad machine: the Mercedes-Benz B 55. The car is just a prototype and is not intended for serial production, so don't think you could buy one (instead, wait for the AMG versions of the future A/B lineups). The team behind this project fitted an ordinary B 200 CDI version with the AMG 5.5 liters biturbo V8 unit, capable of achieving a stunning 383 hp maximum output/530 Nm at 2800 rpm peak torque, and thus the B 55 was created.

It is a great achievement they managed to house the big "V" in the restrictive B-Class engine bay without any major tweaks to the body and powertrain. Moving on, the trainees lowered the ride height and modified the car from FWD to RWD, the power being transmitted using the automatic 7G-TRONIC gearbox. Moreover, larger discs (reminiscent of the C 32 AMG) were installed to all four wheels for improved braking efficiency (front: 345 mm, rear:300 mm). Wider tyres (front:8', rear:9'), with an overall diameter of 18 inches, are also on the list, to enhance the grip and cope with the huge amount of power and torque produced by the V8 unit. The performance figures of the B 55 are more than impressive: 0 to 100 km/h takes just 5.2 seconds, while the maximum speed is 250 km/h - electronically limited. Although the new powerplant added an extra 180 kg to the overall weight, the model feels solid and well-balanced, despite the obvious mass "leaning" on the front axle. Just to remind you it is not an ordinary B-Class, the team also styled the B 55 to look as a true sports car: dark-tinted headlights, black louvres for the radiator grille and center-mounted twin exhaust pipes. Inside, the changes are quite unnoticeable: just a new, flat-bottomed, 3-spoke steering wheel, garnished with fine Alcantara leather, and a 300 km/h-labeled tachometer.

Source of the photos >> Autocar

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