Kleeman E50K CC Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic Wagon is No Rules, Mostly Right
Although jacked-up all-wheel-drive station wagons have been reasonably strong sellers since the 1995 introduction of the Subaru Legacy Outback, Mercedes-Benz has been content to stay on that particular segment’s sidelines. This is despite the fact that the E-Class wagon has been available with (or, in the case of the U.S. market E wagons of late, come standard with) the company’s 4Matic AWD system for almost 30 years now. Most people seem to be okay with that fact; the folks at Kleemann (a Danish tuner that focuses on Mercedes-Benz products), however, are not most people.
The 2005 E500 4Matic Wagon (chassis code S211) you see here has been an ongoing project of Kleemann’s since it was brand new. The company concocted a set of custom fender flares, front and rear aprons and rocker panel cladding finished in gray to give the body the same sort of rugged-ish appearance that Outbacks, allroads, Cross Countries and their ilk enjoy, while ride height as been increased by a full 2” over stock. Unfortunately, 1.2” of that ride height increase was attained by lowering the engine and drivetrain, likely because the CV joints adorning the front and rear halfshafts can only articulate so far before they cry “Onkel!” In other words, don’t expect to make anything rougher than a lightly-rutted goat path your biatch in this thing.
That’s rather disappointing, but Kleemann has tried to make amends by getting some extra oomph from the engine room. It installed one of its famed twin-screw supercharger kits and a gaggle of other speed parts on the stock 5.0L V8, which now makes 587 horsepower and supposedly chucks this wagon/SUV mutt to 62 mph in less than five seconds. If that’s not enough to make Paul Hogan’s boomerang go limp, we don’t know what is.