The W211 E63 AMG wagon has been long lauded as one of the best mixes of powerful fun and practicality in the sector. With its 7-speed transmission and smooth naturally-aspirated powerband, its truly a fast wagon that can play the role of both sheep and wolf, on command. Its predecessor, the W211 E55 AMG wagon, is a little different...
Offered for only two years (2005-06) the E55 AMG wagon was available to only 193 lucky customers in the US (129 of them in 2005). Powered by the stone-fisted, supercharged M113K V8 delivering 469 bhp and 516 ft-lbs of torque, this iteration of the AMG W211 feels more true to a "muscle wagon" than its smoother successor, the E63. Much of this has to do with the 5-speed transmission paired to the supercharged powerplant: Power is rough, aggressive and immediate and the screaming whine under the hood let's you know its always there. Having owned both versions of the W211 AMG wagon, I can attest to the massive distinctions in feel despite extremely similar styling.
This example offered on autotrader out of Carrolton, TX is well spec'd and priced right at the retail number for these rear-hatch rarities. The black/black color combo is common, yet desirable, and cosmetic imperfections are both noted by the seller and visible in the listing photos. Bolster wear (which is common on the black nappa leather of this era) is present on the driver's side and the seller notes rock chips and swirl mark imperfections in the paint.
Heated & cooled "Dynamic" seats, Keyless-Go and the folding third-row seat round out the package to make this a well-equipped example for 2005.
The seller notes that the prior owner performed modifications to the powertrain including "shorty headers, primary cat delete and an aftermarket cooling pump". While these engines are well-renowned for being able to produce gobs of power with simple modifications such as smaller diameter supercharger pulleys and ECU tunes, buyer beware that such mods can wreak havoc on the M113K's head gasket (don't ask me how I know).
Combined with a healthy list of maintenance completed under present ownership this example seems like a worthy driver example or, if a buyer were so inclined, a nice platform to clean-up and return to stock form; with the limited production numbers, OEM examples are still bringing excellent money from the legions of W211 fanatics out there. We'd like to have seen indication of service or replacement of the troublesome Airmatic suspension components, but replacement parts from Arnott can be obtained at reasonable prices on the aftermarket should leaking or pump failure plague the next owner.
All in all, this is a tremendous amount of practical fun (and in rare form) available at a fair price from the seller. Certainly an example worth checking out if you're in the market for 500hp grocery grabber.