This Mercedes 300E Has the 300-HP Straight-Six from a BMW M635CSi
A lot of purists staunchly oppose cross-brand engine swaps. LS-Swapping a Ford, Coyote-swapping a Porsche, or Honda-swapping a Toyota are all taboo in a lot of enthusiast communities. But the Road & Track staff has long appreciated weird engine swaps, which is why this Mercedes 300E with a BMW M88 looks so cool.
The car, detailed on the RM Sotheby’s auction site, is a tuned W124 from famed tuning house Hartge. Based on a 1988 Mercedes W124 300E, it’s powered by the same engine that powered the BMW M1 and E28 M5. But since it’s mated to the manual transmission from an E24, it’s fair to assume that this is an M88/3 from a M635CSi.
Of course, what variant it is hardly matters. Because in addition to being swapped into a Mercedes, this engine has also been bored out and modified to have a higher compression ratio by Hartge. The result is 330 hp, a sizable bump over the W124 300E’s original 178-hp output, and the M635CSi’s 286 hp. To cope with the extra power, Hartge also added Bilstein suspension.
It’s a unique combo, made all the more special by Hartge’s liquidation in 2019. Without a BMW specialty tuner willing to blur the lines, stuff like this won’t come around often. So if you’re a fan of weird swaps and German tuner cars, this 300E is heading to auction at the end of March. It’ll be offered in Essen, Germany, so you might want to start looking at plane tickets.
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