The Mercedes-Benz R 63 AMG may be gone, but the spirit of the stupid-fast Mercedes van lives on. Today, it's even more extreme, thanks to one German tuner that engine-swapped a Mercedes V-class with the twin-turbo V8 from the G 63 off-roader.
Created by Mercedes tuner GAD-Motors, this seven-seater V 250D van was originally powered by a 190-horsepower diesel motor. It served as a shop van for a while before its engine bay was gutted to fit AMG's M177 V8, which is the 4.0-liter used in the likes of the E 63 and G 63. Because of packaging constraints, GAD had to redesign its oil cooler and completely redo its exhaust, complete with a catalytic converter and particulate filter to make it legal in Germany.
Even with these restrictions, though, the van still makes a claimed 900 horsepower. That's almost five times what it originally made, and approaching double the power of an AMG GT. Surprisingly, GAD says the van doesn't struggle at all with the power, describing the driving experience as "harmonious" with "excellent handling." That's likely thanks to the van's modified suspension and brakes with carbon-ceramic rotors. These brakes came from an AMG GT-R, according to CarSpyMedia, which filmed the van being tested on the Nürburgring by one of the track's driving instructors.
GAD-Motors says it's still working on the van's legality, as Germany's TÜV is notorious for its lofty standards for roadworthiness. But this van doesn't appear destined to be a one-off: a passage on GAD-Motors' website suggests they plan to build and sell as many as 10 vans a year. That means it's not about to kick the old R 63 AMG out of the Greatest Vans Ever Club, but it's not like it needs to—that's still a pantheon in need of more members.
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