The W140 Mercedes S-Class has always been available with plenty of grunt, but AMG tuner Renntech saw fit to give the mighty luxobarge a 615bhp V12 upgrade. The resulting beast is known as the 2022 Renntech S76R, which is based on a 1992 600 SEL.
The 1990s was when Mercedes really started to turn up the power in its flagship luxury sedan. Even the six-cylinder models outperformed the W126’s V8s, with the range-topping 6.0-litre V12 putting out 402bhp. Back in the day, Renntech found those engines up to 7.4 liters, tuning them up to 585 hp.
However, technology has evolved, and now, 30 years later, Renntech is able to do much more. The tuning house further bored and stroked the engine to 7.6 liters, making it the largest displacement M120 V12 to date. The engine was thus rebuilt with lightweight titanium pistons and connecting rods, along with ported heads, performance camshafts and other support mods.
The result is 605 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque, numbers that are impressive for a new vehicle built today. Amazingly, it’s all under the command of an old 1996 Bosch ME-1 engine control unit running a custom Renntech performance tune. The engine is mated to an upgraded 722.6 five-speed automatic transmission to handle the added power, with an OS Giken limited-slip differential in the rear helping put the power down.
Fortunately, the large carbon ceramic brakes provide enough stopping power to keep the engine’s performance in check. The car also gets wide, 19-inch wheels wrapped in sticky modern rubber for more grip, along with lowered springs for a sportier stance.
Aesthetically, the car has been given the full AMG treatment with ground effects all around and a Renntech spoiler on the boot. Inside, the interior features bold black and red diamond-stitched upholstery with Renntech logos on the headrests to remind everyone what you’re driving. The three-seat rear bench has been swapped for the more comfortable two-seat option, giving the car four seats in total.
The S76R will deliver a sprint from zero to 60 km/h in the low five-second range, while retaining the safe feel of being in a W140 S-Class. For those who want a classic luxury car without all the annoying modern bells and whistles, it’s hard to imagine anything better. Twelve cylinders, lots of power and a car with buttons instead of screens. Who could ask for more?
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