Best of the Best 2008: Speciality Vehicles: Performance Tuner: Renntech Mercedes-Benz 65-series

To imply that the stock twin-turbo V-12 engines in the current Mercedes-Benz CL65, S65, and SL65 AMG performance models are sufficiently powered would be like saying Johann Sebastian Bach was just a decent musician. But to satisfy power-hungry customers, Renntech, the Florida-based Mercedes-Benz tuner, recently announced upgrades for the 2008 65-series AMG sedans, coupes, and roadsters. The entire package, called PKG3, costs about $19,000, plus installation. It includes a larger intercooler pump that reduces intake temperature by more than 20 degrees, a secondary heat exchanger, and carbon-fiber air boxes that improve airflow. This enables Renntech to increase boost pressure throughout the rpm range, so that the engine delivers more consistent power.

A sonorous, distinctive growl from the rear-mounted quad pipes alerts passersby of the extra 91 horsepower and 152 ft lbs of torque—for a total of 695 hp and 890 ft lbs of torque. Hartmut Feyl, the owner and founder of Renntech and former technical director of AMG North America, claims that his stainless-steel sport mufflers “let the car sound the way it is supposed to.” Which is like classical German music to a driving enthusiast’s ears.

Renntech, 561.845.7888, www.renntechmercedes.com

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