Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sleeper Achievement Unlocked: 2002 Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG

Mercedes-Benz started competing against BMW's benchmark M3 way back in the 1980s with their W201 based 190E 2.3-16V.  The Cossie tuned 190E was eventually replaced with the competent W202 C36 AMG, which was replaced by the brutish C43 AMG, but they were still playing catch-up until they released the W203 generation C32 AMG.  Find this 2002 Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG offered for $4,700 in Hollywood, CA via craigslist.

Before you dismiss the C32 AMG as yet another tire-melting AMG product for the aging fat-man inside all of us -- take a look at the SCCA Solo2 stock class for the C32.  The C36AMG and E55 AMG were put into F-Stock, which is a catch all for muscle sedans like the CTS-V, Dodge SRT-8, and AMX Javelins.  The C32, on the other hand, gets bumped all the way up into B-Stock, a category with cone carvers like the Honda S2000, E46 M3, Acura NSX, Porsche Cayman, STis, & Evos. The voodoo, lobbying, and general mischief that goes into SCCA stock classifications is often nonsensical, but the C32 with its supercharged V6 and automatic transmission is a standout in that class.

The C32 was a step back in displacement from the C43, but its 3.2 liter V6 was compact (helping weight distribution) and force fed via a twin-scroll supercharger to generate 354 horsepower and 332 ft-lbs of torque.  The 3500 lb sedan hits 60mph in 5.2 seconds and reaches an impressive 106 mph trap speed in the 1/4 mile.  All this can be had for less than $5k.

See a better example of a fast car that'll cost more in its first repair bill than the buy price?


  1. They're nice drivers...but people actually autocross these, or did one pro-grade driver bring his wife's car to F-Stock, cleaned out the field, and so they bumped him up to some place he'd have to take the child seats out to be competitive?

  2. Dear DT, I'm not often prone to picking nits but this is a w203. I consulted an expert and when asked if this was a W202 he kindly posted a video response here:

    1. You're right but that IS what El Jefe wrote.


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