There are several features which set the S55 apart from the standard S-Class, but the primary difference is the engine. Built between 2001 and 2006, from 2003 onwards the S55 was outfitted with a supercharged, 5.5 liter V8 that delivers a whopping 493 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. This ridiculous amount of power is channeled through a 5-speed automatic transmission that offers the driver some control over shifting through special buttons installed on the steering wheel. A special suspension system helps to make the S55 handle like a car half its size, giving it the almost preternatural ability to take corners. This is matched with phenomenal braking that hauls the heavy sedan down from triple digit speeds in the shortest possible distance.
The exterior of the S55 is trimmed with special front and rear bumpers to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics, along with unique AMG 18-inch wheels. The effect on such a large vehicle is imposing, stately and impressive – the S-Class manages to capture the dignity of the standard S-Class while adding an extra performance edge.
Inside the S-Class, luxuries abound. The cabin is spacious and well appointed, with almost all surfaces trimmed in leather, with special soft leather reserved for the seats. Rear seating room is nearly the equivalent of that which is offered to front seat occupants, and the vehicle also offers a long list of electronic entertainment features and driver’s aids: GPS navigation, remote vehicle assistance, and even an information management system that can keep track of news reports, weather and stock quotes.
It’s clear to see why Carlisle drives the Mercedes-Benz S55. Its understated presence is a direct reference to his own 300 years of wisdom locked behind his youthful visage and strong, assuring face. The German roots of the vehicle are also a nod to his own European heritage, one of the few ties linking him to a past tinged with moments of great compassion and great regret. Powerful, classy and relentless in its quest for automotive perfection, in the S55 Mercedes-Benz unknowingly created one of the most vampire-appropriate vehicles of our time.
The Cullen family's garage is a car junkies dream come true, with a Mercedes S Class, a Porsche 911, the Mercedes Guardian, the Ferrari F430, Edward's silver Volvo and Bella's classic 1953 Chevy pick up truck in it. We're not done yet, there are more articles about the Twilight cars to come. We've got Jacob Black's Volkswagen Rabbit, Rosalie Cullen's BMW M3 Convertible and the motorcycles that Jacob and Bella rode.