Earlier this month, race car driver and TV host Tanner Foust piloted a tuned Mercedes R63 AMG to a new, record-setting top speed. The minivan, a type of car Foust has never raced, hit 165.5 miles per hour (266.3 kilometers per hour) over a mile of road for Optima Batteries. It happened on August 7 during this year’s Sandhills Open Road Challenge 1-Mile Shootout.
Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG – World’s Fastest Street Legal Minivan
There’s a super-short video of the minivan crossing the finish line with the white 165.5 blazing on the board situated on the other side of the road. Stock, the R63 came with a hand-built 6.2-liter V8 making 503 horsepower (375 kilowatts) and 465 pound-feet (630 Newton-meters) of torque. However, in Foust’s race car, the mill produces 700 hp (521 kW). The extra horsepower comes from a Stage 2 M156 supercharger from Weistec Engineering, which helped with the build.
We don’t know what other modifications were made to the minivan, but earlier this year, a Weistec-tuned R63 hit the Bring A Trailer vehicle auction site that also featured the tuner’s Stage 2 supercharger, making the same 700 hp. Other upgrades to that R63 included an upgraded intercooler and exhaust system, a lowered suspension, SLS valve-lifter buckets, Brembo brakes, and more. We expect there were additional safety features added to the racer before the event.
The record-setting top speed isn’t that much higher than the R63’s stock 155-mph (250-kph) limit, though it’s still fast enough to set a new record. Go-fast minivans aren’t that common. Even Mercedes struggled to find buyers for the R63 when it was on sale, discontinuing the oddball after just one model year in 2007. The company only made 200 examples, and at least one of them is now a race car, which would make it difficult for someone to build their 165-mph tribute R63.