Whether you call it the Viano, the Vito, the V-Class, or the Metris, Mercedes-Benz’s flagship passenger van is a global force. One with its fair share of problems, as Doug DeMuro was all too happy to point out a few years ago. But that didn’t stop people from multiple continents from buying them. But only ten super exclusive vans get selected each year for conversion to something so much more amazing. With all the government paperwork finally sorted, our chance for 2023 is still here.
WORLD‘S FASTEST V-CLASS 620hp GAD MOTORS Mercedes V63 Bi-Turbo @ TTT Half Mile Finals 01.10.2022
For the team at GAD Motors in Germany, the only sin the V-Class ever committed did not have nearly enough power. The biggest offender, in this case, was the paltry 2.1-liter OM651 diesel four-pot that American petrolheads would identify as a golf cart engine. 200 horsepower is all you’ll manage in the most fully loaded OM651, so it’s obvious this had to be removed if GAD Motors wanted to make their Merc van any faster.
That said, the stock engine was the first thing out sent to the scrap yard in this build. What replaced it is nothing short of a monumental upgrade. It’s a gasoline-powered M177 BiTurbo 4.0-liter V8, the same as you’d find in the mid-to-late 2010’s C 63 AMG, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and DB11. Power is fed to a Mercedes-Benz 9G-Tronic TCT automatic transmission rated for up to 1,100 Newton meters (808.9 lb-ft) of torque.
More than enough strength to handle the 620 horsepower and 900 Newton meters (663.8 lb-ft) of torque this V8 swapped German passenger van casually throws around as if it were the sports sedan its engine is derived from. Couple that with a subtle but wicked exterior trim package complete with alloy wheels and a GAD badge where the Merc logo used to be, and you have one of the most desirable passenger vans of any type in the world.