The Mercedes-Benz 300E was the base for what would become one of the best sports sedans of all time. 

Based on the Mercedes-Benz 300E sedan, the AMG Hammer was the car that showed Mercedes how to do a sports sedan.

It was the hottest European sedan you could find when it came out and remains one of the most respected and sought after cars of all time.

While still mostly resembling the base sedan, the Hammer notched up the intensity level, with a slammed body kit and large wheels, making it downright intimidating. First built in 1986, the Hammer still looks good today (which can’t be said for the majority of ‘80s cars), and it’ll still outperform most cars on the road. 

This Merc is the German Hotrod

The Hammer was made by Mercedes-AMG – the high-performance line of Mercedes-Benz – to be one of the fastest sedans of all time. With a 0-60 time of around five seconds and an 180-plus mph top speed, the Hammer could hang with other, more exotic performance vehicles such as the Porsche 911 Turbo or the Ferrari Testarossa although it might not be as pretty.

The Hammer was subtle enough to catch many people off guard as it blasted past. 

To compete with exotic sports cars, AMG shoehorned a 365 hp 5.6-liter V8 into an engine bay originally designed for a 3.0-liter I6. The 5.6-liter engine could be bored out to 6.0-liters for additional horses. All that power was routed through a four-speed transmission.

In addition to the massive engine, the Hammer also had a more robust rear subframe to withstand all the twist coming from the power plant, a Torsen limited-slip differential, 17-inch wheels wearing fat Pirelli tires and an upgraded suspension with more aggressive damping and a lower ride height. All of this helped support the massive amount of power coming from under the hood and gave the Hammer great handling capabilities.

The Hammer’s Impact

The Hammer could put most other sports cars to shame. 

The Hammer changed what a sports sedan was, and it allowed Mercedes to experiment a little more. Mercedes saw what AMG was able to do with one of its wonderful, but boring sedans and decided they too could play the sports sedan game. Only a few years after the release of the AMG Hammer, the iconic Mercedes-Benz 500E rolled off the assembly line. Providing everyone with the luxurious sleeper they’d really been looking for.

While the Hammer was certainly intimidating and announced its presence on the road with its good looks and massive engine, in comparison with the other sports cars of the ‘80s it was rather reserved. Its demure styling helped people realize that just because a car has a lot of power doesn’t mean its exterior has to scream sports car.