Engine swaps are a dime a dozen these days, but occasionally there’s a build that goes above and beyond anything we thought possible, or even necessary. Dutch YouTuber Johan Muter swapped the wimpy engine in his 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190 out for a much larger and more powerful V-12 from a newer S-Class. Oh, and the whole thing is street and SMOG-legal in Europe, which is a massive achievement in and of itself.
Retro 190-Class cars were tremendously popular and known for their near-bulletproof reliability, but the non-Cosworth-tuned models were never known for their speed. Muter’s upgrades fix that problem, as the V-12 he sourced from an S-Class Mercedes produces nearly four times more power than the original engine did. Making the build even more awesome is the fact that he did all of the work himself.
In messages to The Drive, Muter notes that the engine is tame and barely noticeable when cruising at low speeds, but it really opens up around 4,000 RPM. In the S-Class, that big V-12 is nestled deep under a long hood and tons of sound deadening that all but mutes the growl. In the tiny W201, there’s almost nothing between the big power plant and the outside world, so all of that beautiful noise is free to fill the cabin and serenade anyone within a two-block radius.
Muter says his build was put through its paces on a dyno and turned out 424 horsepower and around 430 pound-feet of torque when running on 95-octane fuel. To get the V-12 working in the older car, he had to set up a standalone engine control unit and transmission