Normally this comparison wouldn’t even be a contest. Despite its classy pretensions, the average 40 year old Mercedes couldn’t hold a candle to the a newer model in performance or luxury coddling.
They key word there, is normally. This particular 280SE 3.5 is anything but.
This classic to kick-ass restoration was created by Mechatronik, a german restomod company that specializes in treating Mercedes. No one would fault the 280E on looks, and with the help of Mechatronic, no one can fault it on performance either. The biggest change is under the hood. Instead of the relatively pokey 2.8L straight-six, the 280SE is packing a 5.4L modern Mercedes V8. With 354 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque this thing will smoke tires with the best of them. They’ve also brought the brakes and suspension into the 21st century while keeping the rest of car as classy as at came off the lot.
It’s modern equivalent, the CL63 AMG, hardly needs an introduction. Coincidentially, the two have similar displacements, but the new Benz has waaay more power. As in, 536 horses of the stuff. the CL is everything you would hope for in a modern Mercedes. But how does it stack up against it’s reborn ancestor? See for yourself below.