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The Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG Was the Rare, V8-Powered Minivan of Our Dreams

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author photo by Will Kinton September 2016

Most enthusiasts hate the idea of owning a minivan. Most minivans are boring, practical to a fault and representative of the most uncool thing in the world: parents. But in the mid-2000s, Mercedes-Benz had their AMG performance division cook up the wildest and most desirable minivan of all time: the Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG.

The R63 AMG featured the hand-built 6.2-liter V8 from the CLK63 AMG sports car. This beautiful engine sent 507 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels, allowing the 5,300-lb van to hit 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds and push onward to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. AMG also upgraded the R63's suspension and added extra-large brakes to help increase stopping power, making the van quite spry for its size. Inside, the R63 was luxurious and comfortable, with an interior befitting of the $84,700 price tag.

To add to the absurdity, the R63 AMG had an estimated fuel economy of 12 miles per gallon in the city and 16 mpg on the highway -- and it even came equipped with a lap timer built into the navigation system, just in case you wanted to take the whole family out for a track day.

Unfortunately, while the R63 was undeniably awesome, it was also undeniably pointless. There really was no good reason for anyone to buy the R63 when it was new, and so nobody really did. This pointlessness wasn't lost on its creators either: The R63 AMG was never advertised -- in fact, it could only be special-ordered from Mercedes, and it was discontinued after 1 year. In total, less than 200 R63 AMG models were sold in the United States, which means that it could probably be the world's only family van that may, someday, appreciate in value.

"All art is quite useless," Oscar Wilde wrote in the preface of "The Picture of Dorian Gray." What Wilde was getting at, more or less, is that a work of art does not -- and should not -- have a utility beyond being an expression of its creators. Its purpose is "simply to create a mood," according to Wilde. By that definition, the R63 AMG could be considered a work of art, with a mood created by bonkers German engineers.

The R63 AMG exists for no purpose other than itself. Its entire purpose is to create a sense of awe, and creating awe is all that this vehicle is ever supposed to do. Essentially, this 507-hp people-mover is nothing more than an expression of the soul of AMG.

If you want to own an R63 AMG, you should set an Autotrader alert, because there are currently zero R63 AMGs for sale on Autotrader. Welcome to the world of art collecting.

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Used 2007 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
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Used 2007 Mercedes-Benz  Luxury
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG Was the Rare, V8-Powered Minivan of Our Dreams - Autotrader