Who said old diesel buses are boring?
We’ve seen a fair share of performance Mercedes-AMGs on the German Autobahn and, for us, it’s always interesting to watch these six- and eight-cylinder beasts accelerate to their top speeds at an unrestricted section of the country’s highway. Fortunately, the proposed speed limit was not approved by the German parliament last month, which means nothing can’t stop us from sharing new Autobahn runs captured on video. Like the clip that’s embedded at the top of this page, showing a rather unusual scenario.
Instead of a recent AMG product, this time around we have a 15-year-old Mercedes Sprinter bus that’s actually converted into an ambulance. The exact model is a 2004 Sprinter 313 CDI, which means it’s from the first generation of the model (produced between 1995 and 2006) and is powered by a 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. With 129 horsepower (95 kilowatts) and 221 pound-feet (300 Newton-meters), it’s one of the most powerful powertrains of the first-gen Sprinter series. It is mated to a six-speed piloted transmission and should allow the Sprinter to reach a top speed of 96 miles per hour (155 kilometers per hour).
Nothing really exciting, right? On paper, it isn’t but there must be something special in driving a 6,600-pound (3,000-kilogram) diesel bus with more than 87 mph (140 kph). We couldn’t spot the exact top speed achieved by the machine but it’s obviously very close to the factory claimed velocity, when the four-cylinder engine runs comfortably at above 3,500 rpm.
Now, what’s next – a BMW M3 police car on the Autobahn? Yes, please.