Mercedes shows off V8-powered B-Class

The idea of squeezing eight-cylinder engines into small cars is the wet dream of every grease monkey who asked for a hoist this Christmas, but it's unusual to hear about mainstream manufacturers bragging about this kind of tomfoolery.

So kudos to Mercedes then, who took the trouble to issue a press release bragging about this one-off B-Class built by trainees at the manufacturer's Rastatt plant.

Challenged to do something special with the diminutive car, the technical vocational training department seized on the idea of wedging a 5.5-litre V8 under the bonnet.

That wheeze was achieved without making any serious modifications to the way the B-Class looks, despite the addition of AMG brakes, a seven-speed automatic gearbox and, incredibly, the rear axle from the previous E-Class.

The result has been dubbed the B 55, and with 385bhp being sent to the rear wheels, it's the now the car we all want to find in our proverbial stocking.

Mercedes says it hasn't put the car on the track yet, but reckons it'll manage 62mph in less than 6 seconds. It also says the car is a guaranteed head turner as soon as you turn the key. We bet it is.
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