The Benz was outfitted with onboard radar detection, an aircraft tracker, and the Waze app.
See all 6 photos
The Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash hasn’t been a thing for decades, since Car and Driver-affiliated ruffians such as editor Brock Yates had something to protest with their flagrantly illegal, cross-country race on public roads. Back in the 1970s, the federal government had just laid down a 55-mph national speed limit, an affront to driving enthusiasts who knew faster speeds were possible and no less safe. These days, several states have speed limits of 80 mph or more, sapping some of the gravity from balls-to-the-wall speed contests on public roads, though that hasn’t stopped numerous attempts at the speed record over the years or the team that just broke the current record, according to a report in Road and Track.
Using a previous-generation 2015 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG sedan modified with a larger fuel tank, a 700-plus-hp engine, and a U.S. Navy ship’s worth of electronic surveillance and signal-jamming equipment, Arne Toman and Doug Tabbutt (and a spotter, Berkeley Chadwick) hurtled from New York to Los Angeles in 27 hours and 25 minutes- including stops -earlier this November. To place that in perspective, the previous record was 28 hours and 50 minutes. That also means the E63 averaged 103 mph over 2825.3 miles-again, stops included-between the Red Ball parking garage in Manhattan and the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California.
See all 6 photos
However you feel about a German sedan pummeling American highways at triple-digit speeds, the car that was used is quite awesome. As a 2015 model, the E63 is pre-Mercedes-AMG (so, it’s a Mercedes-Benz AMG), that came stock with a 550-to-577-hp twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 and a 21.1-gallon fuel tank. Both were upgraded for the record attempt, with the former being pumped to such a degree as to deliver 700 horsepower at the wheels, while the latter was augmented by a custom-installed 45-gallon fuel cell that takes up most of the Benz’s trunk.
To keep apprised of police movements along the route, the E63 took on a human spotter (Chadwick) along with radar detectors, laser jammers, a police scanner, and an aircraft-detection system typically used by, well, aircraft. The setup is used to prevent planes from crashing into one another midair, but the team installed it in the Benz to hunt down speed-monitoring aircraft-although they never once encountered such a plane during …read more
Source:: Daily Times