The front spoiler on the white E500 sedan has a distinctive look of its own, using softer, more rounded edges and a contrasting black-painted center section that visually breaks up the mass of the front spoiler and ties it in with the theme of the black-painted Lorinser grille. Aluminum mesh in the air intake openings below the front bumper protects the radiator from flying stones. The horizontal bar of LED running lights is more like those on the E63 AMG, and looks a whole lot better than the token L-shaped unit normally seen on the E-Class sedans.

As with the coupe, the front quarters are replaced with new ones bearing Lorinser’s air outlet ducts. The side skirts are less contoured than the coupe’s and lead to the new rear bumper unit, which has a much deeper center cutout finished in black. This has the effect of making the rear of the car appear far less bulky than if it was color-coded to the bodywork.

Where the roof spoiler on the coupe is color-coded silver and breaks up the lines of the blacked-out roof glass, Lorinser chose to paint the rooftop spoiler of the sedan black to blend in with the roof glass. The trunklid spoiler is also painted gloss black.

While Lorinser offers interior refinements like steering wheels, alloy pedals and bespoke re-trims, these first cars were only equipped with alloy door sill plates bearing the company logo in blue.

The roads around Lorinser’s impressive Mercedes-Benz dealership in Waiblingen take you straight to the autobahn or into the countryside, so a proper test drive is never a problem. I personally prefer the countryside route as the undulating roads tell you far more about a car’s overall behavior in real-world situations.

I took the coupe out first, and initial impressions were that the wider rubber and lowered suspension achieve a good balance between ride and handling. The chassis is tauter, but the suspension still breathes easily, the car flowing down the road nicely with better body control overall. This is particularly noticeable when you encounter bumps in corners; the car recovers more convincingly.

The sedan has Airmatic suspension standard, so Lorinser add their lowering module to drop the static ride height. The ride quality is inherently suppler than the coupe’s, but that is what you want in a sedan anyway.

The extra power and torque aren’t a huge power boost in the overall scheme of things, but considering that they are achieved with just ECU remapping, the numbers are impressive.

Normally aspirated engines do not normally respond that well to ECU remapping, and you will be lucky to see a 5-7hp increase through optimizing just the fuel and ignition curves. However, the secret with getting more power and torque from the M272 and M273 engine families lies with the variable valve timing, and most of the gains are made with tweaks there.

Driving the two cars back-to-back was enlightening. While the claimed 0-62 time tumbles to 4.4 seconds with a delimited top speed of 180 mph, the difference in feel of everyday driving is of more relevance.

Both are a tad sharper than standard, with better step-off and response thanks to the e-gas throttle being dialed up. However, it was clear that the map in the sedan produced slightly better low-end range response, and I suspect that the ignition curve has more advance, running closer to the knock sensor threshold.

This shows that it’s possible to achieve a noticeably different feel just by altering the e-gas throttle response as well as the ignition advance and variable valve timing, even when the two engines show the same power and torque on the dyno.

Lorinser will have to decide which of these maps will be the production issue, with the following proviso. While you can run the ignition closer to the knock sensor in Europe where good-quality, high-octane fuel is readily available and ambient temperatures are not excessive, in hot countries with lower-grade fuel, the other map would be appropriate. As with most things in life, it is horses for courses.

Lorinser E500 Coupe/Sedan

Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

Engine
5.5-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve. Lorinser sport exhaust, ECU remap

Transmission
Seven-speed automatic

Suspension
Sport springs (coupe)
Airmatic lowering module (sedan)

Wheels and Tires
Lorinser alloys, 8.5x19
Dunlop Sport Maxx GT, 235/35 (f), 255/30 (r)

Exterior Lorinser front spoiler, side skirts, rear valance, roof and trunklid spoiler, custom front quarter-panels

Performance
Peak Power: 422 hp @ 5250 rpm
Peak Torque: 405 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm

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