I don’t know whether you would consider this an upgrade or a downgrade, but swapping the CLK55’s front rotating assemblies for a set of CLK320 brakes and wheels will definitely make the car quicker at the dragstrip.
I’ve been running the heavy 18″ Mercedes-Benz E55 wheels on all four corners of the CLK55, which look great, but they aren’t be best for drag racing. Each corner weighs-in at over 50 lb, leaving a lot of room for improvement. The factory CLK320 wheels are the hot ticket for drag radials on the rear, but they also make a good low-budget “front runner”. They only weigh about 13 lb each (because they’re forged), and at 7″ wide you can fit a fairly narrow tire on them. I bought a pair of inexpensive V rated 205-60/16 tires that can be used as daily drivers, while still saving a good amount of weight for the track.
The 2002 CLK55 that I recently bought came with a set of aftermarket wheels that just didn’t work for me. They were Katana GTM wheels, which look fantastic on the company’s website, but the 18×7.5 wheels didn’t have enough “dish” to look proper on the CLK. The fronts were OK, but the rear wheels had improper offset and were tucked way too far inside the fenders, giving the car an anemic look. Of course it doesn’t help that the 7.5″ wide wheels will only support a 225-40/18 tire.
I decided to solve this problem by killing two birds with one stone. I could sell the Katana wheels and recoup some of what I paid for the car, and I could clean out my garage just a little by putting my old factory E55 wheels on the CLK.
If you are looking for better traction for your E55 you have come to the right place! The hot ticket for cutting your 60′ times is a set of Hoosier DOT Drag Radials mounted to OEM Mercedes CLK320 wheels.