Johnny Mendoza on Facebook Marketplace
There’s nothing inherently novel about a K20 swap. The engine, with its lightweight, high redline, and unbeatable reliability, is a great way to get reliable, engaging performance for a decent price. What’s wild, though, is doing a K20 swap on a Mercedes C240.
We’re used to seeing these kind of swaps in cars that have renowned dynamics but weak, fragile, rare, or uninteresting factory engines. A Fiat X1/9, with its barebones simplicity and puny OEM powertrain, is a great example. The E30 BMW 3 Series is another, only because even its relatively stout family of powertrains are all getting quite old. But a Mercedes C320 is a not particularly well-followed small executive sedan, something that doesn’t exactly scream “performance drivetrain swap.”
Yet someone has figured it out anyway. Despite the sophisticated electronics of early-Aughts Mercedes, a seller on Facebook marketplace seems to be offering a fully completed K20-swapped C320. Not only is the engine more interesting, but the transmission has been switched out for a slick Honda-sourced manual, too.
The engine itself is a K20A2, which came in the US-market RSX Type S. In this application, though, it’s been fitted with a GT30R turbocharger and a custom ECU. The seller says this combination is good for 402 hp on a dyno, although it’s worth noting that there is a broad margin of error in any dyno claim. Regardless, what’s even cooler is that the owner has retained the stock body and almost all of the interior. If you’re interested in one of the world’s most understated sleepers, it’s yours for $16,000 or a trade of an MR2, S2000, or “something rhd.”
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