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Mercedes-Benz 300 SE long Sedan (W112)
|Also called||300SE / 300SE long|
|Assembly||Stuttgart Untertürkheim, Germany|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury car|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Engine||3000 cc M189 I6|
|Predecessor||Mercedes-Benz W189 (4-door)|
Mercedes-Benz W188 (2-door)
|Successor||Mercedes-Benz W109 (4-door)|
Mercedes-Benz W111 (280SE 3.5, 2-door)
- See Mercedes-Benz S-Class for a complete overview of all S-Class models.
The Mercedes-Benz W112, marketed as the Mercedes-Benz 300SE, is an automobile produced by Mercedes-Benz from 1962 to 1967. It was available as a coupé, convertible and sedan. The cars were based on the Mercedes-Benz W111 Fintail chassis and coachwork, but fitted with the 3.0 litre fuel-injected M189 big-block six-cylinder engine, standard luxury features such as air suspension, power steering, and automatic transmission, and a higher level of wood and leather trim. The stretched wheelbase 300SEL appeared in 1963.
The previous generation of Mercedes models featured three types of chassis: those mass produced on a unibody Ponton chassis, which included the entry-level 4-cylinder 180/190 series, mid-range 220 series of sedan, coupe, and convertible, and 190SL sports coupe and roadster; a luxury range of coachwork-built 300 series sedan, coupe, convertible, and roadster, hand-crafted on a pre-war X-frame chassis; and the exotic 300SL coupe/roadster, built on a unique tubular chassis.
In the late 1950s, Daimler-Benz AG began plans to unify its entire model range on one platform in order to take advantage of economies of scale. Assembly of all 2-door 300S W187s ended in 1955, and in 1958, the fuel-injected W128 220SE "Ponton" was introduced. The new generation of 220/220S/200SE W111 "Fintail" sedans was introduced in 1959. These were joined in 1961 by the 220SE W111 coupe and convertible, as well as the four-cylinder W110 190 and 190D. Since a replacement for the big 300d Adenauer limousine was still being developed, its fuel-injected 3-litre six-cylinder engine was installed in the W111 and supplemented with luxury features and detailing to create the W112.
Externally the W112 displayed substantially more chrome and had bigger 14" wheels. Luxury features such as power steering, air suspension, and automatic transmission were standard (though a manual transmission would return as an option). The car cost almost twice the price of the top range W111 220SE. The 300SE's performance was the top of the Mercedes line, with the M189 six-cylinder engine producing 160 hp (170 after 1964) and giving a top speed of 180 km/h (190 after 1964, both figures 175 and 185 for automatic transmission respectively).
In march of 1963, the 300SE long-wheelbase sedan made its debut, but without an L added for "Lang" ("long" in German). The L in the models designation -and so in its trunk emblem- appeared with the subsequent W108 and W109 models. An equal neither of the grand 300 "Adenauer" that preceded it, or the standard-setting 600 (W100) limousine that also appeared in 1963, it became the most expensive and exclusive Mercedes 300-series of its day.
Impact of the 600
The W112 turned out to be a very short-lived venture. With the company's top niche filled by the 600, demand for the W112 plummeted and production volume fell drastically: in 1962 a total of 2,769 were built, but the next year this fell to 1,382, and in 1965 with the coming of the W108/109 series, the sedan W112 was dropped, with a total of 6,748 300SEs in standard and long wheelbase built. In 1962, for every W112 sedan 24 W111s rolled off the production line, while by 1964, this ratio was almost 1:40.
The 2-door coupe and cabriolet W112s, which arrived in 1962, only a year later after the première of the 2-door W111s, fared better. The latter was offered as a single 220SE model, and sold in a 5:1 ratio to the 2-door 300SE. Two-door W111/W112 production continued after 1965 with the coming of the new generation W108/W109 sedans. However, in Nov 1967, the now-ancient M189 engine was replaced by a 2.8 litre straight-6 and used in the 280SE. At least one 300SE Convertible, with M189 engine, was produced for the Frankfurt Auto show with updated equipment and styling for the 1968 standards but the line was discontinued before the new year for all 2 door W112 autos.
The W112 models have no relation to the 1991 Mercedes-Benz C112 experimental mid-engined sportscar.
- 1961–1965 300 SE Sedan (5,202 built)
- 1962–1967 300 SE Coupé (2,419 built)
- 1962–1967 300 SE Cabriolet (708 built)
- 1963–1965 300 SE long long-wheelbase Sedan (1,546 built, often wrongly referred to as the 300 SEL, a designation not used until 1966)
- "Mercedes-Benz U.S Models". Hiwaay.net. Archived from the original on November 25, 2005. Retrieved December 1, 2005.