Mercedes-Benz 300 E (W124) sedan
|Production||November 1984 – July 1995 (sedan)
October 1985 – June 1996 (estate)
April 1987 – late 1996 (coupé)
March 1992 – July 1997 (convertible)
|Designer||Bruno Sacco (1981, 1982)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size luxury / Executive car (E)|
|Body style||4-door sedan
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
4-speed (floor or column)
|Wheelbase||Sedan & estate: 110.2 in (2,799 mm)
Coupé: 106.9 in (2,715 mm)
Limo: 141.7 in (3,599 mm)
|Length||Estate: 188.2 in (4,780 mm)
Sedan: 187.2 in (4,755 mm)
Coupé: 183.9 in (4,671 mm)
Limo: 218.1 in (5,540 mm)
|Width||68.5 in (1,740 mm)
E500 Sedan: 70.7 in (1,796 mm)
|Height||Estate: 59.8 in (1,519 mm)
Sedan: 56.3 in (1,430 mm)
Coupé: 55.5 in (1,410 mm)
Convertible: 54.8 in (1,392 mm)
E500 Sedan: 55.4 in (1,407 mm)
Limo: 58.3 in (1,481 mm)
|Curb weight||3927 lb (500 E)
3826 lb (400 E)
|Successor||Mercedes-Benz W210 (sedan & estate)
Mercedes-Benz W208 (coupé & convertible)
W124 is the Mercedes-Benz internal chassis-designation for the 1984 to 1995/96 version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, as well as the first generation to be officially referred to as E-Class. The W124 models replaced the W123 models after 1984 and were succeeded by the W210 E-Class after 1995.
In North America, the W124 was sold for the 1985 through 1996 model years.
The W124 is a mid-sized vehicle platform. Due to the high cost of German engineering and build quality, the W124 was designed to last many miles, with awards actually given and worn by high mileage versions.
Front suspension uses a separate spring and damper with a rubber top mount. The rear suspension of the W124 features the Mercedes multi-link axle introduced in 1982 with the Mercedes 190 and which is now standard on many modern cars. Estate cars (and optionally, saloons and coupés) had Citroen-like rear self-leveling suspension with suspension struts rather than shock absorbers, gas-filled suspension spheres to provide damping and an under bonnet pressurizing pump. Unlike the traditional Citroën application Mercedes opted for a fixed ride height and employed rear coil springs to maintain the static ride height when parked.
The R129 SL roadster was based on the W124 platform, and in return, W124 was later equipped with one of the roadster's engines, creating the 500 E.
Much of the 124's engineering and many of its features were advanced automotive technology at its introduction, incorporating innovations that have been adopted throughout the industry. It had one of the lowest coefficient of drag (Cd) of any vehicle of the time (0.28 for the 200/200D model for the European market with 185/65 R15 tires) due to its aerodynamic body, that included plastic molding for the undercarriage to streamline airflow beneath the car, reducing fuel consumption and wind noise. It had a single windscreen wiper that had an eccentric mechanism at its base that extended the wiper's reach to the top corners of the windscreen (more than if it had traveled in a simple arc). The saloon/sedan, coupés and convertibles had optional rear headrests that would fold down remotely to improve rearward visibility when required. This feature was not available for the T-model because of its specific layout (no space to store the retractable headrests), but the estate serially came with a "neighbour-friendly" rear door that was pulled in the shut-position silently and automatically by a sensor-controlled servomotor. This allowed the use of a tighter fitting rear gate, minimizing the cabin noise in the T-model - sometimes an area of concern for station wagons.
With the exception of the 200, which was equipped with a Stromberg or Pierburg carburetor but was not available to the United States, fuel injection was standard, and the engines incorporated features that maximised performance. The most notable such feature was the addition of an oxygen sensor in the exhaust system which, in conjunction with a semi-electronic fuel injection system, could make the engine run more efficiently. This improved fuel consumption while simultaneously meeting stricter emission regulations. Mercedes-Benz's four-wheel drive system, the 4Matic was first introduced on the W124 in 1987.
The estate cars (chassis designation S124) came in 5- or 7-seat models, the 7-seater having a rear-facing bench seat that folded flush luggage compartment cover and an optional (in the US until 1994) retractable cargo net. To provide a flat loading floor with the seat folded down, the T-model's rear seat squab was mounted about 10 cm (3.9 in) higher than in saloons, robbing rear seat passengers of some head room. The S124 estate continued in production alongside the new W210 until the S210 estate launched more than a year later. A two-door coupé version was also built, with the chassis designation C124.
Mercedes launched a cabriolet (convertible) version in Europe in 1991, the 300CE-24 cabriolet, and in the UK (RHD) and Japan (LHD). The 320CE, and North America, the 300CE, in 1992. These versions were re-designated as the E 320 in 1993, complemented by the less powerful, but less expensive E 220 in 1993, and the mainland-Europe-only E 200 in 1994. Mercedes brought the E 320 cabriolet (convertible) to the USA and Japan from 1993 to 1995. There were 68 E 36 AMG cabriolets built from 1993 until 1996 (54 LHD and 14 RHD) to complement the also rare E 36 AMG coupé, saloon (RHD only), and estate. The pre-merger AMG coupés are based on the 124 series 2 update. The AMG 3.4 CE (300CE-24 based coupé) were all LHD, 25 were produced from 1988 until 1993. There were also 7 cabriolets built, and eleven saloons (and possibly estates). AMG Japan also carried out such conversions locally.
The E 320, E 220, and E 200 cabriolets ceased production in 1997. Indian assembly (in a joint-venture with Telco called Mercedes-Benz India) began in March 1995. Offered with four-cylinder diesel engines built by Mercedes' Indian partner Bajaj Tempo, the W124 was replaced there in December 1997.
Local manufacture in Indonesia are known to continue production of the W124 until 2000 despite the W210 was already introduced in late 1996, making it the last country to locally produce the car since its worldwide discontinuation in 1995. At this time, only two variants were offered; the E 220 and E 320 (the other variants were discontinued in 1996).
SsangYong Motor Company of Korea licensed the W124 design and continues to produce a stretched and rebodied version of the W124 as the Chairman, with a Ssangyong badge. It has a 2.9 m (110 in) wheelbase and 3.2 L Mercedes inline-six M104 engine. Chairman currently has 2.3 L (M111), 2.8 L (M104), and 3.2 L (M104) engines in its product line-ups. SsangYong Chairman has developed a 3.6 L version of M104 engine recently for its high-end Chairman line up. The engine is called XGi360.
The pre-facelift models from 1984 to 1993 used the model designations: 200/200 T (carburettor), 200 E/200 TE, 230 E/230 TE, 230 CE, 260 E (saloon only), 300 E/TE, 300 CE, 300 E-24/300 CE-24/300 TE-24 valve, 400 E (not in the UK), & 500 E (LHD only in the UK). Diesels were the 200 D/200 TD (not in the UK), 250 D/250 TD & the 300 D/300 TD. Facelift models produced from 1993 to 1996 used the model designations: E 200, E 220, E 280, E 320, E 420 (not in the UK) & E 500 (LHD only in the UK). Both saloon and estate versions of the facelifted model carried the same model designation on their bootlid, i.e. the T was no longer used for estate versions. In the UK post-facelift diesels were E 250 Diesel (saloon only) and E 300 Diesel (saloon & estate) models. The W124 was also offered as a long wheelbase targeted for taxi companies, but more luxury equipped version was also used as a limousine.
The pre-facelift four-cylinder models came standard with four-speed manual transmission, but could be ordered with the five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. After the facelift, the four-speed manual was dropped, and five-speed manual became standard. Five- and six-cylinder engines had five-speed manual as standard (except for 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel, and AMG variants), and optional four-speed automatic. Cars with V8 engines, 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engines, all-wheel drive (from 1990) and AMG models were available only with four-speed automatic. 24-valve petrol engines (300 E-24, 300 TE-24, 300 CE-24, and later 2.8- and 3.2-litre models) could also be ordered with five-speed automatic.
The four-wheel drive system (4MATIC) was available from 1987 with 2.6- and 3.0-litre petrol and 3.0-litre diesel engines with 12 valves. It was not available with coupés and convertibles. From 1987 to 1989, the four-wheel drive cars (except the turbocharged diesel) had five-speed manual transmission as standard, with optional four-speed automatic. From 1990, the manual transmission was available only with 260 E, and the larger engines were available only with four-speed automatic.
|Chassis code||Years||Model||Engine||Body style|
|124.019||1993–94||200 E||2.0 L M111.940 I4||Sedan|
|124.020||1984–92||200||2.0 L M102.922 I4||Sedan|
|124.021||1984–92||200 E||2.0 L M102.963 I4||Sedan|
|124.022||1993–94||220 E||2.2 L M111.960 I4||Sedan|
|124.023||1984–92||230 E||2.3 L M102.982 I4||Sedan|
|124.026||1987–90||260 E||2.6 L M103.940 I6||Sedan|
|1990–92||300 E 2.6|
|124.028||1993–94||280 E, 300 E 2.8||2.8 L M104.942 I6||Sedan|
|124.030||1986–92||300 E||3.0 L M103.983 I6||Sedan|
|124.031||1990–93||300 E-24||3.0 L M104.980 I6||Sedan|
|124.032||1993–94||300 E||3.2 L M104.992 I6||Sedan|
|124.034||1992–93||400 E||4.2 L M119.975 V8||Sedan|
|124.036||1991–93||500 E||5.0 L M119.974 V8||Sedan|
|124.036 (option 957)||1993–94||E 60 AMG||6.0 L M119 E60 V8||Sedan|
|124.120||1986–89||200 D||2.0 L OM601.912 Diesel I4||Sedan|
|124.125||1986–89||250 D||2.5 L OM602.912 Diesel I5||Sedan|
|124.126||1993–96||E 250 Diesel||2.5 L OM605.911 Diesel I5||Sedan|
|124.128||1990–93||250 D Turbo, 300D 2.5 Turbo||2.5 L OM602.962 Turbo Diesel I5||Sedan|
|124.130||1986–93||300 D||3.0 L OM603.912 Diesel I6||Sedan|
|124.131||1994–96||E 300 Diesel||3.0 L OM606.910 Diesel I6||Sedan|
|124.133||1987–93||300 D Turbo||3.0 L OM603.960 Turbo Diesel I6||Sedan|
|124.226||1986–93||260 E 4Matic||2.6 L M103.943 I6||Sedan|
|124.230||1986–93||300 E 4Matic||3.0 L M103.985 I6||Sedan|
|124.330||1986–93||300 D 4Matic||3.0 L OM603.913 I6||Sedan|
|124.040||1993–94||200 CE||2.0 L M111.940 I4||Coupé|
|124.042||1993–94||220 CE||2.2 L M111.960 I4||Coupé|
|124.043||1984–92||230 CE||2.3 L M102.982 I4||Coupé|
|124.050||1988–89||300 CE||3.0 L M103.983 I6||Coupé|
|124.051||1990–93||300CE-24||3.0 L M104.980 I6||Coupé|
|124.052||1993–94||300 CE||3.2 L M104.992 I6||Coupé|
|124.060||1993–94||200 CE||2.0 L M111.940 I4||Cabriolet|
|124.061||1990–93||300 CE-24||3.0 L M104.980 I6||Cabriolet|
|124.062||1993–94||220 CE||2.2 L M111.960 I4||Cabriolet|
|124.066||1993–94||300 CE||3.2 L M104.992 I6||Cabriolet|
|124.079||1993–94||200 TE||2.0 L M111.940 I4||Estate|
|124.080||1988–93||200 T||2.0 L M102.922 I4||Estate|
|124.081||1988–93||200 TE||2.0 L M102.963 I4||Estate|
|124.082||1993–96||E 220||2.2 L M111.960 I4||Estate|
|124.083||1985-92  ||230TE||2.3 L M102.982 I4||Estate|
|124.088||1993–94||280 TE, 300TE 2.8||2.8 L M104.942 I6||Estate|
|124.090||1988–91||300 TE||3.0 L M103.983 I6||Estate|
|124.091||1989–92||300 TE-24||3.0 L M104.980 I6||Estate|
|124.290||1986–93||300 TE 4Matic||3.0 L M103.985 I6||Estate|
|124.092||1993–94||300 TE, 320 TE||3.2 L M104.992 I6||Estate|
|124.180||1986–89||200 TD||2.0 L OM601.912 Diesel I4||Estate|
|124.185||1986–89||250 TD||2.5 L OM602.912 Diesel I5||Estate|
Dimensions and weight
|Body style||Wheelbase||Length||Width||Height||Curb weight|
|Sedan||2,800 mm (110.2 in)||4,740 mm (186.6 in)||1,740 mm (68.5 in)||1,428 mm (56.2 in)
1,451 mm (57.1 in) (4Matic)
|1,390 kg (3,064 lb)|
|Sedan LWB||3,600 mm (141.7 in)||5,540 mm (218.1 in)||1,740 mm (68.5 in)||1,480 mm (58.3 in)||1,635 kg (3,605 lb)|
|Estate||2,800 mm (110.2 in)||4,765 mm (187.6 in)||1,740 mm (68.5 in)||1,489 mm (58.6 in)
1,498 mm (59.0 in) (4Matic)
|1,510 kg (3,329 lb)|
|Coupé||2,715 mm (106.9 in)||4,655 mm (183.3 in)||1,740 mm (68.5 in)||1,394 mm (54.9 in)
1,391 mm (54.8 in) (convertible)
|1,630 kg (3,594 lb)|
|500 E||2,800 mm (110.2 in)||4,750 mm (187.0 in)||1,796 mm (70.7 in)||1,410 mm (55.5 in)||1,710 kg (3,770 lb)|
Mercedes-Benz V124 Limousine
Mercedes-Benz offered an option called "Sportline" for the W124 and W201 chassis cars. This option was available in the North American market for the 1992–93 model year 190 E 2.6, 1992–93 300 E/300 CE and 1993–95 E 320/E 320 Coupé. In the European market, however, the "Sportline" option was available for all body styles except the E 500/500 E, all of which came standard with the Sportline package and every option. The package included sport seating (sedans, not coupés), wider wheels (7" rather than 6.5") with wider profile tyres (205/60 x 15 rather than 195/65 x 15), quick ratio steering and a smaller diameter steering wheel, "Sportline" badges on the front wing moldings and gear knob, a slightly lowered ride height and a specially tuned suspension including shorter, stiffer springs, struts, anti-roll bars, and bushings.
The suspension components of the Sportline package were available as an option on all cars, including estates, as option 650—sports chassis with 15-hole alloy rims and option 653—sports chassis with eight-hole light alloy rims.
Mercedes also included a high performance version of the W124, the 500 E, created in close cooperation with and assembled by Porsche. It used the 5.0L 32-valve V8 M119 Engine based upon the 500 SL (R129) roadster, and Porsche engineered the suspension and chassis design with a performance bias.
In some countries, the final batch of W124 was sold as the limited edition Masterpiece in 1995. Following the impending release of its successor, the Mercedes-Benz W210, the remaining units of W124 were fitted with additional accessories found in stock models such as walnut steering wheel (optional), airbag for front passenger, walnut center console glove box, electric rear blind and rear seat side window sunshade (optional). There were also 4 unique pieces of accessories fitted to Masterpieces which were not available to any other W124 around the world – gear knob engraved with the word Masterpiece, stainless door sills engraved with Mercedes Benz, Masterpiece label on the right side of the boot and the brand new 6-hole very light alloy wheels.
|Maximum speed||Fuel consumption (Euro mix)|
|2.0 8V||I4||105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp)||160 N·m (118 lb·ft)||12.6||187 km/h (116 mph)|
|2.0 8V||I4||109 PS (80 kW; 108 hp)||170 N·m (125 lb·ft)|
|2.0 8V||I4||118 PS (87 kW; 116 hp)||172 N·m (127 lb·ft)||12.0–14.0||175–190 km/h||8.6 L/100 km (33 mpg‑imp; 27 mpg‑US)|
|2.3 8V||I4||132 PS (97 kW; 130 hp)||198 N·m (146 lb·ft)||10.4||204 km/h (127 mph)|
|2.0 16V||I4||136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp)||190 N·m (140 lb·ft)||11.5–12.1||183–200 km/h||8.7 L/100 km (32 mpg‑imp; 27 mpg‑US)|
|2.3 8V||I4||136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp)||205 N·m (151 lb·ft)||11.2–13.5||185–200 km/h||9.0 L/100 km (31 mpg‑imp; 26 mpg‑US)|
|2.2 16V||I4||150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp)||210 N·m (155 lb·ft)||10.6–11.1||193–210 km/h||8.8 L/100 km (32 mpg‑imp; 27 mpg‑US)|
|2.6 12V||I6||160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp)||220 N·m (162 lb·ft)||9.0-11.3||200–215 km/h (124–134 mph)|
|2.6 12V||I6||166 PS (122 kW; 164 hp)||230 N·m (170 lb·ft)||8.7–10.5||210–218 km/h||10.0 L/100 km (28 mpg‑imp; 24 mpg‑US)|
|2.6 12V||I6||170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp)||240 N·m (177 lb·ft)||8.7||212 km/h||10.5 L/100 km (27 mpg‑imp; 22 mpg‑US)|
|3.0 12V||I6||180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp)||255 N·m (188 lb·ft)||7.9–9.1||207–225 km/h||10.9 L/100 km (26 mpg‑imp; 21.6 mpg‑US)|
|3.0 12V||I6||188 PS (138 kW; 185 hp)||260 N·m (192 lb·ft)||7.9–9.6||207–228 km/h||10.9 L/100 km (26 mpg‑imp; 21.6 mpg‑US)|
|2.8 24V||I6||193 PS (142 kW; 190 hp)||270 N·m (199 lb·ft)||8.8-10.2||213–230 km/h (132–143 mph)||10.7 L/100 km (26 mpg‑imp; 22 mpg‑US)|
|2.8 24V||I6||197 PS (145 kW; 194 hp)||270 N·m (199 lb·ft)||8.8–9.1||213–230 km/h||10.7 L/100 km (26 mpg‑imp; 22 mpg‑US)|
|3.0 24V||I6||220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp)||265 N·m (195 lb·ft)||7.8–8.4||217–237 km/h||11.0 L/100 km (26 mpg‑imp; 21.4 mpg‑US)|
|3.2 24V||I6||220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp)||310 N·m (229 lb·ft)||7.8–8.3||235–243 km/h||10.9 L/100 km (26 mpg‑imp; 21.6 mpg‑US)|
|3.6 24V AMG||I6||272 PS (200 kW; 268 hp)||385 N·m (284 lb·ft)||7.0–7.2||250 km/h (155 mph)||11.0 L/100 km (26 mpg‑imp; 21.4 mpg‑US)|
|4.2 32V||V8||279 PS (205 kW; 275 hp)||400 N·m (295 lb·ft)||6.8||250 km/h (155 mph)||11.8 L/100 km (24 mpg‑imp; 19.9 mpg‑US)|
|5.0 32V||V8||320 PS (235 kW; 316 hp)||480 N·m (354 lb·ft)||5.9||250 km/h (155 mph)||13.5 L/100 km (20.9 mpg‑imp; 17.4 mpg‑US)|
|5.0 32V||V8||326 PS (240 kW; 322 hp)||480 N·m (354 lb·ft)||5.9||250 km/h (155 mph)|
|6.0 32V||V8||381 PS (280 kW; 376 hp)||580 N·m (428 lb·ft)||5.4||250 km/h (155 mph)||14.5 L/100 km (19.5 mpg‑imp; 16.2 mpg‑US)|
|2.0 8V D||I4||75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp)||126 N·m (93 lb·ft)||19.5–21.5||160–180 km/h (99–112 mph)||6.7 L/100 km (42 mpg‑imp; 35 mpg‑US)|
|2.0 16V D||I4||109 PS (80 kW; 108 hp)||123 N·m (91 lb·ft)||17.6||195 km/h (121 mph)|
|2.5 10V D||I5||90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp)||154 N·m (114 lb·ft)||16.5||175 km/h (109 mph)|
|2.5 10V D||I5||94 PS (69 kW; 93 hp)||158 N·m (117 lb·ft)||16.5–18.5||160–165 km/h||7.2 L/100 km (39 mpg‑imp; 33 mpg‑US)|
|3.0 12V D||I6||111 PS (82 kW; 109 hp)||185 N·m (136 lb·ft)||13.7||190 km/h (118 mph)|
|2.5 20V D||I5||113 PS (83 kW; 111 hp)||173 N·m (128 lb·ft)||18.5–20.4||190 km/h||6.8 L/100 km (42 mpg‑imp; 35 mpg‑US)|
|3.0 12V D||I6||117 PS (86 kW; 115 hp)||191 N·m (141 lb·ft)||15.0–16.4||175–190 km/h||7.8 L/100 km (36 mpg‑imp; 30 mpg‑US)|
|2.5 10V TD||I5||122 PS (90 kW; 120 hp)||225 N·m (166 lb·ft)||12.3||195 km/h (121 mph)|
|2.5 10V TD||I5||126 PS (93 kW; 124 hp)||231 N·m (170 lb·ft)||12.5–13.0||190–195 km/h||7.5 L/100 km (38 mpg‑imp; 31 mpg‑US)|
|3.0 24V D||I6||136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp)||210 N·m (155 lb·ft)||12.8–13.8||187–200 km/h||7.4 L/100 km (38 mpg‑imp; 32 mpg‑US)|
|3.0 12V TD||I6||143 PS (105 kW; 141 hp)||267 N·m (197 lb·ft)||10.9||202 km/h (126 mph)|
|3.0 12V TD||I6||147 PS (108 kW; 145 hp)||273 N·m (201 lb·ft)||10.9–12.8||186–200 km/h||7.8 L/100 km (36 mpg‑imp; 30 mpg‑US)|
Some main innovations of the W124 series were related to occupant safety. Derived from the Mercedes 190 (W201), with which the W124 shares the basic layout, its likewise angular body was designed to withstand an offset-crash in a concrete barrier at some 35mph (56km/h) without serious harm to the occupants and a largely undamaged passenger cabin, a windshield that stays in place and doors easily opened without special recovery tools. This crash-test configuration became the base for the Euro-NCAP procedure currently being the standard crash-test configuration in the EU. Unlike Euro-NCAP, Mercedes required the body of the W124 to withstand an offset impact from the front and from the rear.
The W124 also featured a driver's side airbag (optional in Europe, later standard in the USA), height-adjustable seat belts with electronic-mechanical pre-tensioneers (standard) for both front passengers, rear seat belts which automatically adapted to the size of the passengers (standard), pedals that were moved inversely in a frontal impact (away from the drivers feet and in the direction of the bulkhead separating the cabin from the engine) and door arm rests with deformable elements designed to reduce abdominal injury risk resulting from a side impact.
The dashboard made of impact-absorbing, artificial foam was reinforced with a thin aluminium layer which effectively prevented hoses, valves, housings and other components from heating and engine from penetrating through the dashboard inside the passenger cabin in a severe impact. The passenger glove box also featured a defined point of rupture, which considerably reduced the probability of front passenger injuries.
Apart from the Mercedes 190, the W124 was the first serially manufactured car in history to see widespread use of light-weight high-strength steels, which today are a standard in car design.
From late 1988 on, the W124 was one of the first cars available with a passenger's side front-airbag as an option, initially only in Europe, and from 1990 onwards in North America.
The W124 gained a good reputation for reliability. In 1995 the diesel engined version topped the "upper middle class" category in a reliability survey of 4–6-year-old cars undertaken by the German Automobile Association (ADAC), with 11.8 recorded breakdowns per 1,000 vehicles for four-year-old cars and 21.6 for six-year-old ones: this compared with 14.6 breakdowns per 1,000 cars for four-year-old Audi 100s and 27.3 for six-year-old big Audis.
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Media related to Mercedes-Benz W124 at Wikimedia Commons
- Curbside Classic: Mercedes W124 (1985–1996 E-Class) The Best Car Of The Past Thirty Years – retrospective of the W124
- http://www.w124.org French speaking club for all Mercedes W124 (1984–1996)