Mercedes-Benz W126

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Mercedes-Benz W126
1984 Mercedes-Benz 380 SE (W 126) sedan (2015-08-07) 01.jpg
1984 Mercedes-Benz 380 SE (W126)
  • December 1979 – April 1992 (sedan)
  • September 1981 – October 1991 (coupé)
  • ?–1994 (sedan, South Africa)
AssemblyGermany: Sindelfingen
Malaysia: Johor Bahru (OASB)[1]
South Africa: East London
DesignerBruno Sacco (sedan: 1975, 1976; coupe: 1977)
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size luxury car (F)
Grand tourer (C126)
Body style4-door sedan
2-door coupé (C126)
LayoutFR layout
RelatedMonteverdi Tiara
3.0 L OM617 diesel
2.6 L M103
2.8 L M110
3.0 L M103
3.0 L OM603 diesel
3.5 L OM603 diesel
3.8 L M116
4.2 L M116
5.0 L M117
5.5 L M117
Transmission4-speed 4G-TRONIC automatic
4-speed manual
5-speed manual
WheelbaseSedan (SWB): 2,935 mm (115.6 in)
Sedan (LWB): 3,075 mm (121.1 in)
Coupe: 2,850 mm (112.2 in)
LengthSedan (SWB): 4,995–5,020 mm (196.7–197.6 in)
Sedan (LWB): 5,135–5,160 mm (202.2–203.1 in)
Coupe: 4,910–4,935 mm (193.3–194.3 in)
WidthSedan: 1,820 mm (71.7 in)
Coupe: 1,828 mm (72.0 in)
HeightSedan (SWB): 1,430–1,437 mm (56.3–56.6 in)
Sedan (LWB): 1,441 mm (56.7 in)
Coupe: 1,406 mm (55.4 in)
PredecessorMercedes-Benz W116 (sedan)
Mercedes-Benz C107 (coupé)
SuccessorMercedes-Benz W140
Mercedes-Benz C140 (coupé)

The Mercedes-Benz W126 is a series of S-Class automobiles manufactured by Mercedes-Benz between 1979 and 1992. Premiering in September 1979 as the successor to the W116 line, the W126 was the second generation to officially bear that prestigious designation, an abbreviation for the German Sonderklasse or "special class." It introduced many Mercedes-Benz safety innovations, including the first seatbelt pretensioners.[2]

The W126 was initially offered with straight-six, V8, and a turbocharged diesel engine for the sedan. A C126 2-door coupé versions was introduced in September 1981.

The W126's twelve-year production run between 1979 and 1991 was the longest of any S-Class generation since that designation began to be used by the company in the 1970s, an homage to the first "S" designated top-class models, the mid-1950s 300 S and 300 Sc.[2][3]


Following the debut of the 1970s generation W116 (which also included the limited-production Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9), Mercedes-Benz began plans for the next-generation S-Class model in October 1973. Codenamed "project W126,"[2] the project had specific goals: an improved ride, better handling, and improved fuel efficiency.[3] These improvements were aimed at helping retain the S-Class' market leadership as the world's best-selling prestige luxury sedan.[2] Mercedes-Benz had made fuel efficiency an especially pertinent goal (named "Energy Program"),[4] even in the large V8 engined versions of the S-Class.

In terms of the body design, the objective of the W126 design team, led by Mercedes-Benz's Bruno Sacco, was to produce a car that was sleeker and more aerodynamic than the previous model. The application of lighter materials and alloys combined with thorough wind tunnel testing to reduce overall drag meant the car consumed about 10% less fuel than its predecessor.[3]

After six years of development, the W126 was formally introduced at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (International Motor Show, or IAA) in Frankfurt on September 1979.[5] The initial lineup featured seven models in standard (SE S-Klasse-Einspritzmotor, SD S-Klasse-Diesel) and long (SEL, SDL) wheelbase sedan body styles: the 280 SE/SEL, 380 SE/SEL, 500 SE/SEL and 300 SD. Technically, the long-wheelbase (SEL) variants were codenamed V126, but this was not popularly known.[2] In 1981, the coupé version C126 (SEC, acronym for (German) S-Klasse-Einspritzmotor-Coupé) of the W126 S-Class premiered at the IAA with the 500 SEC model. In 1981, Wheels Magazine selected the W126 model 380 SE as its Car of the Year.[6]

Although the top of range Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9 of the previous generation was not directly replaced, the W126 carried forward the hydropneumatic suspension of the 6.9 as an option on the 500 SEL and later on 420 SEL and 560 SEL models.

Four years after the introduction of the fuel-efficiency "Energy Program," the model range had been reworked completely. In September 1985, again at the IAA in Frankfurt, the reworked model range was reintroduced. Apart from visual changes to the bumpers, side covers and larger 15 inch wheels with a new design on the hubcaps and alloys (optional), there where a number of technical upgrades as well as changes made to the available collection of engine variants was most visible. Two newly constructed 6-cylinder engines and new 4.2- and 5.6-litre V8s were added, and other engines were further upgraded.

The W126 generation was replaced by the W140 in 1991, although a satellite factory in South Africa is known to have continued production until 1994. The different body styles of the W126 S-Class achieved a combined sales total of 892,123 units (818,063 sedans and 74,060 coupés), making the W126 the most popular S-Class ever produced.


Facelift Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL (V126)

From 1973 to 1975, Mercedes-Benz designers worked on the successor to the W116. In December 1975, after several design concepts being presented, the design for the W126 S-Class was approved and frozen in 1976.[7] Design work on the coupe began immediately afterward, being finalized in 1977. It signaled a new era for Mercedes-Benz design; the aesthetics of which set the tone for the entire lineup in the subsequent decade. Indeed, in the automotive industry, the W126 had a significant influence on international car design theory and execution well into the 1990s.

Compared to its predecessor, the W116, the W126 featured improved aerodynamics (with a drag coefficient of Cd 0.36 for the sedans, 0.34 for the coupés).[2] For the first time, and to the consternation of some of the marque's traditionalists, the W126 was the first Mercedes not to come equipped with traditional chrome bumpers. In their place, polyurethane deformable bumpers were used, and visually aligned with body panels.[3] Design patents were first filed on March 3, 1977 and later on September 6, 1977 at the United States Patent Office.[8]

In 1985, Mercedes-Benz issued a facelift for the 126 series cars; revised bumpers, body side protection mouldings, and wheel designs differentiated the updated models. The 14" so-called "Bundt" rims more or less standardized throughout the MB family since 1969 were replaced with the 15-slot flat-faced silver painted alloy rims that would carry the entire Mercedes-Benz line into the early 1990s.

The interior featured pleated leather on the doors and leather seats in the North American markets; while global markets were also offered Velour seats. Zebrano wood trim was used on all S-Class models during the first phase of the generation's run (1979-1985) with Burl Walnut featured in the flagship models in the second phase (1986-1991) the 560SEC and 560SEL.


Pre-facelift Mercedes-Benz W126 380 SE (standard wheelbase version)
Facelift Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL V126 (long-wheelbase version)
Facelift 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE
Pre-facelift Mercedes-Benz C126 SEC (coupe)
Pre-facelift Mercedes-Benz C126 SEC (coupe)
Facelift Mercedes-Benz C126 SEC (coupe)
Facelift Mercedes-Benz C126 SEC (coupe)

The W126 series (named in accordance to their engine size) initially included the 280, 300, 380, and 500 series models. Following the first S-Class mid-cycle refresh, the W126 series included 260, 300, 350, 420, 500, and 560 models. Variants included SE (standard wheelbase), SEL (long-wheelbase), SEC (coupé), and diesel models (SD and SDL).

Years Model Chassis Engine Market Built
1979–1985 280 S W126.021 M110.924 2.8 L I6 carburetor N/A in US 42,996
1979–1985 280 SE W126.022 M110.989/ M110.987 2.8 L I6 N/A in US 133,955
1979–1985 380 SE W126.032 M116.963 3.8 L V8 58,239
1979–1985 500 SE W126.036 M117.963 5.0 L V8 N/A in US & AU 33,418 (79–91)
1980–1985 280 SEL W126.023 M110.989/M110.987 2.8 L I6 N/A in US 20,655
1980–1985 300 SD W126.120 OM617.951 3.0 L I5 US & CA only 78,725
1980–1985 380 SEL W126.033 M116.963 3.8 L V8 27,014
1980–1985 500 SEL W126.037 M117.963 5.0 L V8 72,733 (80–91)
1980–1985 500 SEC W126.044 M117.963 5.0 L V8 30,184 (80–91)
1981–1985 380 SEC W126.043 M116.963 3.8 L V8 11,267
1985–1991 260 SE W126.020 M103.941 2.6 L I6 N/A in US & AU 20,836
1985–1991 300 SE W126.024 M103.981 3.0 L I6 105,422
1985–1991 420 SE W126.034 M116.965 4.2 L V8 N/A in US 13,996
1985–1991 420 SEL W126.035 M116.965 4.2 L V8 74,017
1985–1991 420 SEC W126.046 M116.965 4.2 L V8 N/A in US 3,680
1985–1991 500 SE W126.036 M117.965 5.0 L V8 N/A in US
1985–1991 500 SEL W126.037 M117.965 5.0 L V8 N/A in US
1985–1991 500 SEC W126.044 M117.965 5.0 L V8 N/A in US
1985–1991 560 SEL W126.039 M117.968 5.5 L V8 75,071
1985–1991 560 SEC W126.045 M117.968 5.5 L V8 28,929
1985–1993 300 SEL W126.025 M103.981 3.0 L I6 40,956
1986–1987 300 SDL W126.125 OM603.961 3.0 L I6 US & CA Only 13,830
1988–1991 560 SE W126.038 M117.968 5.5 L V8 N/A in US & AU 1,251
1991 350 SD W126.134 OM603.97 3.5 L I6 US & CA Only 2,066
1990–1991 350 SDL W126.135 OM603.97 3.5 L I6 US & CA Only 2,925
Saloon Total[9] 818,105
Coupe Total[9] 74,060

Dimensions and weight[edit]

Body style Wheelbase Length Width Height Curb weight
Sedan (short-wheelbase) 2,935 mm (115.6 in) 4,995–5,020 mm (196.7–197.6 in) 1,820 mm (71.7 in) 1,430–1,437 mm (56.3–56.6 in) 1,600 kg (3,527 lb)
Sedan (long-wheelbase) 3,075 mm (121.1 in) 5,135–5,160 mm (202.2–203.1 in) 1,820 mm (71.7 in) 1,441 mm (56.7 in) 1,600 kg (3,527 lb)
Coupe 2,850 mm (112.2 in) 4,910–4,935 mm (193.3–194.3 in) 1,828 mm (72.0 in) 1,406 mm (55.4 in) 1,610 kg (3,549 lb)



Novel luxury features/options included the following safety, comfort, and technological features. While almost all of these features are available on modern luxury cars today, each in its own right was considered very significant in the 1980s. The harmonious and "matter-of-fact" way which these were combined, as well as their renowned durability, has added to the appeal of W126.


Late model W126 with Airbag, leather seats, and Burlwood interior wood trim. Left hand Drive.
  • Airbags, as an additional measure of occupant protection. The driver side airbag premiered on 1981 models, as an optional extra (standard from 1985 on 500 SEL and 500 SEC), and the passenger side airbag premiered in 1987 and became available in February 1988 (as an optional extra; due to its expense, few early production W126 cars were thus equipped). The passenger side airbag became standard in 1988 for the 1989 U.S. V8 models and was made standard in 1990 for all 1991 models.[3]
  • Traction control system (TCS), also known as Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR) to prevent wheelspin (a Mercedes-Benz first). Available only on European models from 1989 until the model year 1991, when it was introduced on 560 SEL and SEC models in the United States for that last production year only.
  • Seat belt pretensioners ETR enabled all seat belts (with exception of rear centre lap belt on sedans) to tighten when the car sensed conditions that could lead to an accident (such as sudden, forceful braking).
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) (as introduced by its predecessor, the W116) was optional until 1985 except on premier 500 SEL and 500 SEC models.
  • Crumple zones front and rear which absorbed impact energies, reducing passenger injury.
  • Fluted taillights continuing the design pioneered on the W116, a design that helped maximise visibility of taillights from behind the car even when extremely dirty
  • A third brakelight from 1985 on US-model cars, which provided a third brake lamp in the center of the rear windscreen as a safety feature.
  • Use of high strength low alloy steel (HSLA) in its construction

Comfort and convenience[edit]

Early model W126 without airbag, MB-Tex seats, and Zebrano interior wood trim. Right Hand Drive.
  • Courtesy lights on the underside of the doors, to enable the occupant to see the ground when exiting the vehicle in the dark. And on sedan models, individual, rear cabin reading lamps aimed at the rear-seat occupants' laps so as to avoid distracting the driver at night.
  • Eight-way powered, dual stage heated front seats, with two setting memory functions for both front occupants to retain positions of power adjustable steering column and seat position for driver; and seat position for front passenger. The seat heaters were standard on the 560 SEL/SEC, and an option on other models. Later-production (post-facelift) models so equipped had higher wattage heated seats, as compared to earlier models.
  • Two-way powered, dual stage heated rear "Chesterfield" bench seat (pre-1990 SELs) with four-way manually adjustable rear headrests that was standard on flagship 500 SEL and 560 SEL models.
  • As an option on the 500 SEL and 560 SEL, individual, power adjustable rear seats were provided with a burl walnut grained centre console that replaced the centre seat to allow for a 2 + 2 seating format.
  • An optional fully automatic climate control system that used an interior temperature sensor to more accurately climatize the cabin. This sensor was mounted overhead (near the sunroof switch) so that when the roof was open, the sensor would detect cool air-flow and call upon the system to adjust heat flow accordingly.
  • Exterior temperature sensor with LCD display set in main instrument console below the speedometer to inform the driver of exterior conditions. This was delineated in Fahrenheit for US-market cars, and in Celsius for the rest of the world.

Drivetrain technologies[edit]

  • Four-speed automatic transmission with a topographical sensor that monitored the vehicle's position (whether on an incline or decline) and gas pedal position. The result was an extraordinary capacity to "hold back" acceleration when coasting downhill. Additionally, the flagship offered a hill hold feature that maintained the vehicle's position after coming to a complete stop on a steep incline. The transmission was programmed to start in second gear so as to permit smooth, drama-free launches. Second gear start could be switched on and off in European models with a S/W switch to allow more performance orientated driving versus winter driving.
  • The W126 carried forward the self-leveling hydropneumatic suspension of the W116 450 SEL 6.9 model. There were two versions of the self-leveling suspension for the sedan: a rear only hydraulic suspension using two nitrogen ballasts to automatically level the car, and a four-wheel hydraulic leveling system that could be set in three positions. The coupés were only available with the rear-leveling from the factory. In the US, rear-leveling was standard on both the 560 SEC and the 560 SEL, and optional on the 500 SEC and SEL. The four-wheel hydraulic leveling system was never made available for North American-market cars.
  • Cruise control that used the transmission's topographical sensor to appropriately add and cut back the throttle fluidly as needed in order to maintain the desired set speed. The result was a cruise control that was free of the sudden throttle inputs and undesired downhill excess speed that plagued many contemporary cruise control systems.


In September 1985, two newly constructed SOHC 2 valves per cylinder inline-six engines, M103 (already used in the new mid-sized Mercedes-Benz W124 series), replaced the 2.8-litre DOHC M110 engines. The carburetted version was replaced by a 2.6-litre fuel injection engine, while the 3.0-litre version replaced the fuel injected M110. Also new was a 4.2-litre V8 engine, designed to replace the 3.8-litre version used in the W126 sedans, coupés, and the SL-Class. The 5.0-litre engine was modified to receive electronic ignition system and in form of the Bosch KE-jetronic electronic-mechanical fuel injection. Performance was increased to 245 hp (183 kW). An ECE version of the 5.0-litre M117 V8 engine was also available from September 1987 with a power output of 265 hp (198 kW)

The largest new V8 engine was the 5.5 L (5,547 cc) that was a further development from the 5-litre version. An increased stroke of 94.8 mm (3.73 in) resulted in an increased peak power output of 272 hp (203 kW). There was a higher compression ratio of 10:1 version available, if required, that produced 300 PS (296 bhp; 221 kW) at 5000 rpm and 455 N⋅m (336 lbf⋅ft) at 3750 rpm of torque.[13] This version was only available without catalytic converter. But even without the catalytic converter this ECE version, as it was known, would meet the emission requirements of the European community.

A 3.0-litre inline-five cylinder turbo diesel was offered from 1981–1985 in North America. In 1986, the 300SD was replaced with the 300SDL. It was part of the second generation of W126 model lineup. The five-cylinder engine was replaced with the new inline six-cylinder engine and the engine was only offered in long-wheelbase. The new engine had 148 hp (110 kW) compared to 125 hp (93 kW) of the previous version. California specification 1986 and all 1987 cars were the first diesel cars to have a diesel particulate filter. This early implementation did not hold up under normal use, and was replaced by a standard diesel oxidization catalyst in the course of a recall.

Engine Cyl. Power Torque 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) Maximum speed Notes[14]
2.6 12V I6 166 PS (122 kW; 164 hp) 228 N⋅m (168 lb⋅ft) 205 km/h (127 mph) From MY 1986
2.6 12V* I6 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) 220 N⋅m (162 lb⋅ft) 205 km/h (127 mph) From MY 1986
2.8 12V carb. I6 156 PS (115 kW; 154 hp) 223 N⋅m (164 lb⋅ft) 11.0s 200 km/h (124 mph) MY 1980–1985
2.8 12V inj. I6 185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp) 240 N⋅m (177 lb⋅ft) 10.0s 210 km/h (130 mph) MY 1980–1985
3.0 12V* I6 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) 255 N⋅m (188 lb⋅ft) 210 km/h (130 mph) From MY 1986
3.0 12V I6 188 PS (138 kW; 185 hp) 260 N⋅m (192 lb⋅ft) 210 km/h (130 mph) From MY 1986
3.8 16V V8 218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp) 299 N⋅m (221 lb⋅ft) 215 km/h (134 mph) MY 1980–1981
3.8 16V V8 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp) 315 N⋅m (232 lb⋅ft) 9.3s 205 km/h (127 mph) MY 1982–1985
4.2 16V* V8 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp) 310 N⋅m (229 lb⋅ft) 210 km/h (130 mph) MY 1986
4.2 16V V8 218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp) 330 N⋅m (243 lb⋅ft) 9.0s 218 km/h (135 mph) MY 1986
4.2 16V* V8 224 PS (165 kW; 221 hp) 325 N⋅m (240 lb⋅ft) 8.3s 218 km/h (135 mph) From MY 1987
4.2 16V V8 231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp) 335 N⋅m (247 lb⋅ft) 8.1s 222 km/h (138 mph) From MY 1987
5.0 16V V8 223 PS (164 kW; 220 hp) 365 N⋅m (269 lb⋅ft) 8.0s 220 km/h (137 mph) From MY 1986
5.0 16V V8 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) 402 N⋅m (296 lb⋅ft) 225 km/h (140 mph) MY 1980–1981
5.0 16V V8 231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp) 405 N⋅m (299 lb⋅ft) 8.1s 220 km/h (137 mph) MY 1982–1985
5.0 16V V8 245 PS (180 kW; 242 hp) 400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft) 7.6s 230 km/h (143 mph) MY 1986
5.0 16V* V8 223 PS (164 kW; 220 hp) 358 N⋅m (264 lb⋅ft) 220 km/h (137 mph) MY 1986
5.0 16V* V8 252 PS (185 kW; 249 hp) 390 N⋅m (288 lb⋅ft) 7.5s 230 km/h (143 mph) From MY 1987
5.0 16V V8 265 PS (195 kW; 261 hp) 405 N⋅m (299 lb⋅ft) 7.3s 235 km/h (146 mph) From MY 1987
5.5 16V* V8 242 PS (178 kW; 239 hp) 390 N⋅m (288 lb⋅ft) 7.6s 228 km/h (142 mph) MY 1986
5.5 16V* V8 279 PS (205 kW; 275 hp) 430 N⋅m (317 lb⋅ft) 7.2s 240 km/h (149 mph) From MY 1987
5.5 16V V8 272 PS (200 kW; 268 hp) 421 N⋅m (311 lb⋅ft) 250 km/h (155 mph) MY 1986
5.5 16V RÜF V8 300 PS (221 kW; 296 hp) 456 N⋅m (336 lb⋅ft) 250 km/h (155 mph) From MY 1987
5.5 16V ECE V8 300 PS (221 kW; 296 hp) 455 N⋅m (336 lb⋅ft) 6.9s 250 km/h (155 mph) MY 1986/87
3.0 TD I5 125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp) 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) 15.2s 175 km/h (109 mph) MY 1980–1985
3.0 TD I6 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) 273 N⋅m (201 lb⋅ft) 12.5s 195 km/h (121 mph) MY 1986/87
3.5 TD I6 136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp) 310 N⋅m (229 lb⋅ft) 13.0s 175 km/h (109 mph) MY 1990/91
* = Catalyst version

Special variants[edit]

Mercedes-Benz W126 six-door stretch limousine
  • AMG offered body kits for all W126 models, as well as a widebody kit for the coupé. AMG also offered many levels of engine tuning, but was most famous for the DOHC 6.0-litre engine, based on the original 117.968 engine. Also offered was a Gleason Torsen differential in varying ratios, manual transmission (extremely rare), and various TV/radio consoles.
  • Trasco Bremen offered a stretch limousine version called the "1000 SEL".[15]
  • A variety of coachbuilders offered convertibles based on the SEC (coupé) model. Caruna of Switzerland also offered a full four-door convertible based on the SEL (but using the SE's shorter rear doors). One of these still belongs to Dutch Royal Family, who use it at their resort in Porto Ercole, Italy.[16]
  • Like the current model S-Guard, specially modified W126 S-Class models were produced for the transport of dignitaries and world leaders. Among the modifications made included a wheelbase stretch, bulletproof glass, and armored body panels.

U.S. grey market[edit]

Grey-market Mercedes-Benz 500 SE

The 500 SEL has an interesting place in U.S. automotive history, since American demand for this particular car was high, it drove the establishment of a large grey market. The 380 SE/SEL/SEC was perceived as underpowered by American standards, according to contemporary reports, thus driving up demand for the more powerful version that was the 500. Approximately 22,000 units per year of grey market Mercedes-Benz (including the 500 SE/SEL) were sold in the early 1980s, according to contemporary reports in the Los Angeles Times.[17]


Two AMG-modified 500 SEC cars raced at the 1989 24 Hours of Spa. Both cars failed to finish, with one suffering gearbox issues, while the other had issues with the rear axle.[18]


The W126 S-Class achieved several awards during its production period. The W126 model 300 SD was the Motor Trend Import Car of the Year in 1981. The W126 model 380 SE was the Wheels Magazine Car of the Year in 1981,[6] the W126 was awarded the U.S. Highway Loss Data Institute "Safest Passenger Car of the Year" in 1988 and 1989,[2] and the W126 was the third-ranked luxury vehicle in J.D. Power's 1990 Initial Quality Survey (IQS).[19] In 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990, with the W126 S-Class leading its sales, Mercedes-Benz received the highest customer ratings in the J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index.[20]


The W126 series of S-Class has been the most popular S-Class on record in terms of units produced. The W126's 12-year production run was longer than any S-Class before or since. The additional production of W126 models until 1994 in South Africa following the debut of the W140 S-Class in 1991 was a testament to the W126's popularity in the export market. Many W126s have been prominently featured in films long after production ended.[21] Many world leaders of the time could be seen being driven around in a W126. Nelson Mandela owned a red 500 SE.[22] Saddam Hussein used to himself drive at least one made to order flame throwing, armoured 560 SEL.[23] Even today, many countries use this particular model for the transportation of heads of state.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Leeps (1989-06-04). "Rust Busters". New Straits Times. Retrieved 2015-05-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Ian Dunross Mercedes-Benz W126 S-class Homepage". Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
  3. ^ a b c d e "S-Klasse Club information". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  4. ^ "The unofficial W126 homepage – model history". Archived from the original on 1999-03-02. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  5. ^ Rombauts, Walter, ed. (1979-09-15). "Salon van Frankfurt is aanklacht tegen politieke machthebbers" [Frankfurt Show is an indictment of political leaders]. Keesings Auto Magazine (in Dutch). Antwerp, Belgium. 2 (17): 16–18.
  6. ^ a b Gable, Chris (2008-09-04). "Wheels' COTY the real McCoy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
  7. ^ "The Facts". Archived from the original on 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b All figures for saloon and coupé according to: Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945–1990, vol.4. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 112–113. ISBN 3-613-02131-5. and Kittler, Eberhard (2001). Deutsche Autos seit 1990, vol.6. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. p. 190. ISBN 3-613-02052-1.
  10. ^ "W126 SE @ carfolio". 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  11. ^ "W126 SEL @ carfolio". 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  12. ^ "W126 SEC @ carfolio". 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  13. ^ "1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC Automatic C 126 C 126 E 56". 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  14. ^ All data except acceleration and top speed figures according to: Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945–1990, vol.4. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 112–124. ISBN 3-613-02131-5.
  15. ^ "Transco Bremen Stretch Limousine 1000SEL". Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  16. ^ Karssen, Wouter (2009-06-16). "Juultje had smaak: Mercedes-Benz 380 SEL Caruna" [Juultje had taste] (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  17. ^ Dean, Paul. Wheeling-Dealing Gray Market Hits the Skids Bad Publicity, Corporate Action, Legislation Put Brakes on Car Conversions. The Los Angeles Times, July 11, 1986
  18. ^ "Mercedes-Benz 500SEC – Complete Archive". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  19. ^ Lexus No. 1 in New-Car Quality Survey, The Los Angeles Times, Jul 4, 1990 (Versus an average of 140 problems per 100 cars, the S-Class averaged 74.5, behind only the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus LS)
  20. ^ Sanchez, Jesus. Mercedes Still Ranks No. 1 in Poll of New Car Buyers. The Los Angeles Times, August 8, 1990
  21. ^ "S-Klasse Club buying advice". Archived from the original on 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
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  • Alder, Trevor (1996). Mercedes-Benz S-Class Saloons, 1972–91: Road Tests & Articles. Transport Source Books. ASIN B005U5LANQ.
  • Barrett, Frank (1998). Illustrated Buyer's Guide Mercedes-Benz. Motorbooks International Illustrated Buyer's Guide series (2nd ed.). Osceola, WI, USA: MBI Publishing. ISBN 0760304513.
  • Clarke, R.M., ed. (2001). Mercedes S-Class Limited Edition Extra 1980–91. Road Test Series. Cobham, Surrey, UK: Brooklands Books. ISBN 1855205815.
  • Clarke, R.M., ed. (2007). Mercedes AMG Gold Portfolio 1983-1999. Road Test Portfolio Series. Cobham, Surrey, UK: Brooklands Books. ISBN 9781855207455.
  • Engelen, Günter (2002). Mercedes-Benz Personenwagen Band 3 Seit 1986 [Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars Volume 3 Since 1986]. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3613021692. (in German)
  • Greene, Nik (2019). Mercedes-Benz W126 S-Class 1979-1991. Ramsbury, Marlborough, UK: The Crowood Press. ISBN 9781785005411.
  • Greene, Nik (2018). Buying and Maintaining a 126 S-class Mercedes. Ramsbury, Marlborough, UK: The Crowood Press. ISBN 9781785002441.
  • Häußermann, Martin (2006). Mercedes-Benz S-Class: The brochures since 1952. Archive edition of the DaimlerChrysler Group Archive. Bielefeld, Germany: Delius Klasing. ISBN 3768817202.
  • Häußermann, Martin (2006). Mercedes-Benz – The Large Coupés: The brochures since 1951. Archive edition of the DaimlerChrysler Group Archive. Bielefeld, Germany: Delius Klasing. ISBN 3768818330.
  • Hofner, Heribert (1997). Die S-Klasse von Mercedes-Benz: von der Kultur des Fahrens [The S-Class from Mercedes-Benz: from the culture of driving] (in German). Augsburg: Bechtermünz Verlag. ISBN 3-86047-589-4.
  • Hofner, Heribert; Schrader, Halwart (2005). Mercedes-Benz Automobile Band 2: von 1964 bis heute [Mercedes-Benz Automobiles Volume 2: from 1964 to today]. Königswinter, Germany: Heel. ISBN 3898804194. (in German)
  • Howard, Geoffrey (1984). Mercedes Benz S-Class and the 190 16E. High Performance Series. London: Cadogan Publications. ISBN 0947754083.
  • Kittler, Eberhard (2002). Typenkompass Mercedes-Benz Band 2. Personenwagen seit 1976 [Typenkompass Mercedes-Benz Volume 2. Passenger Cars since 1976]. Typenkompass series (in German). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3613022095.
  • Lange, Matthias (2012). Die 126er Codes – jetzt entschlüsselt: Die S-Klasse von 1979 bis 1991 [The 126er Codes – now uncrypted: The S-Class from 1979 to 1991] (in German). Bonn: Mercedes-Benz Interessengemeinschaft. ISBN 9783981509007.
  • Larimer, Fred (2004). Mercedes-Benz Buyer's Guide: Roadsters, Coupes, and Convertibles. St. Paul, MN, USA: MBI Publishing. ISBN 0760318115.
  • Niemann, Harry (2006). Personenwagen von Mercedes-Benz: Automobillegenden und Geschichten seit 1886 [Passenger Cars from Mercedes-Benz: Automobile Legends and Stories since 1886]. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3613025965. (in German)
  • Oswald, Werner (2001). Mercedes-Benz Personenwagen Band 2 1945–1985 [Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars Volume 2 1945–1985]. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3613021684. (in German)
  • Pitt, Colin, ed. (2002). Mercedes-Benz W126 W140 W220. Hockley, Essex, UK: Unique Motor Books. ISBN 1841555150.
  • Röcke, Matthias (1991). Das große Mercedes-S-Klasse-Buch: alle Modellreihen von W 108 bis W 140 (1965 bis heute) [The Big Mercedes S-Class Book: all model codes from W 108 to W 140 (1965 to today)]. Königswinter, Germany: Heel. ISBN 3893652345. (in German)
  • Röcke, Matthias (2003). Das neue große Mercedes-S-Klasse-Buch [The New Big Mercedes S-Class Book]. Königswinter, Germany: Heel. ISBN 3898801586. (in German)
  • Schlegelmilch, Rainer W.; Lehbrink, Hartmut; von Osterroth, Jochen (2013). Mercedes (revised ed.). Königswinter, Germany: Ullmann Publishing. ISBN 9783848002672.
  • Storz, Alexander Franc (2013). Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse: Baureihe W 126 1979–1991. Schrader-Typen-Chronik series (in German). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 9783613035812.
  • Taylor, James (1994). Mercedes-Benz since 1945: A Collector's Guide. Volume 4: The 1980s. Croydon, UK: Motor Racing Publications. pp. 8–40, 109, 112. ISBN 0947981772.
  • Taylor, James (2009). Mercedes-Benz: Cars of the 1990s. Crowood AutoClassic Series. Ramsbury, Marlborough, UK: The Crowood Press. pp. 9–16, 32–35. ISBN 9781847970961.
  • Taylor, James (2014). Mercedes-Benz S-Class 1972-2013. Ramsbury, Marlborough, UK: The Crowood Press. ISBN 9781847975959.
  • Vieweg, Christof (2000). Alles über die Mercedes-Benz-S-Klasse: eine Publikation der DaimlerChrysler-AG, Global Service [Everything about the Mercedes-Benz S-Class: a publication of DaimlerChrysler-AG, Global Service]. Stuttgart: DaimlerChrysler-AG, Global Service. ISBN 3932786149. (in German)
  • Zoporowski, Tobias (2019). Mercedes-Benz S-Class: W126 Series 1979 to 1991. Poundbury, Dorchester, UK: Veloce Publishing. ISBN 9781787114029.

Workshop manuals[edit]

  • Mellon, Thomas A, ed. (2001). Chilton Mercedes: Coupes/Sedans/Wagons, 1974-84 Repair Manual. Chilton Total Car Care Series. Radnor, PA, USA: Chilton; Sparkford, UK: Haynes. ISBN 0801990769.
  • Mercedes S-Klasse 280 S / 280 SE / 380 S / 500 SE. Reparaturanleitung series, Band 662. (in German). Zug, Switzerland: Verlag Bucheli. 2002. ISBN 9783716815854.
  • Mercedes S-Klasse Serie W126 ab September 79. Reparaturanleitung series, Band 929/930. (in German). Zug, Switzerland: Verlag Bucheli. 2012. ISBN 9783716817582.
  • Mercedes-Benz Technical Companion. Cambridge, MA, USA: Bentley Publishers. 2005. ISBN 9780837610337.

External links[edit]