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Mercedes Benz 124 Series - Haynes - NEW

About the Mercedes Benz 124 Series

The W124 is a mid-sized luxury 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 (155k, 312k, 465k, 620k, 1,000k miles). This unique characteristic of ownership explains the surprising number still on the road 15 years after the last one rolled off the assembly lines.

Cost cutting became critical in the mid/late-1990s as the "no expense spared" over-engineered Mercedes-Benz models were less competitive in terms of pricing when compared against high-end Japanese high end cars, such as those produced by Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus.

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 coupes) had Citroen-like self-leveling rear 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 is based on the W124 platform and not, as is sometimes assumed, on the larger W140.

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 station-wagon serially came with a "neighbour-friendly" rear door that was pulled in the shut-position silently and automatically by a sensor-controlled servomotor. 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 1986.

The estate cars (model designation T124) 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. In the US 7-seat models were standard, 5-seat models were not available. The S124 estate continued in production alongside the new W210 until the S210 estate launched more than a year later. A two-door coupe version was also built, with the model designation C124.

Mercedes launched a cabriolet (convertible) version in Europe in 1991, the 300 CE 24V, and in the UK (RHD) and Japan (LHD), the 320CE, and North America, the 300CE, in 1992. These versions were re-designated as the E320 in 1993, complemented by the less powerful, but less expensive E220 in 1993, and the mainland-Europe-only E 200 in 1994. Mercedes brought the E320 cabriolet (convertible) to the USA and Japan from 1993-1995. There were 68 E36 AMG cabriolets built from 1993 until 1996 (54 LHD and 14 RHD) and even fewer 300CE 3.4 AMG from 1992 until 1993 to complement the also rare E36 AMG coupe, saloon (RHD only) and estate. The E320, E220, and E200 cabriolets ceased production in 1997. The cabriolets remain sought-after second hand vehicles[citation needed], as one of the few full-size sports convertibles available.

The pre-facelift models from 1986 to 1993 used the model designations: 200/T (carburettor), 200E/TE, 230E/TE, 260E (saloon only), 300-24/TE-24 valve, 300E/TE, 400E (not in the UK), 420E (not in the UK) & 500E (LHD only in the UK). Diesels were the 200D/TD (not in the UK), 250D/TD & the 300D/TD. Facelift models produced from 1993 to 1995/6 used the model designations: E200, E220, E260, E280, E320, E420 (not in the UK) & E500 (LHD only in the UK). In the UK post-facelift diesels were E250 Diesel (saloon only) and E300 Diesel (saloon & estate) models

SsangYong Motor Company of Korea licensed the W124 design and continues to produce a stretched 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 straight-6 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.

 

Mercedes Benz 124 Series 1985-Aug 93 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993

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