Mercedes begins development work, with priority given to maximising interior space. Originally the fourcylinder version was going to look very different in order to differentiate it from the range-topping cars – including a simpler front end with horizontal rather than vertical lights – but the idea was dropped three years later. An estate was also developed, but never went into series production.
Mercedes replaces its ‘Fintail’ saloon models with the new model, aimed at broadening the marque’s global appeal. It’s developed under two separate model codes – W114 for the six-pot models, and W115 for its fourcylinder siblings – but both use a more packagingfriendly three-box bodyshell styled by Frenchman Paul Bracq.
Mercedes treats both the saloon and coupé models to a facelift, identifiable by a lower bonnet line and a single front bumper rather than two smaller ones either side of the registration plate. The interior’s also fitted with inertiareel seatbelts, and a new padded steering wheel.
Production of the W114 and W115 ends in order to make way for the new W123 range of saloons, estates and coupés. More than 1.9 million of the Stuttgart manufacturer’s mid-range models – and the forebear to today’s E-Class – have been sold, but only 67,048 of them are twodoors.