CHOOSE YOUR MERCEDES W116
Replacing the W108/109d range, the W116 S-class is launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1972 with a straight-six 280 S with carburettors (only briefly sold in the UK), 280 SE with fuel injection, and the V8-engined 350 SE.
A 4.5-litre version of the V8 is added the following year in the 450 SE and 450 SEL, the latter being a long-wheelbase version with the extra four inches being mostly used to increase rear legroom. From early 1974, the 280 and 350 are also offered with the longer wheelbase.
To celebrate an easing of the early Seventies fuel crisis, MB adds a new flagship for 1975: the 450 SEL 6.9 with a thumping 286bhp V8.
At the other end of the scale the range is extended in 1978 (for the US only) with the 300 SD – a 115bhp turbodiesel 3.0-litre
Production ends in 1979 to make way for the W126 S-class, though unsold stock is offered into 1980. A total of 473,035 W116s are built.