E-Class W124 – 1985-97/W210 – 1995-03
Officially marketed and universally referred to as the E-Class, the W124 proved an instant hit in the uK. Like its W123 predecessor, the new model was available as a four-door saloon or a five-door estate and the new model filled the gap between the compact 190 and executive-sized S-Class.
The W124 floorpan provided the basis for the stylish 300CE two-door coupé (produced between 1987 and 1995) plus a drop head convertible and from 1988 fuel injection replaced carburettors on all models. a foot operated ‘hand’ brake revealed the W124’s uS influence and a popular choice in the uK was the 2962cc straight six powered 300E.
In 1988 Mercedes-Benz introduced the all-wheel drive 300E 4-Matic but its £6000 selling price ensured sales were rare on these shores. Engine options for the W124 ranged from the entry level 2.0 litre petrol fuelled inline-four and went through a range of six cylinder engines similar to those fitted to the W126 series and ended with a monster 32-valve 6.0 litre V8 in the Tarmac burning W124 Hammer aMG variant.
The W124’s successor was the radically different looking W210, a range that offered probably the most confusing selection of engines and body styles the company had produced to date. although the W210 set standards other manufacturers strove to match, cost cutting by the accountants at newly formed ChryslerBenz seriously affected the quality of this otherwise first-rate car.