Mercedes-Benz W114

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Mercedes-Benz W114/W115
Mercedes-Benz 280C coupe (US)
1,919,056 built
Saloon: 1,852,008
Coupé: 67,048
AssemblyEast London, South Africa, Mercedes-Benz,Germany
PredecessorMercedes-Benz W110
SuccessorMercedes-Benz W123
ClassExecutive car
Body style(s)4-door sedan
2-door coupe
PlatformFR layout
Engine(s)2.3L I6
2.5L I6
2.8L I6
2.0L I4
2.2L I4
2.3L I4
2.4L I4
3.0L Diesel I5
VehiclesMercedes-Benz E-Class
The New Generation Models
Mercedes-Benz W114/W115 coupe
Mercedes-Benz 220 (W115) saloon
Mercedes-Benz 250 (W115) saloon: this post facelift version is distinguished by a flatter radiator grill and differing treatment below the front bumper / fender.
1972 250C

The Mercedes-Benz W114 (and similar W115) are smaller sedans and coupes first introduced within the 1968 Mercedes-Benz model line up. The 1968 W114/W115, the S-Class cars, and the 280SL were all marketed as the 'New Generation Models'[1]. In fact the W114/W115 were the only truly new cars in the lineup, which included the then current 280S, 280SE and 280SEL from the W108 chassis, the 300SEL from the W109 chassis, which were introduced in 1965[2]. And the W113 280SL which in 230SL form dated from 1963. All New Generation models bore the 'Stroke-8' "/8" suffix on their ID plates. However Stroke-8 (/8) is often used as shorthand for the W114/W115 models.


The presence of the W114/W115 chassis within the New Generation Models is significant as it was the first post-war Mercedes-Benz production car to use a newly engineered chassis, not derived in any way from preceding models. The new chassis format of semi-trailing rear arms and ball-joint front end, displayed in the W114/W115 chassis would be used in all new Mercedes passenger car models until the development of the multi-link rear suspensions of the 1980s. The W108/109 S-Class chassis of the 280S/8, 280SE/8 and 300SEL/8 (and W113 280SL Pagoda) would be the last of the low-pivot swing axle and king pin/double wishbone front ends. The next S-Class -the W116 chassis- having the same engineering of the W114/115. The improvement in handling and remarkable comfort would also make its way into the R107 SL-Class Roadster of 1971.

The W114 chassis used straight-6 engines and were sold under the "230", "250", and "280" model names. The W115 used straight-4 and straight-5 engines and were sold as the "200", "220", "230", and "240". The W114/W115 models replaced the W110 Fintail models beginning in 1968, and were themselves replaced by the W123 series after 1976.

The Mercedes-Benz W114/W115 was the upmarket executive mid-sized saloon model for Mercedes being somewhat smaller than the S-Class cars. Though not a particularly small car they are often referred to as the "Compact" model. Mercedes also launched its first 5-cylinder diesel engine OM617 in this chassis. This car had a distinctive appeal owing to its beautiful, classic (modern for the time) design and the superb level of integrity and refinement offered. The car was designed by famous French auto designer Paul Bracq who also designed several other Mercedes-Benz models, including the Mercedes-Benz 600, and for BMW. It was given a major facelift in 1973 - which included some exterior refinements such as a lower bonnet-line which meant a more imposing grill and lower placed headlamps, and no more old-fashioned quarter front windows and also two big rear view mirrors. In the interior inertia reel belts were introduced, a new-generation padded steering wheel was added with a modern 4-hole design and quite a few other minor changes took place.

A coupé variant of this model was introduced in 1969 with a 'C' designated after the model number. Where the saloon would just have '280E' written on the boot lid, the coupé would have '280CE'. The exclusivity of the coupé was reflected by a longer boot hood, the roof was given a 'Pagoda' SL - like touch and the 250C was fitted with a 2.8 litre 6-cylinder engine, whereas the saloon was fitted with the 2.5. Its overall design profile was breathtakingly beautiful, it is considered one of the finest classics of the 60's and 70's. It also had a more elegant rear window reminiscent of the "pagoda SLs", chrome strips down each side of the roof and a pillarless design where all the windows could be wound completely away for "summer motoring". Only 67.048 coupés were made from 1969 to 1976 against 1.852,008 saloons. Of these 24,669 were "280CE" (top of the range) and 42,379 "250CE".


Like its saloon variant this car also boasted advanced technological innovation. 1969 saw the introduction of the Bosch D-jetronic fully electronic fuel injection system into the 250CE. This was the first ever production Mercedes-Benz to use this system.

Other innovations in the W114/W115 models include a center console (a first in a Mercedes sedan), ribbed taillights in 1974. All coupe models used the 6-cylinder engine (and thus were W114s) and were designated with a "C" in the model name.

An interesting fact that should be added is that a Mercedes-Benz 220 D "pick-up" on the W115 chassis was built briefly in Argentina in 1970s.[3]

North America

The W114/W115 was introduced in North America in 1968, but with fewer engine choices (as is the norm) than elsewhere. These models from the start had unique headlights, utilizing a sealed beam lamp instead of the H4 type used in the European models. Bumpers changed frequently and there were at least three different bumpers used over the production run in NA, and for 1974 the bumpers grew significantly, due to new DOT requirements. Many agree that these 'tacked-on' bumpers significantly detracted from the lines and the shape of the /8, though this wasn't the only model line that was affected during this era.

Today in America, many W114/W115s are still around, but the vast majority are those equipped with the nearly bullet-proof (Many get to 300,000+ Miles on a single motor) OM616 4-cylinder or the OM617 5-cylinder. Most North American 240Ds were equipped with a 4-speed manual, whereas all 5-cylinder 300D models were instead equipped with a (rather slow shifting) 3-speed automatic. Most agree the manual is more desirable due to these engines' low power ratings.



Chassis code Years Model Engine
Displacement Model Type Number built[4]
W114.015 1968–1976 230, 230.6 2.3 L M180 I6 221,783
W114.010 1968–1972 250 2.5 L M114 I6 78,303
W114.011 1972–1976 250 2.8 2.8 L M130 I6 34,061
W114.021/022 1969–1976 250C/CE 2.8 L M130 I6 42,379
W114.060/062 1972–1976 280/E 2.8 L M110 I6 67,373
W114.073/072 1972–1976 280C/CE 2.8 L M110 I6 24,669


1973 Mercedes-Benz 220D (W115)
1976 Mercedes-Benz 240D with US-Spec Bumpers
Chassis code Years Model Engine
Displacement Model Type Number built
W115.015 1968–1976 200 2.0 L M121 I4 288,785
W115.115 1968–1976 200D 2.0 L OM615 Diesel I4 339,927
W115.010 1968–1973 220 2.2 L M115 I4 128,732
W115.110 1968–1976 220D 2.2 L OM615 Diesel I4 420,270
W115.017 1973–1976 230.4 2.3 L M115 I4 87,765
W115.117 1973–1976 240D 2.4 L OM616 Diesel I4 131,319
W115.114 1974–1976 240D 3.0/300D 3.0 L OM617 Diesel I5 53,690

W115 long-wheelbase models

Chassis code Years Model Engine
Displacement Model Type Number built [5].
W115.112 1968–1973 200D Lang (LWB saloon) 2.0 L OM615 Diesel I4 4,027 1973–1976 240D Lang (LWB saloon) 2.4 L OM616 Diesel I4 3,655
W115.017 1968–1976 230 Lang (LWB saloon) 2.3 L M180 I6 2,218 cars
+ 2,934 chassis

See also


  1. Taylor, James. The Mercedes-Benz Since 1945: The 1960's (Mercedes-Benz Since 1945), Motorbooks International (June 1993) ISBN-10: 0900549963, ISBN-13: 978-0900549960
  3. www.mercedes-benz.argentina/history accessed 12 November 2008 (Spanish)
  4. Oswald, Werner (1. Auflage 2001). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, Band 4. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02131-5. 
  5. Rohde, Michael; Koch, Detlev (2000). Typenkompass Mercedes-Benz. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 106–107. ISBN 3-613-02019-X. 

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