|Mercedes-Benz 280C coupe (US)|
|Assembly||East London, South Africa, Mercedes-Benz,Germany|
|Body style(s)||4-door sedan|
3.0L Diesel I5
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'. 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. 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.
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.
|W114.015||1968–1976||230, 230.6||2.3 L||M180||I6||221,783|
|W114.011||1972–1976||250 2.8||2.8 L||M130||I6||34,061|
|W115.115||1968–1976||200D||2.0 L||OM615||Diesel I4||339,927|
|W115.110||1968–1976||220D||2.2 L||OM615||Diesel I4||420,270|
|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
|Displacement||Model||Type||Number built .|
|W115.112||1968–1973||200D Lang (LWB saloon)||2.0 L||OM615||Diesel I4||4,027|
|W115.xxx||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
- 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
- www.mercedes-benz.argentina/history accessed 12 November 2008 (Spanish)
- Oswald, Werner (1. Auflage 2001). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, Band 4. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02131-5.
- Rohde, Michael; Koch, Detlev (2000). Typenkompass Mercedes-Benz. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 106–107. ISBN 3-613-02019-X.
Mercedes-Benz road car timeline, 1946–1970s — next »
|4-cylinder||Sedan||W136 / W191||W120 / W121||W110||W115||W123|
|6-cylinder||Sedan||W187||W105 / W180 / W128||W111||W114||W123|
|Coupé||W187||W180 / W128|
|Large car||Sedan||W186 / W189||W111||W108 / W109||W116|
|Limousine||W186 / W189||W112||W100 (600)|