Mercedes-Benz W124

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Mercedes-Benz W124
Parent companyDaimler-Benz
AssemblyBremen, Germany
Sindelfingen, Germany
PredecessorMercedes-Benz W123
SuccessorMercedes-Benz W210
ClassExecutive car
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Engine(s)Petrol/Gasoline engines

2.0L I4 M102
2.0L I4 M111
2.2L I4 M111
2.3L I4 M102
2.6L I6 M103
2.8L I6 M104
3.0L I6 M103
3.0L I6 M104
3.2L I6 M104
3.4L I6 M104
3.6L I6 M104
4.2L V8 M119
5.0L V8 M119

Diesel engines
2.0L I4 OM601
2.5L I5 OM602
2.5L I5 OM605
3.0L I6 OM603

3.0L I6 OM606
Transmission(s)4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
4-speed manual
5-speed manual
WheelbaseSaloon & Estate: 2,800 mm (110.2 in)
Coupe: 2,715 mm (106.9 in)
LengthEstate: 4,780 mm (188.2 in)
Saloon: 4,755 mm (187.2 in)
Coupe: 4,670 mm (183.9 in)
Width1,740 mm (68.5 in)
E500 Saloon: 1,795 mm (70.7 in)
HeightEstate: 1,520 mm (59.8 in)
Saloon: 1,430 mm (56.3 in)
Coupe: 1,410 mm (55.5 in)
Convertible: 1,392 mm (54.8 in)
E500 Saloon: 1,407 mm (55.4 in)
1988-1990 Saloon: 1,445 mm (56.9 in)
4Matic Saloon: 1,450 mm (57.1 in)
4Matic Estate: 1,530 mm (60.2 in)
VehiclesMercedes-Benz E-Class

W124 is the Mercedes-Benz internal chassis-designation for the 1984 to 1995 version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The W124 models replaced the W123 models after 1985 and were superseded by the W210 E-Class after 1995.

Model range

The W124 is a mid-sized luxury vehicle platform. Due to the high cost of German engineer-build-quality, the W124 was designed to last many miles, with awards actually given and worn by high mileage versions (150k, 500k, 1,000,000K). This unique characteristic of ownership explains the surprising number still on the road 14 years after the last one rolled of the assembly lines. Cost cutting became critical in the mid/late 90s as the "no expense spared" over engineered Mercedes-Benz models with a solid construction and the use of quality materials struggled to sell against mass-build Japanese high end cars.

Front suspension was a modified McPherson strut where the coil spring is separated from the strut. The rear suspension of the W124 features the Mercedes multi-link axle introduced in 1982 with the Mercedes 190 and which is now standard on many modern cars. Estate cars (and optionally, saloons and coupes) had Citroen-like self-leveling rear suspension with suspension struts rather than shock absorbers, gas-filled suspension spheres to provide damping and an under bonnet pressurizing pump. Unlike the traditional Citroën application Mercedes opted for a fixed ride height and employed rear coil springs to maintain the static ride height when parked

The R129 is based on the W124 platform and not, as is sometimes assumed, on the larger W140.

Much of the 124's engineering and many of its features were advanced automotive technology at its introduction, incorporating innovations that have been adopted throughout the industry. It had one of the lowest coefficient of drag (Cd) of any vehicle of the time (0.28 for the 200/200D model for European market with 185/65 R15 tires) due to its aerodynamic body, that included plastic molding for the undercarriage to streamline airflow beneath the car, reducing fuel consumption and wind noise. It had a single windscreen wiper that had an eccentric mechanism at its base that extended the wiper's reach to the top corners of the windscreen (more than if it had traveled in a simple arc. The saloon/sedan, coupés and convertibles had optional rear headrests that would fold down remotely to improve rearward visibility when required. This feature was not available for the T-model because of its specific layout (no space to store the retractable headrests), but the station-wagon serially came with a "neighbour-friendly" rear door that was pulled in the shut-position silently and automatically by a sensor-controlled servomotor. With the exception of the 200, which was equipped with a Stromberg or Pierburg carburetor but was not available to the United States, fuel injection was standard, and the engines incorporated features[clarification needed] that maximised performance. The most significant feature (over its predecessor the 123 series) was the addition of an oxygen sensor in the exhaust system which, in conjunction with a semi-electronic fuel injection system, could make the engine run more efficiently. Thus producing a better power produced to fuel used ratio and also meeting stricter emission regulations. Mercedes-Benz's four-wheel drive system, the 4Matic was first introduced on the W124 in 1986.

But some main innovations of the W124 series were related to occupant safety. Derived from the Mercedes 190 (W201), with whom the W124 shares the basic layout, its likewise edgy body was designed to withstand an offset-crash in a concrete barrier at some 35 mp/h without serious harm to the occupants and a largely undamaged passenger cabin, a windshield that stays in place and doors easily to open without special recovery tools. This crash-test configuration, outstanding in 1984 and developed by Mercedes-Benz from the early 70ies on with on-the-spot research to meet more adequately the requirements of accidents occurring in real traffic, became the base for the Euro-NCAP procedure currently being the standard crash-test configuration in the EU. Most remarkably: Unlike Euro-NCAP, Mercedes required the body of the W124 to withstand an offest impact from the front and from the rear. The W124 also featured a drivers side airbag (option in Europe, standard in the US), height-adjustable seat belts with electronic-mechanical pre-tensioneers (standard) for both front passengers, rear seat belts which automatically adapted to the seize of the passengers (standard), pedals that were moved inversely in a frontal impact (away from the drivers feet and in the direction of the bulkhead separating the cabin from the engine) and door arm rests with deformable elements designed to reduce abdominal injury risk resulting from a side impact. The dashboard made of impact-absorbing, artificial foam was reinforced with a thin aluminium layer which effectively prevented hoses, valves, housings and other components from heating and engine from penetrating through the dash board inside the passenger cabin in a severe impact. Also, the passenger glove box featured a defined point of rupture, which considerably reduced the probability of front passenger injuries. Apart from the Mercedes 190, the W124 was the first serially manufactured car in history to see widespread use of light-weight high-strength steels, which today are a standard in car design. From late 1988 on, the W124 was one of the first cars available with a passengers side front-airbag as an option worldwide.

The estate cars (model designation S124) came in 5- or 7-seat models, the 7-seater having a rear-facing bench seat that folded flush luggage compartment cover and an optional (in the US until 1994) retractable cargo net. In the US 7-seat models were standard, 5-seat models were not available. The S124 estate continued in production alongside the new W210 until the S210 estate launched more than a year later. A two-door coupe version was also built, with the model designation C124.

Mercedes launched a cabriolet (convertible) version in Europe in 1991, the 320CE, later re-designated as the E320, later followed by the less powerful, but less expensive E220, and the E 200. Mercedes brought the E320 cabriolet (convertible) to the USA from 1993-1995. There were approximately 7 E36 right-hand drive cabriolets built to complement the also rare E36 coupe, saloon and estate. The E320 and E220 cabriolets ceased production in 1997. The cabriolets remain sought-after second hand vehicles, as one of the few full-size sports convertibles available.

The pre-facelift models from 1986 to 1993 used the model designations: 200/T (carburettor), 200E/TE, 230E/TE, 260E (saloon only), 300-24/TE-24 valve, 300E/TE, 400E (not in the UK), 420E (not in the UK) & 500E (LHD only in the UK). Diesels were the 200D/TD (not in the UK), 250D/TD & the 300D/TD. Facelift models produced from 1993 to 1995/6 used the model designations: E200, E220, E280, E320, E420 (not in the UK) & E500 (LHD only in the UK). In the UK post-facelift diesels were E250 Diesel (saloon only) and E300 Diesel (saloon & estate) models

SsangYong Motor Company of Korea licensed the W124 design and continues to produce a stretched version of the W124 as the Chairman, with a Ssangyong badge. It has a 2.9 m (110 in) wheelbase and 3.2 L Mercedes straight-6 M104 engine. Chairman currently has 2.3 L (M111), 2.8 L (M104), and 3.2 L (M104) engines in its product line-ups. SsangYong Chairman has developed a 3.6 L version of M104 engine recently for its high-end Chairman line up. The engine is called XGi360.

Sportline option

Mercedes-Benz offered an option called "Sportline" for the W124 and W201 chassis cars. This option was available in the North American market for the 1992-93 model year 190E 2.6, 1992-93 300E/300CE and 1993-95 E320/E320 Coupe. In the European market, however, the "Sportline" option was available for all body styles. The option package included sport seating (sedans, not coupes), wider wheels (7" rather than 6.5") and lower profile tyres (205/60 x 15 rather than 195/65 x 15), quick ratio steering, "Sportline" badges on the front wing moldings and gear knob, a slightly lowered ride height and a specially tuned suspension including shorter, stiffer springs, struts, anti-roll bars, and bushes

The suspension components of the Sportline package were available as an option on all cars, including estates, as Option 653 - Sports Chassis with 8-Hole light alloy rims

500 E

Mercedes also included a sport version of the W124, the 500 E, created in close cooperation and assembled by Porsche. It used the 5.0L 32-valve V8 M119 Engine based upon the 500 SL (R129) roadster, and Porsche engineered the suspension and chassis design with a performance bias.

Pre-update Mercedes-Benz W124 Saloon
Pre-update Mercedes-Benz S124 300TE estate
Post-update Mercedes-Benz S124 E320 estate (front)
Post-update Mercedes-Benz S124 E320 estate (rear)
Mercedes-Benz A124 300CE-24 Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz C124 coupe


Chassis code Years Model Engine Body style
124.026 1987–1989 260 E 2.6 L M103 I6 Saloon
1990–1992 300 E 2.6 Saloon
124.021 19??-199? E 200/200 E 2.0 L M102 I4 Saloon
124.022 1993-1995 E 220/220 E 2.2 L M111 I4 Saloon
124.023 1984-1992 230 E 2.3 2.3 L M102 I4 Saloon
124.023 1984-1992 230 CE 2.3 2.3 L M102 I4 Coupé
124.023 1984-1992 230 TE 2.3 2.3 L M102 I4 Estate
124.028 1984-1992 300 E 2.8 2.8 L M104 I6 Saloon
124.028 1993-1995 E 280 2.8 L M104 I6 Saloon
124.030 1986–1992 300 E 3.0 L M103 I6 Saloon
124.032 1993–1995 300 E 3.2 L M104 I6 Saloon
1993–1995 E 320 Saloon
124.034 1992–1993 400 E 4.2 L M119 V8 Saloon
1994–1995 E 420 Saloon
124.036 1992–1993 500 E 5.0 L M119 V8 Saloon
1994–1995 E 500 Saloon
124.050 1988–1989 300 CE 3.0 L M103 I6 Coupé
124.051 1990–1993 300 CE 3.0 L M104 I6 Coupé
124.052 1994–1995 300 CE/E 320 3.2 L M104 I6 Coupé
124.066 1993–1995 300 CE/E 320 Coupé
124.082 1993–1995 E 220T 2.2 L M111 I4 Estate
124.090 1988–1991 300 TE 3.0 L M103 I6 Estate
124.091 1989-1992 300 TE-24V 3.0 L M104 I6 Estate
124.092 1993 300 TE/E 320 3.2 L M104 I6 Estate
124.120 1986–1989 200 D 2.0 L OM601 Diesel I4 Saloon
124.125 1986–1989 250 D 2.5 L OM602 Diesel I5 Saloon
124.128 1990–1993 300 D 2.5 2.5 L OM602 Diesel I5 Saloon
124.131 1994-1995 E 300 Diesel 3.0 L OM606 Diesel I6 Saloon
124.133 1987 300 D 3.0 L OM603 turbo/NA Diesel I6 Saloon
124.193 1987 300 TD Estate
124.230 1990–1993 300 E 4MATIC 3.0 L M103 I6 Saloon
124.290 1990–1993 300 TE 4MATIC Estate
124.NA 1993-1994 E 60 AMG 6.0 L M119 E60 V8 Saloon


Engine Cyl. Power Torque 0-100 km/h
Maximum speed Fuel consumption (Euro mix)
2.0 8V I4 105 PS (104 hp/77 kW) 160 N·m (118 lb·ft) 12.6 187 km/h (116 mph)
2.0 8V I4 109 PS (108 hp/80 kW) 170 N·m (125 lb·ft)
2.0 8V I4 118 PS (116 hp/87 kW) 172 N·m (127 lb·ft) 12.0-14.0 175-190 km/h 8.6 L/100 km (33 mpg-imp; 27 mpg-US)
2.3 8V I4 132 PS (130 hp/97 kW) 198 N·m (146 lb·ft) 10.4 204 km/h (127 mph)
2.0 16V I4 136 PS (134 hp/100 kW) 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) 11.5-12.1 183-200 km/h 8.7 L/100 km (32 mpg-imp; 27 mpg-US)
2.3 8V I4 136 PS (134 hp/100 kW) 205 N·m (151 lb·ft) 11.2-13.5 185-200 km/h 9.0 L/100 km (31 mpg-imp; 26 mpg-US)
2.2 16V I4 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) 210 N·m (155 lb·ft) 10.6-11.1 193-210 km/h 8.8 L/100 km (32 mpg-imp; 27 mpg-US)
2.6 12V I6 160 PS (158 hp/118 kW) 220 N·m (162 lb·ft) 8.7 218 km/h (135 mph)
2.6 12V I6 166 PS (164 hp/122 kW) 230 N·m (170 lb·ft) 10.0-10.5 205-215 km/h 10.0 L/100 km (28.2 mpg-imp; 23.5 mpg-US)
3.0 12V I6 180 PS (178 hp/132 kW) 255 N·m (188 lb·ft) 8.5-9.9 204-225 km/h 10.9 L/100 km (25.9 mpg-imp; 21.6 mpg-US)
3.0 12V I6 188 PS (185 hp/138 kW) 260 N·m (192 lb·ft)
2.8 24V I6 193 PS (190 hp/142 kW) 270 N·m (199 lb·ft) 9.1 230 km/h (143 mph) 10.7 L/100 km (26.4 mpg-imp; 22.0 mpg-US)
2.8 24V I6 197 PS (194 hp/145 kW) 270 N·m (199 lb·ft) 8.8-9.1 213-220 km/h 10.7 L/100 km (26.4 mpg-imp; 22.0 mpg-US)
3.0 24V I6 220 PS (217 hp/162 kW) 265 N·m (195 lb·ft) 7.8-8.4 217-237 km/h 11.0 L/100 km (25.7 mpg-imp; 21.4 mpg-US)
3.2 24V I6 220 PS (217 hp/162 kW) 310 N·m (229 lb·ft) 7.8-8.3 220-235 km/h 10.9 L/100 km (25.9 mpg-imp; 21.6 mpg-US)
3.6 24V AMG I6 272 PS (268 hp/200 kW) 385 N·m (284 lb·ft) 7.0-7.2 250 km/h (155 mph) 11.0 L/100 km (25.7 mpg-imp; 21.4 mpg-US)
4.2 32V V8 279 PS (275 hp/205 kW) 400 N·m (295 lb·ft) 6.8 250 km/h (155 mph) 11.8 L/100 km (23.9 mpg-imp; 19.9 mpg-US)
5.0 32V V8 320 PS (316 hp/235 kW) 470 N·m (347 lb·ft) 6.5 250 km/h (155 mph) 13.5 L/100 km (20.9 mpg-imp; 17.4 mpg-US)
5.0 32V V8 326 PS (322 hp/240 kW) 480 N·m (354 lb·ft) 6.5 250 km/h (155 mph)
6.0 32V V8 381 PS (376 hp/280 kW) 580 N·m (428 lb·ft) 5.4 250 km/h (155 mph) 14.5 L/100 km (19.5 mpg-imp; 16.2 mpg-US)
2.0 8V D I4 72 PS (71 hp/53 kW) 123 N·m (91 lb·ft) 18.5 160 km/h (99 mph)
2.0 8V D I4 75 PS (74 hp/55 kW) 126 N·m (93 lb·ft) 19.5-21.5 145-160 km/h 6.7 L/100 km (42 mpg-imp; 35 mpg-US)
2.5 10V D I5 90 PS (89 hp/66 kW) 154 N·m (114 lb·ft) 16.5 175 km/h (109 mph)
2.5 10V D I5 94 PS (93 hp/69 kW) 158 N·m (117 lb·ft) 16.5-18.5 160-165 km/h 7.2 L/100 km (39 mpg-imp; 33 mpg-US)
3.0 12V D I6 109 PS (108 hp/80 kW) 185 N·m (136 lb·ft) 13.7 190 km/h (118 mph)
2.5 20V D I5 113 PS (111 hp/83 kW) 173 N·m (128 lb·ft) 18.5-20.4 155-160 km/h 6.8 L/100 km (42 mpg-imp; 35 mpg-US)
3.0 12V D I6 113 PS (111 hp/83 kW) 191 N·m (141 lb·ft) 15.0-16.4 175-190 km/h 7.8 L/100 km (36 mpg-imp; 30 mpg-US)
2.5 10V TD I5 122 PS (120 hp/90 kW) 225 N·m (166 lb·ft) 12.3 195 km/h (121 mph)
2.5 10V TD I5 125 PS (123 hp/92 kW) 231 N·m (170 lb·ft) 12.5-13.0 190-195 km/h 7.5 L/100 km (38 mpg-imp; 31 mpg-US)
3.0 24V D I6 136 PS (134 hp/100 kW) 210 N·m (155 lb·ft) 12.8-13.8 187-200 km/h 7.4 L/100 km (38 mpg-imp; 32 mpg-US)
3.0 12V TD I6 143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) 267 N·m (197 lb·ft) 10.9 202 km/h (126 mph)
3.0 12V TD I6 147 PS (145 hp/108 kW) 273 N·m (201 lb·ft) 10.9-12.8 186-200 km/h 7.8 L/100 km (36 mpg-imp; 30 mpg-US)

See also


  • Arthur St. Antoine. "Magnum Force". Car and Driver (April 1992): 47–56.