Press Kit: History of the E-Class
Jan 13, 2009
Technical highlights of the E-Class and its predecessors
136 and 191 series (1946 to 1955)
  • Saloon with all-steel body from 170 S model (1949)
  • Four-cylinder diesel engine in the 170 D model (1949)
  • Short arm/long arm front suspension in the 170 S (1949)
120 and 121 series (1953 to 1962)
  • Three-box body design cuts air resistance and fuel consumption
  • First Mercedes-Benz passenger car to feature self-supporting body design
  • Rear single-joint swing axle (1955)
110 series (1961 to 1968)
  • Safety passenger cell with front and rear crumple zones
  • Dual-circuit brake system with brake booster and disc brakes from 1963
115 and 114 series (1968 to 1976)
  • Diagonal swing axle: rear axle with semi-trailing arm, auxiliary rubber springs and torsion bar stabiliser as standard
  • From 1973 on ribbed tail lights to reduce dirt accumulation
  • The 240 D 3.0 model becomes the first production car worldwide to feature a five-cylinder diesel engine
123 series (1975 to 1985)
  • Double-wishbone front suspension with zero scrub radius
  • Safety steering column with corrugated tube based on design by Béla Barényi
  • Station wagon with automatic hydropneumatic level control
  • The 300 TD Turbodiesel model (1980) is the first car on the German market to feature turbocharged diesel engine
  • Experiments with alternative drive systems: hydrogen, electric motor, liquefied gas
124 series (1984 to 1996)
  • Considerable improvement of cd value compared with 123 series and therefore a significant reduction in fuel consumption
  • First use of V8 engines in the E-Class (1991)
  • First large-scale use of four-valve technology with petrol and diesel engines
  • Shock absorber strut independent front suspension with anti-dive control; multi-link independent rear suspension
  • Automatically engaging 4MATIC four-wheel drive
210 series (1995 to 2003)
  • Electronic Traction System (ETS)
  • Direct-injection diesel engine, turbocharger and intercooler in the E 290 Turbodiesel model
  • 1997: new-generation 4MATIC as permanent all-wheel drive with ETS
  • 1998: diesel injection engines featuring common rail technology in the E-Class
211 series (since 2002)
  • Four-link front suspension; multi-link independent rear suspension mostly made of aluminium
  • Electrohydraulically controlled Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC™) system
  • Adaptive front airbags and two-stage belt force limiter featuring automatic front passenger weight classification
  • Four-cylinder engine with two balancer shafts in the E 220 CDI model
  • TWINPULSE system for mechanical supercharging in the E 200 KOMPRESSOR model
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