This scene at Stuttgart's Central Station was representative of taxi stands all over Germany. A high level of comfort paired with reliability and durability made the brand bearing the three-pointed star popular with taxi drivers. Especially the model series 124 became a role model in terms of aerodynamics, lightweight design, and safety.
To begin with, Mercedes-Benz offered the new series with the models 200, 230 E, 260 E and 300 E, as well as 200 D, 250 D and 300 D, plus the 200 E built as an export model. . The E-Class was available with V8 engines for the first time in the models 400 E (later E 420), 500 E (later E 500) and E 60 AMG.
The model range of the 124 series was soon expanded, with a series of different body variants joining the sedan, starting with the station wagon in September 1985. Technically and stylistically it largely corresponded to the sedan – apart from the design of rear end. The multi-link rear axle was already combined as standard on the wagon with a hydropneumatic automatic self-levelling suspension. In addition, Mercedes-Benz presented the automatically engaging 4MATIC all-wheel drive system on the wagon variant.
The third body variant to debut was the coupe in 1987, which had a wheelbase that was 8.5 centimeters shorter than the sedan.
In 1989, the long-wheelbase version of the sedan was added. The wheelbase on this model had grown by 80 centimeters to 3.60 meters, with the overall length of the vehicle increasing by the same amount. In September 1991, another body variant was launched: the 300 CE-24 Cabriolet.
The "E" is born
In June 1993 the model series was revised for the second time and relaunched under a new name: the family of vehicles was now known as the E-Class, so aligning it with the S-Class and C-Class. The individual model names consisted of an E, followed by a three-digit numerical sequence indicating the displacement. This designation was supplemented with add-ons such as "Diesel" according to the engine. The various body styles however were no longer part of the model names.
Production of the sedan ceased in August 1995. Production of the wagon continued until 1996, and Mercedes-Benz also kept on producing CKD kits (completely knocked down) of the E 250 Diesel and E 220 sedan models for overseas assembly until 1996. The cabriolet came off the assembly lines until 1997.
All told, 2,213,167 sedans, 340,503 wagons, 141,498 coupes, 33,952 cabriolets, 2,342 long-wheelbase sedans, and 6,398 rolling chassis for special-purpose bodies were produced: a grand total of 2,737,860 vehicles. Lovingly maintained specimens of the 124 series are today among the most popular young classic Mercedes-Benz models around.