Mercedes-Benz E-Class History (Part 1): W123

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The W123 Series

In production between 1976 and 1985, the first Mercedes-Benz E-Class
automobile differed from their predecessors in many ways. Along with
Mercedes-Benz state-of-the-art features, such as the fuel tank
assemblage over the rear axle to be shielded in an accident, the new
Mercedes-Benz E-Class automobiles were manufactured with a larger
wheelbase and exterior dimensions.

Features of the Mercedes-Benz W123

The Mercedes-Benz W123, offered in over 30 chassis codes and
manufactured in a 4-door saloon, coupé or estate body style, was
offered in diesel as well as regular, had 2.0, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.8
or 3.0 liter engine options and 54 to 175 hp. The only new engine
offered at this time was the Inline-6 (I6) cylinder, manufactured in
the 250E’s; the remainder of the E-Class models sported a 4 or
5-cylinder engine. The four-speed 190E’s offered 4-speed automatic or
manual and 5-speed manual transmissions with a fully automatic gearbox
introduced in 1980.

The new exterior features included a flattened grille and sculptured
sides that resembled a scaled-down version of the Mercedes-Benz 450
SEL. In 1979, the Mercedes-Benz 300E TD station wagon was introduced
with a third-row seat.

The updated styling of the Mercedes-Benz W123 featured horizontal
oriented, quad unequal-sized headlights and large, rectangular tail
lights — except in the 280E models. These types of headlights and rear
lights eventually became standard for all E-Class models. In 1980
anti-lock brakes were available for the first time, and a driver-side
airbag made its debut in 1981.

The production of the W123 ceased in 1985 and was replaced by the new Mercedes-Benz which was officially named the W124 E-Class.

The Mercedes-Benz W123 was manufactured in the Mercedes plant located in Sindelfingin, Germany.

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