Here are some pictures of an old V8 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Stick your SUVs and your crossovers and so forth in a box. We’ll have one of these
This is the Mercedes-Benz 500 E which would later become the Mercedes-Benz E 500, and it is glorious.
Some 25 years ago, Mercedes gifted racing driver Hans Hermann the ten thousandth E 500 ever built. That's because Hans Hermann is a legend who raced with Mercedes in the mid fifties alongside Fangio, Kling, and Sir Stirling Moss. He also clocked up five Le Mans wins with Porsche.
And it was Porsche who helped Mercedes build the 500 E which would later become the E 500. First unveiled in Paris in 1990, this Merc was – remains – a Proper Thing. Merc took the regular W124-gen E and flared out the arches, lowered it by 23mm, and gave it a new front apron.
They also slotted in the M119. Engine code geeks might remember the M119 from such hits as the 500 SL of the day. For the 500 E which would later become the E 500, Merc added electronic injection and hot-wire air mass measurement to the 5.0-litre V8, and modified the block so it could fit the W124’s engine bay.
Thus, this 90s executive saloon pumped out 320bhp, and driving a four-speed auto ‘box to the rear wheels, was capable of 0-62mph in just 5.9secs and a top speed of 155mph. Imagine, 5.9secs to 62mph in the nineties!
About the Porsche connection. Merc would build and paint the body, then ship everything over to Zuffenhausen where Porsche would finish the assembly. The name change from 500 E to E 500 came in 1993 along with a small facelift.
Yes, the modern car world is great; today’s cars are safe, efficient, tech-laden. But a V8-engined E-Class from the nineties ticks boxes that are difficult to explain in rational terms.
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