• Success is central to the brand.

E stands for epoch-making success.

The letter E in the E-Class name could stand for epoch-making. Although the designation only came into existence in 1993, the tradition of positioning Mercedes-Benz cars in the upper medium-size and luxury classes dates back more than a hundred years. The more recent history alone, since 1947, comprises ten model series families – up to the new E-Class of the 213 model series, which is due to make its debut in summer 2020 following extensive model upgrading.

Even the original Mercedes-Benz brands offered customers cars equivalent, at the time, to today’s E-Class and after the merger to form what then became Daimler-Benz AG in 1926, its success continued. This is in borne out by the fact that one of the first passenger cars of the new Mercedes-Benz brand was an E-Class predecessor: it was the Mercedes-Benz 8/38 PS (W 02), which was named the 8/38 PS Stuttgart 200 model from 1928. 

In the tradition of the E-Class: Mercedes-Benz 8/38 PS Stuttgart 200 (W 02, left) and Mercedes-Benz 260 D (W 138, right).

In the tradition of the E-Class: Mercedes-Benz 8/38 PS Stuttgart 200 (W 02, left) and Mercedes-Benz 260 D (W 138, right).

The dawn of the economic miracle.

The new beginning after the end of the Second World War was extremely difficult but the highly successful 170 V (W 136) model from 1936 helped Mercedes-Benz to get started again. As early as 1946, it was built for use as an ambulance and delivery van, among other things, and, from 1947, it was back on the streets as a passenger car. This was the real beginning of the history of the E-Class.

The more luxurious 170 S with an all-steel body and the 170 D powered by an efficient diesel engine were launched in 1949. In the period that followed, the 170 model series family, which was produced until 1955, was further expanded – these were the cars that the newly formed Federal Republic of Germany drove to usher in the economic miracle. 

Open-top cruising pleasure: Mercedes-Benz 170 S Cabriolet (W 136).

Open-top cruising pleasure: Mercedes-Benz 170 S Cabriolet (W 136).

State-of-the-art pontoon.

In 1953, the “Ponton” saloon from the W 120 model series introduced a completely new shape to the history of the E-Class. The “Three Box” design with its rectangular layout and integrated wings took the public stage by storm. The Mercedes-Benz 180 was also the very first “test mule”. This is how the German magazine “Auto, Motor und Sport” described it in 1952 in a report about a prototype that had been unmasked. The four-cylinder saloons with 1.8 and 1.9-litre engines brought such innovative details as the single-joint swing axle at the rear, which was introduced in 1955 and, from 1959, the softer vehicle interior with upholstered surfaces and other passive safety elements.

State-of-the-art pontoon.

In 1953, the “Ponton” saloon from the W 120 model series introduced a completely new shape to the history of the E-Class. The “Three Box” design with its rectangular layout and integrated wings took the public stage by storm. The Mercedes-Benz 180 was also the very first “test mule”. This is how the German magazine “Auto, Motor und Sport” described it in 1952 in a report about a prototype that had been unmasked.

The four-cylinder saloons with 1.8 and 1.9-litre engines brought such innovative details as the single-joint swing axle at the rear, which was introduced in 1955 and, from 1959, the softer vehicle interior with upholstered surfaces and other passive safety elements.

“Fin Tail” with safety body.

From 1961, the “Fin Tail” saloons of the W 110 model series provided new perspectives thanks to the directional fins used as sights at the rear. They were closely related to the premium-class vehicles (W 111) launched in 1959. The safety body with crumple zones developed by Mercedes-Benz engineer Béla Barényi set new standards in passive safety. The range of luxury equipment available as extras was steadily expanded – until, finally, it included power windows and an air conditioning system (both from 1966 on).

The “small Fin Tail” with power outputs from 40 kW (55 PS) to 88 kW (120 PS) differed from the premium class in its shorter front-end assembly and round headlights. From 1966, Mercedes-Benz also sold an upper medium-size estate car for the first time through its own sales network. These “universal” models were built by IMA in Belgium.

By the sea: Mercedes-Benz “Fin Tail” (W 110).

By the sea: Mercedes-Benz “Fin Tail” (W 110).

The “Stroke 8” hits the one million mark.

Fans called it the “Stroke 8” after the abbreviation “8”, which was used in the type designation to distinguish it from its predecessors. The nickname was a nod to the year in which production started – 1968. The cars with four (W 115) and six-cylinder engines (W 114) were impressive both in terms of design and technology. The outcome is that, for the first time, the brand with the star sold more than one million of a passenger car model series – a total of 1.9 million.

In addition to the coupés (only built with the six-cylinder engine) and the long wheelbase saloons with 7-8 seats, the “Stroke 8” premieres in 1974 also included the 240 D 3.0 as the world's first passenger car with a five-cylinder diesel engine. The range of engines available was from 40 kW (55 PS) to 136 kW (185 PS). A key characteristic of the facelifted model types from 1973 onwards were the profiled, low-dirt tail lamps.

Taxi! The Mercedes-Benz “Stroke 8” saloons were also very popular as taxis. In the history of the E-Class, these were the first cars available in light ivory (RAL 1015), which became available in Germany from 1971.

Taxi! The “Stroke 8” saloons were also very popular as taxis. In the history of the E-Class, these were the first cars available in light ivory (RAL 1015), which became available in Germany from 1971.

Dream cars and the estate.

The 123 model series debuted in 1976. Initially, there were four body types available: in addition to the saloon, long-wheelbase saloon and coupé, the fourth variant to make its debut was the estate version (German: “T-Modell”) – with a “T” – as in “tourism and transport”. This estate with its automatic hydropneumatic level control was an outstanding success as a family lifestyle and leisure car.

The demand for the 123 model series was so great that the cars in the first production year were soon sold out and some customers had to wait up to a year for their dream car. In total, Mercedes-Benz built around 2.7 million of the 123 model series up to the beginning of 1986.

A family matter: the first estate in the history of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was launched in the 123 model series.

A family matter: the first estate in the history of the E-Class was launched in the 123 model series.

The first E-Class.

The 124 model series, introduced in 1984, was more multifaceted than all its predecessors: the saloons were followed by the estate (1985), the coupé (1987), the long-wheelbase saloon (1989) and, for the first time in the recent history of the E-Class, a cabriolet (1991). The 124–model series was the first Mercedes-Benz family to bear the E-Class designation, in line with the S-Class and the newly launched C-Class. 

The 124 model series redefined standards with its consistent lightweight construction, optimised aerodynamics and, from September 1985, the 4MATIC automatically activated all-wheel drive system, initially available exclusively on the 124 model series. The range of engines available started with the 53 kW (72 PS) 200 D and went as far as the spectacular 500 E in 1990 (240 kW/326 PS). The premiere of the E 60 AMG (280 kW/381 PS) – the first top-of-the-range E-Class model jointly developed by Mercedes-Benz and AMG – debuted in 1993.

The first E-Class.

The 124 model series, introduced in 1984, was more multifaceted than all its predecessors: the saloons were followed by the estate (1985), the coupé (1987), the long-wheelbase saloon (1989) and, for the first time in the recent history of the E-Class, a cabriolet (1991).

The 124–model series was the first Mercedes-Benz family to bear the E-Class designation, in line with the S-Class and the newly launched C-Class. 

The 124 model series redefined standards with its consistent lightweight construction, optimised aerodynamics and, from September 1985, the 4MATIC automatically activated all-wheel drive system, initially available exclusively on the 124 model series. The range of engines available started with the 53 kW (72 PS) 200 D and went as far as the spectacular 500 E in 1990 (240 kW/326 PS). The premiere of the E 60 AMG (280 kW/381 PS) – the first top-of-the-range E-Class model jointly developed by Mercedes-Benz and AMG – debuted in 1993.

Looking at the world with four eyes.

Four headlights, three equipment lines, two body shapes: from 1995, the E-Class in the 210 model series introduced a new set of features. The “four eyes” design premiered in 1993 in a concept coupé. The choice between the three equipment lines CLASSIC, ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE was a new approach. The saloon was joined in 1996 by the estate – offering plenty of space with up to 1975 litres of load compartment. The tradition of coupés and cabriolets continued with the CLK of the 208 model series.

The engine output in the 210 model series in 1995 was initially from 70 kW (95 PS) in the E 220 diesel to 255 kW (347 PS) in the top-of-the-line E 50 AMG model. After the 1999 facelift, the E 55 AMG (260 kW/354 PS) then took the lead. All in all, Mercedes-Benz introduced around 30 new technical features in model series 210. The highlights ranged from seat belt tensioners with seat belt force limiters for driver and front passenger as standard and the ETS Electronic Traction System through to the next generation of the 4MATIC as permanent all-wheel drive from 1997.

The luggage pro: Mercedes-Benz E 290 Turbodiesel Estate from model series 210.

The luggage pro: Mercedes-Benz E 290 Turbodiesel Estate from model series 210.

One of the most powerful E-Class ranges to date.

The E-Class Saloons of the 211 model series made their debut in March 2002, and the Estate followed a year later. The technical highlights of this E-Class generation included the extensive equipment for passive and active safety as well as bi-xenon active curve lighting, which was available from 2003 as an optional extra in model series 211.

The model range was continuously expanded and included new drive solutions. In 2004, there was the E 200 NGT, a natural gas vehicle with a bivalent drive and, in 2007, the E 350 CGI with an innovative direct injection petrol engine with a spray-guided combustion system. The new top model in the 211 model series in 2006 was the 378 kW (514 PS) E 63 AMG with a 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine and AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7-speed automatic transmission. At that time, no E-Class had ever offered more power.

A light touch: the Mercedes-Benz E 500 Saloon from model series 211.

A light touch: the E 500 Saloon from model series 211.

Reunited.

From 2009 on, the E-Class family once again included the Coupé and Cabriolet (C 207 and A 207) in addition to the Saloon and Estate models (W 212 and S 212).

The engine outputs available were now from 100 kW (136 PS) in the E 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY to 430 kW (585 PS) in the E 63 AMG S 4MATIC model introduced in 2013. In technical terms, this generation of the E-Class set new standards with its new body technology, newly developed chassis, numerous systems to boost passive safety and the innovative ATTENTION ASSIST fatigue detection system. Optional extras included the Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and PRE-SAFE® brake with autonomous emergency braking. The E-Class took an important step towards universal connectivity in 2015 with its internet connection via the COMAND Online multimedia system.

All four: Saloon and Estate (model series 212) and Coupé and Cabriolet (model series 207) of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

All four: Saloon and Estate (model series 212) and Coupé and Cabriolet (model series 207) of the E-Class.

Excitingly intelligent.

From 2016, Mercedes-Benz offered innovative functions to enable semi-automated driving for the first time in the E-Class. The world’s first fully integrated Car-to-X solution for communication with other vehicles and the infrastructure via secure cloud functions were included. The smartphone not only served as a digital vehicle key but, together with the Remote Parking Assist, could also be used to park the car automatically in tight spaces. The safety equipment level incorporating such innovative systems as PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side and PRE-SAFE® Sound was also of a high standard. 

In 2020, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the upgraded E-Class model using the slogan “Intelligence is getting exciting”. Many details have been revised – which continues the unique tradition in this vehicle category well into the future.

Excitingly intelligent.

From 2016, Mercedes-Benz offered innovative functions to enable semi-automated driving for the first time in the E-Class. The world’s first fully integrated Car-to-X solution for communication with other vehicles and the infrastructure via secure cloud functions were included. The smartphone not only served as a digital vehicle key but, together with the Remote Parking Assist, could also be used to park the car automatically in tight spaces. 

The safety equipment level incorporating such innovative systems as PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side and PRE-SAFE® Sound was also of a high standard. 

In 2020, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the upgraded E-Class model using the slogan “Intelligence is getting exciting”. Many details have been revised – which continues the unique tradition in this vehicle category well into the future.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 05.08.2020.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.