Mercedes-Benz 500E

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Mercedes-Benz 500 E
Mercedes-Benz 500 E
ManufacturerPorsche/Daimler-Benz
Production1991–1995
ClassMid-size luxury car
Body style(s)4-door sedan
Engine(s)5.0 L M119

Between 1991 and 1995, Mercedes-Benz sold a sport version of the W124, the Mercedes-Benz 500 E, created in close cooperation with Porsche. Each 500 E was hand-built by Porsche, being transported back and forth between the Mercedes plant and Porsche's Rossle-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen during assembly---taking a full 18 days to complete each model. Design began in 1989 and into 1991. Between 1992 and 1995, Mercedes/Porsche built a total of 10,479 500 E's[1]. Of these, 1505 of the "super" sports sedans were imported into the USA between 1992-1994, or roughly 500 cars per year of importation. Called '500 E' through model year 1993, for model year 1994 it was face-lifted along with the rest of the range and renamed to 'E 500'.

The 500 E had a dual camshaft 32-valve 4973 cm3 V8 engine naturally aspirating 326 hp (240 kW) and 480 N·m (354 ft·lbf), with the engine being derived from the 500 SL (R129) roadster. Sports car braking performance also came from SL components: front SL 500 300 mm disks with 4-piston calipers came installed on the 1992 and early 1993 cars. The later 1993, and all 1994 cars came with the upgraded 320 mm set taken from the 600 SL. Rear brakes on all years were 277 mm brakes from the 500 SL. In the USA, the 500 E came fully-loaded, with the only options available to the buyer being a dealer-installed CD changer and an integrated telephone. The 500 E was only available as a four-seater, with the four leather seats supplied by Recaro (the fronts heated).

Called the "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" by the press[2][3], performance tests of the day yielded impressive results: 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) times of 5.5 to 6.0 seconds and acceleration through the quarter-mile (0.4 km) in 14.1 seconds at 163 km/h (101 mph). The top speed was redline limited at 6,000 rpm to 250 km/h (~155 mph). It was rated at 16.8 L/100 km (14 mpg) in the city and 13.8 L/100 km (17 mpg) on the highway.

With its aggressive stance: 1.5 inches wider track, 0.9 inch lower profile, flared fenders, side skirts, front air-dam and wide tires, the 500 E is easily distinguished from its lesser brethren. Because of its look, limited numbers, hand-built construction, and unique pedigree, the 500 E is already considered a "classic", even within Mercedes-Benz.

Modification

The 500 E/E 500 underwent few significant changes during its three-year production run. Models from 1992 and 1993 are virtually indistinguishable from each other, with the most notable change being a slightly less powerful engine in the 1993 model for USA. The 1994 E 500 model is more easily identified because of the cosmetic changes that affected all E-Class cars that year (updated headlights, grille, and trunklid). The engine, however, remained unchanged from the 1993 500 E.

Common performance improvements include wheel and tire replacement, aftermarket exhaust kits, and replacement or reprogramming of the Electronic Control Unit, which removes the 155 mph (249 km/h) speed governor. To boost acceleration times, some owners disable the car's slip reduction feature and program the automatic transmission to start in first gear instead of the normal second gear.

E 60 AMG

For the 1993 and 1994 model years, twelve E 500 Limited's were outfitted with a 6.0L M119 V8 engine by tuner AMG. These models were called the "E 60 AMG" and produced up to 400 hp (298 kW). The E 60 AMG carried a 381 bhp (284 kW) engine which helped the car accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.3 seconds[4] - compared to the 500 E's claimed 6.0 seconds. Modifications included the replacement of the original components with AMG parts, including the suspension, exhaust system, instrument cluster and 17" rims. Many of the E 60 AMG's seen today are actually 500 E's and E 500's sent to the AMG factory at a later date to have the engine changed to the 6.0L V8. The original E 60 AMG models carry the "957 AMG Technology Package" in their VIN number's Options List.

References

  1. Kittler, Eberhard (2001). Deutsche Autos seit 1990, vol.6. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. p. 149. ISBN 3-613-02052-1. 
  2. Bratek, James (16 November 1999). "The Four Door Porsche". http://www0.epinions.com/auto-review-1DA0-F5B88FF-38322C9E-bd1. Retrieved on 7 July 2007. 
  3. "2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review". http://www.edmunds.com/mercedesbenz/eclass/2006/review.html. Retrieved on 7 July 2007. 
  4. "Koenig E 60 AMG". http://www.supercars.net/cars/2113.html. Retrieved on 7 July 2007.