In June 1995, the Mercedes-Benz mid-series was given an entirely new appearance: its future-oriented new face, incorporating four elliptical headlamps, had been presented for the first time in the Mercedes-Benz coupe study car at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1993. Two years later, the dynamic front section entered series production in the W 210 E-Class models.
It was not only the face of the W 210, but also its flowing rear section reminiscent of a coupe, that ushered in an excitingly new language of form. The new E-Class was immediately awarded the renowned design prize “Roter Punkt” (red spot); over the course of its seven-year production period, the E-Class received more than seventy awards in all – above all for occupant safety, design, environmental compatibility and efficiency.
The E-Class as innovation leader
The new E-Class included over thirty technical innovations. The standard features of the W 210 included the electronic traction system (ETS), electrically operating front and rear windows, exterior temperature display, dust filter and a third brake lamp on the rear sill: these had previously either not been available at all in the E-Class or only as optional extras. The rain sensor for the windscreen wiper unit, an air quality meter for the climate control system, and the PARKTRONIC (PTS) parking aid based on ultrasound were first realized in the new E-Class. 1997 saw the addition of the driver authorization system ELCODE, operated by means of an electronic key for the doors and ignition, along with Brake Assist (BAS), which recognizes emergency braking maneuvers and automatically builds up the maximum available brake booster force as required.
The sedan is particularly impressive with its excellent drag coefficient (Cw) of 0.27 and its high standard of inherent safety, which was achieved with large deformation zones and even more effective retention systems in the interior. In the W 210, Mercedes-Benz was the world’s first brand to incorporate belt force limiters as a standard feature. Newly developed side airbags further improved lateral impact protection. The W 210 series, which superseded the successful W 124 in 1995, thus stands uncompromisingly in the tradition of the Mercedes-Benz mid-series as innovation-bearers.
The mid-series as a model of success
The history of the mid-series can be traced back to the Mercedes-Benz 170 V from 1947 (W 136 series). The 180 and 190 models from the W 120 and W 121 series, which became known as the “Ponton” Mercedes, followed in 1953 before being superseded in 1961 by the W 110 “four-cylinder tailfin”. From 1968 onwards, the W 114 and W 115 series, known as the “Stroke Eight”, set their hallmark on the brand’s mid-series, and for the first time the range also included a long-wheelbase sedan and a coupe.
The next model series from the medium category was the W 123, introduced in 1976. For the first time, the Mercedes-Benz product range included a so-called T-Model (T for “touring & transport”) – a station wagon. The W 124 was finally launched on the market in 1984, and the range was extended in 1991 to include an elegant four-seater convertible. The W 124 was also the first Mercedes-Benz to bear the new “E-Class” designation following the 1993 model update.
Source: Daimler AG