Published on August 28th, 2023 |
by Daniel Sherman Fernandez
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupes & Cabriolets Were The Best
Did you know that Mercedes-Benz had the best coupés and cabriolets
Elegant, sporty and luxurious: in the history of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, this is personified by the two-door coupe and cabriolet variants.
These vehicles combine the classic virtues of the E-Class exemplary safety and comprehensive long-distance comfort with an aesthetic finesse. Plus let us not forget its success story.
To this day, these strengths continue to make the E-Class Coupes and Cabriolets so successful. These model series’ tradition began more than 50 years ago with the Stroke/8 Coupes of the 114 model series and almost 30 years ago with the cabriolets of the W124 model series.
Since 1993, when the cars in this market segment from Mercedes-Benz were assigned the E-Class designation, there has also been a tradition of top-of-the-range Mercedes-AMG engines.
The performance and sports car brand had already made a name for itself with its high-performance versions of the sporty, elegant two-door models: the Mercedes-Benz 300 CE 6.0 AMG – the coupe version of the model nicknamed “The Hammer” – is regarded as particularly spectacular.
The “Stroke/8” model series was built from 1968 until 1976 and the successors of the W123 model series delighted fans from 1977 to 1985. The 124 model series, which bore the name E-Class beginning in 1993, included the elegant coupe from 1987 to 1996.
From 1991 to 1997, it was joined by the first Mercedes-Benz cabriolet in this segment, also from model series 124.
The tradition of the E-Class Coupes and Cabriolets was continued in the following years by the two CLK model series: the 208 model series (coupes: 1997 to 2002; cabriolets: 1998 to 2003) and the model series 209 (coupes: 2002 to 2009; cabriolets: 2003 to 2009).
From 2009 to 2016, the coupes and cabriolets in model series 207 were once again assigned to the E-Class family, until they were replaced by model series 238, which launched in December 2016.
The “Stroke/8” Coupe was the foundation of an excellent tradition in 1968
In November 1968, Mercedes-Benz thrilled its customers with the launch of an elegant two-door model. The coupes of the 114 model series rounded off the top end of the 114/115 model range, known affectionately as the “Stroke/8” series, and confidently led the field.
The choice of engines alone made this clear: the two-door models were available only with six-cylinder engines. In fact, the M 114 engine with the Bosch D-Jetronic electronic fuel injection system in the top-of-the-range 250 CE (110 kW/150 hp) was reserved for the coupes.
Two motoring magazines, the “Motor-Rundschau” and “auto motor und sport” clocked a top speed of 123 mph (198 km/h) for the 250 CE, and the Swiss “Automobile Revue” magazine, from Berne, even measured 124 mph (100 km/h).
The car thus almost reached the magical mark of 125 mph (200 km/h), which was still outstanding for passenger cars at the time. Mercedes-Benz specifically chose the Hockenheimring race track to present its coupes 50 years ago.
The experts were equally impressed by the sporty design and high-quality interior features, fine wood veneer in the instrument panel, for example and carpeting.
Trade magazine “auto motor und sport” commented after running a test: “The coupe also provides the level of comfort missing from the sedan. A touch of luxury is offered in a functional package at an acceptable price.”
From a technical perspective, the coupe closely resembled the sedan, but stylistically it clearly stood out from the four-door model: the windshield and rear window were inclined more than those of the sedan and, together with the roofline, which was 1.8 inches (45 mm) lower, created a dynamic silhouette.
Additionally, it featured frameless and fully retractable side windows at the front and rear. By dispensing the B-pillar, the overall appearance was generous and less restricted. The bumper, which extended around to the rear wheel arch, provided a harmoniously rounded-off appearance.
In 1972, Mercedes-Benz presented the 136 kW (185 hp) 280 CE as the new top model in the “Stroke/8” Coupe family.
By the time production ended in August 1976, Mercedes-Benz had built in excess of 67,000 Coupes of the 114 model series.
The most successful model, of which 21,787 units were built, was the 1972 250 CE. The coupe was a very popular variant abroad: around 60 percent of the vehicles were exported.
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