1987 Mercedes-Benz 300SE Saloon
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 2962cc|
Mercedes-Benz launched its new S-Class in 1979 with the object of retaining the title of the “World’s Best Luxury Car” for the next decade. The W126 range succeeded admirably, achieving critical acclaim the world over - including Australia, taking out Wheels magazine’s coveted “Car of the Year” award for 1981. The engineers at Stuttgart paid greater attention to aerodynamics (the W126 had a class leading 0.36 Cd) for better economy and pioneered a number of safety systems like ABS and SRS airbags, helping make the new S-Class the first production car able to meet stringent new regulations for surviving a frontal offset collision. The W126 S-Class was commercially successful and a total of 890,000 were sold worldwide in 13 years of production. The S-Class range consisted of the 280 SE/SEL six-cylinder and the 380/500 V8s, sold in SE or SEL configuration and, later, a pillarless coupe badged as the SEC. The W126 range underwent some revision in 1985, with no less than four new engines launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the 3-litre M103 six-cylinder motor replacing the earlier 280. The new motors were designed to meet new emissions controls plus run on unleaded fuel whilst maintaining performance levels and did so using the latest Bosch fuel injection system, with the 300SE developing 190bhp at 5600rpm. Superbly engineered, beautifully finished and well equipped the W126 S-Class Mercedes-Benz remains an excellent proposition as a daily driver and will, with proper care and servicing, provide the owner with genuine luxury motoring at an affordable price.