Mercedes-Benz 500E

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From 1991 to 1994, Mercedes-Benz sold a high-performance version of the W124, the Mercedes-Benz 500 E (W124.036). The 500 E was 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, Germany during assembly — taking a full 18 days to complete each model. Design began in 1989 and into 1991. [9] 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'.

Specifications and General Information

The 500 E had a naturally aspirated 5.0L V8 engine 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 278 mm brakes from the 500 SL. In the USA, the 500 E came fully equipped, with the only options available to the buyer being a dealer-installed CD changer and an integrated cellular telephone. The 500 E was only with four seats in left hand drive, with the four leather seats supplied by Recaro (the fronts heated).

Called the "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" by the press, [10] [11] 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 260 km/h (~160 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.


displacement, type valvetrain max. motive power at rpm max. torque at rpm 0-100 km/h (62.1 mph) top speed
4,973 cc V8 engine 32 valve 2x DOHC 240 kW (326 PS; 322 bhp) @ 5,700 480 N·m (354 lbf·ft) @ 3,900 6.1 secs 260 km/h (161.6 mph)

Production figures and yearly changes

1528 of the "super" sports sedans were imported into the USA between late 1991 and late 1994, or roughly 500 cars per year of importation.

Production figures[9]

Year Units
1990 46
1991 2,566
1992 4,416
1993 1,596
1994 1,735
1995 120
total production = 10,479

Import Numbers by Key Countries

Country Units
USA 1,528
Japan 1,184
UK 29
Canada 45
Major country total = 2,786

It is little-known, but 120 cars were produced between January and approximately May 1995, as last-request cars for special customers before the series ceased production. These last cars were produced in the Porsche Rossle Bau building alongside Audi RS2 sport wagons, as that production contract went into full swing with the same work-staff that built the 500E and E500. 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 on the exterior, with the most notable change being a slightly less powerful (-7 HP) engine in the 1993 and 1994 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 trunk-lid; the bumper scuff bars were painted the same color as the car). The engine, however, remained unchanged from the 1993 500 E. 1994 models carried an upgraded sound system made by Becker or Alpine, replacing the two-piece Becker 1432 unit used in model year 1992 and 1993 cars. Significantly, 1994 models had larger front and rear brakes than 1992 and 1993 models, courtesy of the R129 SL600 roadster. Numerous running changes were made to the car's mechanical systems during its production life. The 500E and E500 were known by Porsche as Type 2758 in that company's official nomenclature. As of June 2011, an example of a 1995 E500 Limited is on display in the new Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen, Germany.

Aftermarket Modifications

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. Numerous other modifications exist for the car, including increased displacement up to and including 6.5 liters, nitrous-oxide systems and a few custom supercharger systems to boost output to well over 400 HP.

E 60 AMG

There was also a specialised E60 AMG model built in very limited numbers from 1994 to 1995 which had the 6.0L V8 engine. The vehicle had a 381bhp and can reach 0-60 mph within 5.3 seconds. The vehicle was equipped with the "Limited" sports interior, 17" EVO-II alloys together with uprated AMG sports suspension and AMG twin outlet exhaust system. Otherwise, the brakes and body remained the same. The E500 and E60 AMG both came with the flared front and rear wheel arches with larger front bumpers and front foglights. The "957" AMG Technology Package in the VIN number of the vehicle almost guarantees the vehicle is an original E60 as left the factory. Very many E500's have been converted to E60's by changing the engine out for the 6.0L V8. Another giveaway is the AMG engine stamps saying "M 119 E 60" together with "AMG" written along the airboxes instead of "Mercedes-Benz".

M119 6.0L V-8 Engine producing 381BHP EVO-II 17" alloy wheels Some with Sportsline two-tone interior Birds-eye maple dark trim AMG Suspension AMG Exhaust E 60 AMG lettering and AMG engine stamps 957 "AMG Technology Package" in VIN Number

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