Mercedes-Benz W140

Mercedes -Benz 320 SE ( 1991-1994)

The 140 series is a luxury saloon, the successor to the 126 series had its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1991. It was built under the name Mercedes -Benz S-Class between July 1991 and September 1998. The vehicle was available as a saloon (W 140), extended sedan (V 140) and as Coupé ( C 140 ). From the limo 406 717 units were produced, 26,025 from Coupe. For Pope John Paul II a custom made one long S 500 Landaulet 1997 shipped. In addition, there was a Pullman limousine of the manufacturer as an official vehicle.

Model history


The W 140 marked a significant leap in technology from Mercedes -Benz. Many details can be found already in the Series R 129 With the large V12 engine and the response to the Munich-based competitor, the 750i with the first German twelve-cylinder engine of the post-war period from the E32 series. Double glazing, first use of CAN bus and significantly larger exterior dimensions made ​​the claim to leadership in the luxury class with Mercedes -Benz clearly.

The boot capacity is 525 liters ( sedan ), respectively 505 l (Coupe ). The air resistance (cw × A) is 0.30 × 2.39 m2 for the sedan and 0.29 × 2.33 m2 for the coupé. The W140 has a recirculating ball steering with parameter function. The foot brake is a hydraulic dual-circuit brake system with vacuum brake booster and internally ventilated disc brakes front and rear; the parking brake is foot operated and acts mechanically on the rear wheels.

Technology and Innovation

  • In the 140 series was the first time a network of ECUs via the CAN bus realized ( five CAN bus node).
  • In the design has been given to the possibility of recycling of the vehicle to substantially level. For this, even the smallest plastic parts are marked by variety.
  • Mercedes was from imports into the 140 series from 1996 optional voice control ( LINGUATRONIC ) the world's first manufacturer to offer such a system. It allows the speaker-independent control of the fixed car phone by AEG.
  • The S-Class was awarded in 1992 the U.S. " Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award" by the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA). The main reason was the novel, recycling -friendly marking of plastic parts ( see above).
  • Even today in many vehicles like selected parking aid is a development that was available ( as an option ) for the first time from May 1995 in the S-Class. The S 600 it was standard. Alternatively dipsticks were built into the rear fenders, which should exports about eight inches in reverse gear is engaged and facilitate the maneuvering of the great vehicle.
  • Another important new development was the Electronic Stability Program ( ESP), which can be found today in almost all new vehicles and was developed in conjunction with Bosch.
  • The first time was used for the side windows optional double laminated safety glass to improve thermal and acoustic insulation.


At the Geneva Motor Show in March 1994, Mercedes -Benz presented the revised model of the 140 series

The arrival of the lower parts of the bumpers and side protection areas was more pronounced, both were also divided horizontally by a circumferential bead. The radiator grille and the headlights were changed, it appeared brighter. The six-cylinder and eight-cylinder models received a redesigned radiator grille with a vertical articulation at the center. For the V12 engines were a stand-alone version with chromed cross fins and significantly broader chrome frame insert. The back also has been revised: The tail appeared altogether wider and lower. A few months after the presentation of the facelift model, the mirrors were slightly rounded and provided with a horizontally extending bead.

A second revision there was in June 1996. Few attachments that were previously in the contrast color, were available in body color. In addition, built into the tail lights turn signals were given a white cover. Other changes were:

  • The 5-speed automatic transmission with torque converter lockup clutch and electronic control now was for all types (except for S 280 ) standard.
  • The traction control system ( ASR) was now standard
  • Standard equipment on all models with side airbags for driver and passenger
  • Seat occupancy sensors to operate the passenger airbag
  • A rain sensor that controlled the wiper interval depends on the amount of rainfall
  • Luggage nets in the trunk and passenger footwell
  • Xenon headlamps with headlamp cleaning system and dynamic headlamp range adjustment ( special request ).

Rear view


The engines range in the gasoline engines of straight-six engines on eight-cylinder V-engines up to a twelve-cylinder V-engine. The V12 engine in the S 600 and S 600 long cost an additional charge of DM 65,000 compared to the eight-cylinder, which was one third of the total price. Originally it was planned with sixteen -cylinder engine and 540 hp as top model even a 800 SEL. Because of criticism from the press at the appearance of the 140 series was not included in the market introduction of the fully developed V16. The smallest engine in the S 280 has an output of 142 kW at 5500 rpm and accelerates the vehicle to a top speed of 215 km / h The basic price for the S 280 was at its launch 88467.50 DM and at the cessation of production in April 1998 92104.00 DM Since 1992, a diesel engine as a six-cylinder prechamber diesel was also available with a turbocharger, which was only offered in the sedans. The engine has displacement of 3.5 liters and an output of 110 kW. The successor of the S 350 Turbodiesel was 1996, the S 300 Turbodiesel, now a 24-valve engine. This engine delivers 130 kW, the maximum speed is 206 km / h The top speed of the petrol engines in the range 215-250 km / h ( at S500 and S600, limited) and for diesel engines in the range 185-206 km / h

From the 140 series only an AMG model with optics and suspension package ( "AMG S- Class") was offered. However, in some AMG sedans and coupes were also modified on the engine. Based on the 500 with a V8 engine AMG built some of the known from the E and SL 60 AMG engines in the S-Class. The 6- liter V8 developed 280 kW. Likewise, were based on the S 600, the modified 7,1 - or 7,3 - liter twelve- cylinder fitted with 365 kW and 386 kW. There were also modifications to the drive train and chassis.

In addition, a few coupes were convertibles (18 vehicles, with parts of the 124 convertibles ) and estate cars ( ten pieces based on the sedan ) rebuilt. They got most of the AMG V12. These special modifications went to a high proportion in the export, mainly to Japan, the USA and in the Arab world.

Were offered the following engine versions:

The full-load enrichment and the consequent increase in performance accounted for all models from September 1992. Contrast, shall enter into force the new nomenclature, ie S 500 instead of 500 SE until June 1993. Vehicles with the designation 500 SE ( L) So, were built with the already reduced power in the meantime. The same is true for S 320/300 SE (L ), S 420/400 SE (L ) and S 600/600 SE (L). * The engine designation is encrypted as follows: M = motor, OM = oil motor, series = 3 digits, E = manifold injection, KE = port injection, DE = direct injection, ML = compressor, L = intercooler, A = exhaust gas turbocharger, red. = Reduced (r ) Power / Displacement, CB = increase

S 600 Pullman

The Mercedes -Benz S 600 Pullman was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1995. With this model, Mercedes -Benz continued the tradition, a representational vehicle to offer, for example. The chauffeur vehicle has a length of 6,213 m, making it one meter longer than the long-wheelbase version of the S-Class. The first Pullman versions were produced in August 1996.


On the 140 series are technically based essentially also the cars of Maybach, whose production was discontinued until 2011. 1996 there was a recall for 70,000 vehicles worldwide, the S -Class, as the front brake hoses had to be fitted with spacers.

Some buyers of new cars from the 126 series could not get used to the account of its size often criticized successor model 140 series ( " Too big, too out of proportion and too little contemporary was his appearance," verdict of the motoring press, the car train to Sylt was due to the width of the vehicle is not drivable ). Compared to the timelessly elegant-looking W126 greater proportioned successor appeared to many potential buyers as too showy. This often changed the competition or maintained their vehicle until the appearance of the 220 ​​series, which, as the larger used cars firsthand the series was 126 due to the year 1998.