- Balanced, restrained, elegant design
- The engineers fall back on the proven Saloon for the engineering
- Perfect parts supply through the Mercedes-Benz service organisation
The Mercedes-Benz model history features various Coupés. Each stands in an exceptional way for comfort, dynamic, elegance and style and is consequently a classic right from the start. At the 1987 Geneva Motor Show the company presented the Coupés of the 124 series, which were produced up until 1996. To this day they impress with their balanced, low-key design and are thus the ideal modern classic.
The coupé is an exclusive body shape. People who drive such a car have style and demonstrate an appreciation for the individual. The 124-series Coupés, internally designated C 124, perfectly appeal to this clientele. Models 230 CE and 300 CE were the first to debut. In autumn 1989 the 300 CE-24 was added as new flagship model. One year later it was joined by the 200 CE, which was intended solely for export to Italy. The year 1992 saw the arrival of the 200 CE, 220 CE and 320 CE with up-to-date four-valve-per-cylinder engines. In 1993 the powerful E 36 AMG Coupé marked the brilliant climax of the series in regard to output.
Stylistically the Coupés of the 124 series display their affinity to the Saloon, presenting themselves with the same composed, clear lines for which chief designer Bruno Sacco was responsible. And yet their looks make them cars in their own right: the Coupés are a little shorter than the corresponding Saloons, are designed as two-doors, and their windscreen and rear window have a flatter angle. These stylistic features emphasise the character of these exclusive vehicles.
For the technology the engineers fell back on the Saloon: the Coupés have the multi-link independent rear suspension of the four-door cars and their shock absorber strut independent front suspension located by individual wishbones. The braking system also originated unchanged from the Saloons. Features like this ensure the high safety for which Mercedes-Benz stands. The passive safety is characterised by an elaborate bodyshell structure which provides crumple zones that deform according to a specific pattern and attains excellent ratings for stability and stiffness despite the lack of B-pillars.
The vehicles scored high on safety with further equipment features, such as the anti-lock braking system ABS, which was standard equipment in the 300 CE from the outset and in the 230 CE from February 1988 on. In autumn 1988 all cars of the series got a heated nearside exterior mirror and, adopted from the S-Class, a windscreen washing system with a heated washer reservoir including heated nozzles and hoses.
The innovative strength of the company found expression in details like the eccentric-sweep panoramic windscreen wiper in the 124 series, which ensured a swept area that was the largest of any car, but also the electric belt feeder, which automatically extended the Coupé seat belts to a convenient gripping position once driver or front passenger had taken their seats.
Mercedes-Benz set new standards for comfort with the 124 series. The engineers have an extremely comprehensive understanding of the term comfort: not just a pleasant atmosphere in the interior, with comfortable upholstery and high-grade materials, a sophisticated suspension system and refined engines create a sense of comfort, but the perfect interplay of all vehicle components. Drivers always have the feeling that with this vehicle they get the perfect mobility solution to suit their needs. The 124 series is a prime example of this philosophy.
The Coupés are special highlights in the model portfolio. Accordingly they have an extensive range of standard equipment which admittedly is often upgraded with further extras by the buyers of these exclusive vehicles – a plus point for all those who today look for a modern classic with many amenities.
Within a nine-year period, 141,498 Coupés of the 124 series were built. This may sound like a lot at first, but the figure is put into perspective by the overall production volume for the series: inclusive of all body variants almost 2.6 million vehicles were produced. Today there are still fairly many Coupés in daily use, but the appearance they present on the streets is what it always has been: exclusive.
And that is precisely what buyers of a 124-series Coupé today value, who see it as a modern classic. It combines comfort, dynamism and style with complete suitability for everyday use. The perfect supply of parts through the Mercedes-Benz service organisation also guarantees this – almost every part is still available. The company even has complete vehicles to offer: they are available at Mercedes-Benz Young Classics in Stuttgart for purchase or rental.