WHY IS THE Mercedes Benz W140 S-Class STILL A GREAT CAR?

Mercedes Benz W140 S-Class:

This was the incorrect vehicle at the wrong moment. When Mercedes-Benz removed the covers from the model W140 S-Class in spring 1991, the age of glamour and glitz during postwar Germany was drawing to an end.

It was becoming clear to Germans that their new unity was likely to cost them a great deal of money. To top it all off, rising concerns about the effects of climate change as well as the second Gulf War sparked renewed fears about the limited nature of oil. An extravagant “tank” for celebrities and politicians was not part of the overall picture.

The Stuttgart manufacturer quickly captured 50 percent of the premium limo market, but some critics and even who are Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts were not happy with the price of 88,000 to 200 000 Deutschmarks around EUR242,000 (RM1.18mil) to purchase an enormous 5.2-metre-long sedan that appeared grotesque with its more elegant competitor that is that of the BMW 7 Series.

The anger turned to ridicule when it became clear that the 1.89-metre S-Class was too wide to be fitted on the cars of the car train heading to the fashionable Northern German Island of Sylt where executives who are stressed out are known to take a vacation.

The engineering excellence in the automobile was unquestionable. It was the result of more than 10 years of development, and an enormous financial investment. The head engineer, Wolfgang Peter, said that it could be “the largest passenger car project ever undertaken by Mercedes-Benz” while the motoring publication Auto, Motor und Sport called it”the “best car in the world”.

Naturally, the luxury of this era polarised the media. A leftist Tageszeitung “taz” newspaper castigated the S-Class as “the product of engineering mania and the climate-killer instinct.”

The comparisons to the chancellor Kohl are inevitable as Kohl was driven around in a range-topping version. Similar to the politician , the W140 S-Class was seen as uninspiring, a bit out of sync with the times, and criticised by some as “the fat one”.

But, unlike the chancellor of unification, who was in office for four terms in the legislature and ruled the nation over 16 years, W140 was able to have the ability to last for a long time. It was manufactured in 1998, and a good portion among the around 400,000 models are still in good shape. Production was moved to India up to 2001, but experts believe that not all of the components made locally were in good condition.

Even critics are known to slack off when they get behind the wheel. To aid drivers in coping with the dimensions, Mercedes-Benz included folding mirrors on the exterior as well as the tiny chrome rods that popped out in the corner of the boot in just two seconds after putting on the reverse gear. When compared to modern, bulky SUVs, the W140 appears delicate.

When the doors shut with a distinctive clang, the driver and passengers are in a realm that is their own. The interior is quiet, and a few electronic aids make life easier for passengers. Electronic windows, centrally locked doors and locking mechanisms were the norm on the initial team. even the modern models from the E-Class executive saloon could be fitted with the old-fashioned wind-up window.

Security was guaranteed with curtains and a powered roller blind at the rear, while the adjustable and heated seating in the second row provided comfort. The total number of electric motors were used inside the massive Mercedes.

The car is equipped with a decent selection of engines starting from the S280 which had 191 horsepower to the 228 horsepower S300 2,86-hp S420 and the 308-hp S500. The top of the line was a V12 that produced four08 horsepower in the S600 (the horsepower was reduced to 389 bhp by October 1992). For those who wanted to save money, there was a turbo diesel with only 150 horses and later a less expensive petrol model that had two 8-litre pots that produced 193 horsepower.

The reviewers continue to praise the car, saying that drivers were unaware of the car’s weight when driving. “This luxury liner is still a pleasure to drive and it feels up to date,” an auto tester of Auto Motor and Sport magazine said in a review.

Thirty years after its debut and its 30th anniversary, the W140 Generation S-Class is nearing the point of becoming a classic, though models can still be snapped at a bargain price for little money. The luxurious barge is nowhere near as attractive as a cabriolet or a coupe and the array of electronic aids on board is a frightener for beginners. Problems with engine management are often complex and costly to resolve.

In Germany The licence authorities of Flensburg provide just 5,000 of the W140 licensed to be used. Many of them lie on the docks at Baltic Sea ports after being sold to people who can’t afford to maintain them correctly.

For a second-hand car, the W140 is a steal. A great example that has an eight-cylinder or six-cylinder engine is available at a price of just under 15,000 euros. Fans, however, will require large pockets in case of repairs.

If you’re tempted to buy one, bear on the subject that luxurious vehicles are a bit too large to be used on European roads. With a W140, finding parking space in busy cities is not going to be easy.

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Joe Eckel

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