The Mercedes E W123 AMG is the model that replaced the preceding series, the W 114/115. This was way back in January 1976. It was a total reconstruction of the earlier model. The series ran from 1976 to 1985. This new range of models was orientated to the S class. By then, the S class had been in production for about three and a half years. The least powerful engine in the series was a 2 liter, 4 cylinder, diesel engine, which produced 55 HP. This was quite a contrast in comparison to the most powerful engine in the series, the 2.8 liter, 6 cylinder engine. This one produced a massive 185 HP.
This new medium sized model came with several new features, an obvious departure from its predecessor. Some of the new features included a more advanced rear axle, semi-trailing arm, which made its debut with the ‘dash eight’ models. It also came equipped with front suspension (double wishbone) that had a zero steering offset. The series did away with the chassis sub frame that was present in its predecessor. All the other safety features introduced in the 107 and 116 series were carried over to these new mid size models.
One of the most notable improvements from its preceding series was the more secure and stable passenger cell. It was more compact, with a stiff roof frame structure. The roof was much stronger, as well as the reinforced doors and their pillars. The new controlled deformation capacity greatly enhanced energy absorption capabilities of both the rear and front deformation zones. The safety steering column was introduced for the first time in this series. A corrugated metallic tube was used to link together the steering column tube and the steering aggregate. The corrugated metallic tube was made to buckle to the side during a crash.
The new models came with definitive headlamps as well. A smaller halogen fog lamp was placed beside the main headlamp. However, the leading models of the series, the 280E and 280, had halogen wide-band head lamps. Both bearing 2.8 liter engines, these two models stood out from the rest with their twin end pipes, chrome strip at the rear and two chrome air induction grills at the front. The engines, however, were carried over to the new models, but there is an exception with the model 250, which was denied the 2.8 liter engines. It was given the newly made 2.5 liter, 6 cylinder engine.
In 1977, three new variants of the W 123 series body were launched. The first on the scene was the coupe, which was introduced as 230C, 280C and 280CE models. The same year in the month of August, the limousine, with a capacity of up to eight people was also introduced. These were mostly used to offer transfer and taxi services then.
This is just but a sneak peek into the interesting story of Mercedes.