March 1954, the six-cylinder model, internally code named 220 a or W 180.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 220 a der Baureihe W 180 I.
In March 1954, a new 220 model with a modern integral concept was presented. It was based on the 180 model, which had been produced for six months by then. The six-cylinder model, internally code named 220 a or W 180. The six-cylinder engine of the 220 a was carried over from its predecessor model of series 187, however, it had been modified in some aspects: higher compression, the incorporation of a sharper cam shaft and a bigger carburettor delivered an engine power of 85 hp.

March 1956, the 220 S and 219

Mercedes-Benz Typ 220 S aus dem Jahre 1956
In March 1956, two years following the presentation of the 220 a, the 220 S and 219 models, the successors to the first six-cylinder model with ponton-type body, were unveiled to the public. The direct successor was the Type 220 S, as can be seen from the internal code name W 180 II. It was almost completely based on its predecessor model, engine power, however, had been increased to 100 hp due to the incorporation of two register carburettors.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 219, 1956 bis 1957 (mit vorderer Stoßstange der ersten Ausführung).
The second six-cylinder model, which was presented together with the 220 S had the rather unusual and non-prestigious designation 219. This model, which was internally code named W 105, had been constructed by combining the 190 and 220 a types. As a more affordable six-cylinder model with less generous equipment, it was intended to attract new customers. The engine had been carried over unchanged from the 220 a model, the chassis, the body starting with the A-pillar and the equipment, were taken from the 190 model, however. The six-cylinder engine necessitated a longer car front, which again corresponded to the 220 a. Accordingly, wheelbase and total length of the 219 were shorter compared to the 220 S, but bigger compared to the 190.

August 1957, “Even more value for the same money”
True to the motto “even more value for the same money” almost all passenger car models were presented in August 1957, some with more, some with less significant changes. Both six-cylinder “ponton” models now had a more powerful engine; the boost in power – 5 hp in the 219 and 6 hp in the 220 S – had been achieved by increasing compression up to 8.7. The most remarkable new feature, however, was the introduction of a hydraulic-automatic clutch named “Hydrak”, which was available with both models as an option. “Hydrak” combined a hydraulic clutch to start the car, a conventional single-disk dry clutch to engage and disengage the clutch during gear change and a freewheel to bypass the hydraulic clutch.

September 1958, a new six-cylinder model was presented

Mercedes-Benz Typ 220 SE, 1958 – 1959 (Versuchswagen; die Karosserie entspricht einem Typ 220 S der ersten Ausführung vor dem 08.1957)
The Type 220 SE, a new six-cylinder model, was presented to the public in September 1958 and came on the market two months later. This model, with the internal designation W 128, was largely identical to the 220 S except for having petrol injection. This was done by intermittent inlet manifold injection (like the 300 d) and meant that the 2.2-liter engine now produced 115 hp. However, this stronger engine giving better performance with lower fuel consumption had its price: The high price and short production run (ten months) of this model meant that only 1,974 of the 220 SE were built.

A total of 111,035 six-cylinder saloons with the “ponton” body were produced
In August 1959 three completely new six-cylinder models of the 111 series were presented as successors to the 219, 220 S and 220 SE. A total of 111,035 six-cylinder saloons with the “ponton” body were produced in five and a half years. Technically speaking, all Mercedes saloons built since then have had a “ponton”-type body. But the expression “ponton Mercedes” is only used for the original model generation.

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