The nineties

S-Class. The nickname for this series is `Der Kathedral`, because of its enormous size

Baureihe W140 1991/1998
The nineties: The car was unveiled at the Genève car show of March 1991, after which the first cars let the factory on August the 6th that same year.

The W140 was the first of the “next generation” of Mercedes-Benz models to feature the company’s new design theme. This design was adopted for the new C-Class in 1989 and during 1991 for use on the facelifted W124 in 1993.

Mercedes-Benz built 432,732 examples of the 140 series, comprising 406,710 sedans and 26,022 coupés.

The nineties W140 500

This S-Class achieved a new world record over the international competition

Design model of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, model series 140 (1991 to 1998), in the wind tunnel at the Untertürkheim plant. Photo from 1990. With a drag coefficient of 0.30, this S-Class achieved a new world record over the international competition – and also showed that a vehicle´s size and excellent aerodynamics are not a contradiction in terms.

The S-Class as an example for aerodynamics development

Underbody of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, model series 140 (1991 to 1998). The covered underbody plays a key role in this car´s excellent drag coefficient of 0.30, which earned it a new world record over the international competition – and also showed that a vehicle´s size and exemplary aerodynamics are not a contradiction in terms. Photo from 1990.

“C-Class” W202

In May 1993 the second generation of the compact class was presented with the model series 202. Analogous to the generally known designation “S-Class”, which has been used for more than two decades for the top-class range of Mercedes-Benz, the new models were united under the newly created term “C-Class”.

The nineties W202

E-Class. W210 1995/2002

Since the W210 the E-Class has retained the four headlights in its design, which is noteworthy as prior to 1995 Mercedes-Benz had not applied round headlights in its car designs for quite some time up until then. The E-Class was offered as sedan and a Combi (station car).

The W210 models replaced the W124 E-Class models after 1995, launching in mainland Europe in September 1995 and in the United States on November 8, 1995. W210 sedans were replaced by the W211 E-Class after 2002, and wagons/estates changed body style to the W211 after 2003.

The nineties W210

SLK sports car R 170 230 KOMPRESSOR

The evolutionary process towards becoming a premium brand of such diversity continued to gain momentum. In April of 1994, for example, Mercedes-Benz showed its first design study for the compact SLK sports car, featuring a vario roof in metal. The R 170 model series went into series production in 1996. The trendsetter with the distinctive three-letter name played a major part in enhancing the youthful appeal of the brand.

The nineties R170

S-Class W220 (1998 – 2005)

In September of 1998 the S-Class, with the badging W220, was introduced. In a time with increasing concern for the environment, Mercedes-Benz had taken note of the critique voiced by the press and the public by producing a significantly smaller and lighter S-Class.

The nineties W220 S-Class

CL-Class W215

The second generation of the CL is the W215-chassis coupé of 1999–2006. It is based on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220). The CL’s front fascia of four oval headlights is similar to that of the W210 and W211 E-Class. The CL is offered as four models.

Production 1999–2006
Body and chassis
Platform Mercedes-Benz W215
5.0L V8
5.5L V8
6.2L V8
5.5L V12
5.8L V12
6.0L V12
6.3L V12

The Nineties W215 500CL

July 2022, editorial

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