Guest Post >> Taste of exclusivity: The C 124 E-Coupe

Authors: Brian Smith, Sukhwinder Singh

Mercedes-Benz is the brand which has always attracted motorists with the urge for the finer things in life, a point which is perhaps best exemplified by the gourgeous Mercedes coupes, the C124 Coupe, which was presented in 1986. The third generation E-Coupe made its debut at the Geneva auto show in 1986, and the reaction of the press and public alike was highly motivating. It was only natural, as one glance at this gourgeous coupe was enough.

The legacy of the mid-sized coupes started back in 1968 with the C 114 Coupe, then followed by the C 123 coupe 8 years later, both of which left a lasting impression of sheer class and style. Therefore, the C 124 coupe had some big shoes to fill, and it certainly did, if not exceeded it. The new mid-sized coupe followed closely on the footsteps of its larger C 126 S-Class Coupe brother, introduced 5 years before, which had already established a reputation of unparralled exclusivity - the new coupe, therefore, displayed a pure, sharply angled design idiom. Inside, the C 124 reflected on the outer style with a beautifully crafted interior, that displayed an atmosphere of calm elegance.

It was no secret that the E-Coupe was largely based on the highly acclaimed W 124 E-Class Saloon;this was clearly relected in its overall styling elements and running gear, and, this meant, needless to say, the E-Coupe offered the highest levels of quality and innovation. Worthy of mention is the major facelift which took place in 1993, with more softer styling and new model nomenclature introduced on the new E-Class - for example the 320 CE was renamed to E 320 Coupe.

Highest technological innovation

This new dream car immediately captured the imagination with its heart-warming appearance and emotionally passionate lines, but on the other side it had the technology to match its looks, in true Mercedes tradition - form follows function. The body was designed with a keen eye on aerodynamic efficiency and shared a reputation of world leading performance with its Saloon stablemate. At launch, the range comprised the 2.3 litre 230 CE, good for 150 hp, and the flagship was the smoothly assertive 3.0 litre inline-six in the form of the fuel-injected 300 CE;the range was futher enhanced in 1990 with the introduction of the 300 CE-24, which borrowed the newly developed high performing engine from the SL capable of an incredible 231 hp output. One of the key aspects of this new powerplant was the use of 4 valves per cylinder instead of the previous 2. The 300 CE-24 also served as the new top-model. The range was systematically revised throughout its lifecycle, but one interesting addition was a limited edition flagship from the AMG weapon factory - the E 36 AMG from 1994, offering a staggering 286 hp.

The mid-sized grand-tourer sported the underpinnings familiar from the W 124 saloon, but it was slightly modified with a shorter wheelbase - it therefore offered superlative comfort and dependable handling safety. More keener drivers had the choice of the Sportline variants, which offered stiffer tuned sports suspension and a manual transmission. This variant was particularly rare, outlining the expectations Mercedes-Benz customers have: the highest possible comfort and luxury, not necesseraly tyre wrenching handling.

The C 124 E-Coupe finally gave way to the CLK in 1997, which was aimed at a lower positioned, 'more younger' market. Today's cherished examples are becoming increasingly sought after by classic car collectors all over the world. The timeless appearance of this coupe still stirs the souls of many Mercedes admirers, even in these days. With 141,498 units leaving Sindelfingen, its appeal was no coincidence. Another masterpiece of automotive art from Mercedes-Benz, the E-class coupe legend lives on with the reviving having took place in March 2009, with the C 207. The timeless appeal of this coupe will only mature with the passing of time, just like a fine wine, and its rock-solid build will certainly ensure that.

For more photos of the C 124, follow the next link:

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