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From 1990 to 1994 (model years 1991-1994), Mercedes-Benz sold a high performance version of the W124, the Mercedes-Benz 500 E (W124.036). The 500 E was created in close cooperation with Porsche; each 500 E was hand-built by Porsche, being transported back and forth between the Mercedes plant and Porsche's Rossle-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany during assembly — taking a full 18 days to complete each model. Design began in 1989 and into 1991.[2] Called '500 E' through model year 1993, for model year 1994 it was face-lifted along with the rest of the range and renamed to 'E 500'.

:cool:
 

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yeah it's true, i'm pretty sure that my dad put most of that suspension from a 500E underneath my 300D when he was driving it, he said something about Porshe ganging up with MB to do it
 

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Yes, part of that is true.

The early 500Es were assembled at Porsche on the same assembly line as the legendary 959. The reason for Porsche handling the 500E is because MB did not have the production facilities for such a low volume vehicle, and Porsche was in its dark days with plenty of available production space.

The later 500Es and all facelifted (i.e. E500s) were brought back into the MB fold to eliminate the logistical nightmare and associated costs. This occurred at about the same time the 400E/E420 became a production vehicle.
 

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Sith Lord
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Porsche used to modify the chassis to hold the new drivetrain. Car was sent back to MB for paint, and up you go back to Porsche for complete assembly.
 

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Yes, part of that is true.

The later 500Es and all facelifted (i.e. E500s) were brought back into the MB fold to eliminate the logistical nightmare and associated costs. This occurred at about the same time the 400E/E420 became a production vehicle.
Yes, this is what I have been told as well.

Porsche used to modify the chassis to hold the new drivetrain. Car was sent back to MB for paint, and up you go back to Porsche for complete assembly.
True. When you crawl around one you start to see lots of areas that Porsche got their hands on. There is much more done to these chassis than just finding a way to get the M119 in. One interesting aspect of a 500e compared to a 400e is that although the transmission tunnel was expanded on both cars, Porsche apparently left more room for the driver's feet. In my 400e I continually scrape the left side of my shoe on the brake pedal when coming off the throttle but that never happens on the 500e. Both are '93. Another difference is additional sheetmetal in the spare tire well. So there are the obvious mods Porsche did and there are the not-so-obvious mods too.
 

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So there are the obvious mods Porsche did and there are the not-so-obvious mods too.
Whatever mods Porsche did is reflected on the way the car handles when driven hard. I can't explain in words how the 500E rides better than the SL500 beyond 100MPH.
 

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Yes, it's true ...

Porsche was in a bit of trouble in the early 90s and one reason was that the UK economy was crumbling (again!!!) and the city guys weren't buying their usual quota of 911s. Porsche needed work and this was a sub-contract opportunity with the stronger Mercedes who had diversified into the lower cost 190 series and were able to weather the storms of recession by having a broader client base.

I think that's also true or, at the very least, it sounds plausible.

RayH
 

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Porsche had an engineering division that worked for a lot of car companies. They did have a lot of excess production capacity at the time and certainly there was a marketing hype element to it. But it's very likely that the driving force behind the relationship was the fact that Mercedes wanted to acquire them. Porsche was hurting but so closely held that an unfriendly deal wasn't possible. Any acquisition had to be friendly, but the German equivelent of the DOJ antitrust division nixed the idea.
 

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Whatever mods Porsche did is reflected on the way the car handles when driven hard. I can't explain in words how the 500E rides better than the SL500 beyond 100MPH.
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The combination of the seamingly endless acceleration and the sure-footedness of the 500e are a formidable combination. that is difficult to describe. I still get a smile on my face everytime I run from 70 up to 130. It takes a very short time. Interestingly, the SL is a good 200lbs heavier than the 500e. The one place they scould have gone a bit further was on the brakes. If you like to drive in a spirited manner, the stock brakes are not adequate. There is a relatively easy solution. The rotors and calipers from the SL600 do the trick. This is refered to as the Silver Arrows brake upgrade.
 

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Cruise Control
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Porsche was also working with audi.

I prefer the mb
That Audi was an RS2, which out-accelerated the 500E. But these two were really world's apart in their approach and appeal; not really an either/or choice to me. I consider each to be just about the most desirable limited-run vehicles from their era.
 

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That Audi was an RS2, which out-accelerated the 500E. But these two were really world's apart in their approach and appeal; not really an either/or choice to me. I consider each to be just about the most desirable limited-run vehicles from their era.


Unlike the MB, the Audi wore Porsche apparel; brake calipers, rear view mirrors, alloys etc... it only came as in Avant guise, for those happy fathers who didn't wan't an M5 or 500E sedan :)
 

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An estate car with a five cylinder engine? More like some mutant bad-boy on steroids. Except for the performance, I don't know how you could compare the lines of the 500E and its interior appointments against the RS2.

Kevin
 

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No comparison at all. They each scratch a different itch.
A car company can make any car fast. Once you get past your boy-racer yrs though, it takes more to satisfy most of us. The 500E has it all for a sedan; performance, grace, space & aplomb....the personification of a tour de force.

Kevin
 
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