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1996 S320 (Kuro) 1998 S600 (Weiss)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After logging in over the past few weeks and seeing more than usual of the same old "what are the badging differences between...", "what year did the W140...", Will this size wheel fit my..." etc. - type posts, I decided a kind of 'Introduction to the W140 - please read this first' - type "sticky" where we could answer all of the common questions that from time to time clog up the W140 section was in order. I've noticed them on some of the other areas of BW so Zeaq - if you think something along these lines is worthy please sticky this.

I'll start it off with the wikipedia.org entry for the W140 which covers basic Engine, years of production and wheel-base info;
 

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1996 S320 (Kuro) 1998 S600 (Weiss)
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Mercedes-Benz W140

The Mercedes-Benz W140 was a series of flagship vehicles manufactured by the German automotive marque Mercedes-Benz. The car premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1991, with the first examples rolling off the production line on August 6, 1991. Short (SE) and long (SEL) wheelbase sedans were offered initially, as well as the coupé (SEC) body style from January 1992. Like all Mercedes-Benz lines, the W140 S-Class was rationalized in late 1993 using the new "letter-first" nomenclature, dropping the named distinction between body styles. The SE/SEL/SEC cars were renamed the S-Class, with alphanumerical designations inverted. For example the both 500SE and 500SEL became S500 regardless of wheelbase length. In 1996 the coupé models following a mid-life update where separated into the CL-class. The W140 series S-Class was superseded by the W220 S-Class in 1999 after an eight year production run, the coupé by the C215 CL-Class for model year 2000.


History

As with its predecessor, the W140 was the first of the "next generation" of Mercedes-Benz models to feature the company's new design theme. The W140 introduced new innovations such as double-pane window glazing , self-closing doors and boot lid, electric windows which lowered back down upon encountering an obstruction, rear-parking markers which rose from the rear wings (discontinued on later vehicles, and replaced with sonar-assisted parking) and a heating system which emitted warm air after the engine was turned off. The vehicle is believed to have cost Mercedes-Benz over $1 billion to develop.

For details like this, the W140 is often known as the last Mercedes to be "overengineered," a Mercedes trait that was costing the company in product delays and overbudgeting. For the consumer, the W140 cost a considerable 25 percent more than its predecessor, the W126. In addition, the intense pressure from Infiniti and Lexus led to adding more features and options as to set the W140 apart from the rest and to justify the higher price.[citation needed]


Pre-1994 facelift Sedan
1993 Mercedes-Benz 600SEC
1999 Mercedes-Benz S600 featuring the flagship V12 engine
1999 Mercedes-Benz CL500The W140 was to feature air suspension as an option, but Mercedes was still perfecting the technology and chose to launch air-suspension in the next generation S-Class in 2000. Following the mid-year facelift in 1994, Mercedes-Benz made Electronic Stability Control an optional fixture to both sedan and coupé body styles in the W140 range. Both the sedan and coupé body styles were equipped with Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR) as a standard feature.

Like its predecessor, the car was available in two wheelbase lengths (short W140 and long V140) along with the C140 coupé. In 1992, a new 6 litre 408 horsepower V12 engine joined the lineup for the first time with the 600SE, 600SEL and 600SEC. A "V12" badge was affixed to the C-pillar.

In 1993, the 408 horsepower V12 engine was slightly detuned to 389 horsepower to comply with tighter emission control regulations in the United States and Europe. The V8 models were tuned down from 322 horsepower to 315 horsepower.

The W140 S600 was available with a leather dashboard and a suede headliner, unlike the V8 and inline 6-cylinder models. In 1994 the S600 also came with a wood/leather steering wheel, wood/leather gear shifter, wood rear ashtray covers, and two tone leather seating – further distinctions from its lower rung siblings.

Following the new Mercedes-Benz tradition of mid-life facelifts (starting with the W126 in 1986), the W140 received a minor facelift in 1994. The clear turn signal indicator lenses on the front were the most obvious change, as was the grille including a new and distinctive one for S600's. Headlamps were fitted with separate low H7, H1 fog, and high H1 beam reflectors in 1995, pre 1995 used an H4 bulb and H3 for the fog lamp. In 1994 the two tone exterior bumpers were painted to match the upper portions of the vehicles and the rear indicator lenses became clear.

Height of the W140 production models varied between years (1992-94 W140 Sedan: 58.7 in; 1992-94 V140 Sedan: 58.9 in; 1995-96 W140 Sedan: 58.4 in; 1995-99 V140 Sedan: 58.3 in; C140 Coupe: 56.7 in; 1997-99 W140 Sedan: 58.5 in).


Princess Diana's death


It has been noted that Diana, Princess of Wales died while travelling in a Mercedes-Benz S280 (W140), and it was an unfortunate side-effect of her high-profile death that the Mercedes' safety record was called into question. However, it is important to note that all of the car in question's safety systems functioned as designed, expanding both drivers' and passenger airbags and saving the life of Trevor Rees-Jones, Dodi Al-Fayed's bodyguard, who benefited from the front-passenger airbag. The fact that three of the car's four occupants were killed in the crash should be attributed more to the high speed of the vehicle, the intoxication of the driver and the fact that all four of the occupants were not wearing a seatbelt. The Mercedes safety systems were circumvented by the driver's and passengers' decisions.



Models







Features

Safety

The W140 S-Class introduced several safety innovations which have since become commonplace among many vehicles.[2]

Braking system

The V8 and V12 W140 models distributed more braking power to the rear wheels, increasing stopping effectiveness. In 1996, the W140 received Brake Assist, which engaged during emergency maneuvers to boost braking power to maximum.

Electronic Stability Program (ESP) was introduced in 1996. ESP used on-board computers to improve vehicle handling response during difficult driving conditions. This was a Mercedes developed system, which has since been licensed to other manufacturers.
Side airbags and seat occupancy sensors were introduced in 1996.

Comfort and convenience

Double-paned soundproofed glass was a new S-Class innovation first fitted on the W140. This form of window glazing allowed for improved soundproofing, reduced condensation, and other insulation benefits.
Electrically-operated exterior mirrors could be folded at the flick of a switch to ease driving in narrow spaces.
'Parameter steering' was a system which made low-speed driving easier by reducing the effort required to maneuver in speed-sensitive situations such as parking.
Rear-parking markers, or guide rods. These rods extended from the rear corners of the trunk lid when in reverse, providing the driver with a guideline for rear maneuvers. In 1995, this system was replaced by the sonar-based Parktronic system which measured the distance of the bumpers to nearby obstacles.
Rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Orthopedic seats were an expensive option from the factory but consisted of several different air cushions in the seat that the user can inflate and deflate to find the perfect driving position.
Dual-zone climate control.
Reclining and heated rear seats.
The air conditioning system was still able to function for 20 minutes after the engine had been turned off.

Drivetrain technologies

The W140 featured a newly-developed double wishbone front axle and a multi-link independent rear suspension.


 

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Outstanding Contributor W221 Moderator
2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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Well, you have to love the irony.
 

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1996 S320 (Kuro) 1998 S600 (Weiss)
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

You pain! :D

Good point, perhaps I should have suggested altering the title of that thread so that it jumps out at (and I hate to generalise) the 1 - 10 post types?

Mind you, of all the people that would have found a hole in my idea it would have been you - the guy who's posts I read and think "there goes the most patient person in the world once again kindly answering yet another set of questions 'xyz' from user 'MAHBNZWILLKILLURBIMMER' - Posts: 1" :p
 

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I think that the continued questions on the 140 shows that this car still has a respected place in the Mercedes line. People are still interested in it. And what a better place for getting the answers for it than a 140 forum. Discussion is good,sometimes the standard w140 year by year list does not account for mid-year changes by the factory or when something may have been added during the production run for that model year. I never looked at it as clogging up the forum. I would hope that people can continue ask others who have the experience with these cars for advice and information,no matter how trival it may seem.
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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I think that the continued questions on the 140 shows that this car still has a respected place in the Mercedes line. People are still interested in it. And what a better place for getting the answers for it than a 140 forum. Discussion is good,sometimes the standard w140 year by year list does not account for mid-year changes by the factory or when something may have been added during the production run for that model year. I never looked at it as clogging up the forum. I would hope that people can continue ask others who have the experience with these cars for advice and information,no matter how trival it may seem.
Still many of the threads are straight carbon copies of each other using the search function would help greatly.
 

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1997 Mercedes 600 Coupe & 1995 500 Coupe, 2004 Yamaha R1 200hp 360 pounds
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I get the same redundant questions on the street from strangers which I dont mind answering. It should be the same for this form. Being proud 140 owners we shouldnt mind redundant questions at all :)
 

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2005 E55 Designo
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Thanks Haku

Too many here asking about putting in screens or ghetto-chroming or adding donks and the useless list goes on, usually from the same suspects...the ones who dont own a w140. So if all you care about is how to customize your "w140-to-be" I suggest looking at so cal customs instead.
 

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1991 300E 1988 300D (sold) 1995 BMW 740 iL (W/ no where to park it!)
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are you guys purists or what? I have seen plenty of tuned w140s in seattle and vancouver
 

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are you guys purists or what? I have seen plenty of tuned w140s in seattle and vancouver
Depends on one's perception of what is a (W140) purist

Get some (local, not off the net) pics, I want to see this.

The laws of tuned say...cool today, played out tomorrow.

I like things that looked good 20 years ago and 20 years from now.(never "In" & never "Out")

To each His own, a person can make a Warhol out of their W140 if they want.
 

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1991 300E 1988 300D (sold) 1995 BMW 740 iL (W/ no where to park it!)
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I'm talking engine torqued up to increase hp, nice detail trim that makes it look like it's a newer model but you dont know if it's unique or not unless ur someone that owns a few.

I'm talking something like a black s5/6 sedan with a coup hood and grille sans the emblem and stand up ornament to make the front sleek with chrome but not gaudy rims.

There are some tacky ones that look like some shit out of a low rider mag and i will get pics of those. but there are really nice ones.
 
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