January 28, 2016 – Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the legendary W 123 model which paved the way for the medium-sized luxury sedan known today as the E-Class.
The W 123 was first introduced in 1976 as a saloon and the range was expanded a year later by the Coupé (C 123) and, for the first time, an Estate model (S 123). Design-wise, it took its cues from the 116-series S-Class and the R/C 107 SL models, which was evident by the use of horizontally positioned headlamps in place of the vertically mounted lighting units that had previously been the convention.
At the car’s launch, Mercedes-Benz was able to introduce nine different models, from the 200 D to the 280 E, with a broad spectrum of equipment and appointments. New in the W 123 was the 2.5-litre six-cylinder M 123 engine in the 250 model which produced 129 horsepower.
The 123-series Saloon was built until November 1985; the era of the 124 series had begun ten months earlier. Production of the Estate models in the 123 series even went on until January 1986. From 1975 until 1986 almost 2.7 million W 123 vehicles were manufactured.
These days the 123 model series has long been recognized as a classic – and remains as fascinating as it was at its launch 40 years ago.