Mercedes-Benz S Class W116
|Assembly||Sindelfingen, West Germany Barcelona, Venezuela (CKD)|
|Class||Full-size luxury car|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Engine||2.8L I6 3.5L V8 4.5L V8 6.9L V8 3.0L I5 turbodiesel|
|Transmission||3-speed automatic 4-speed automatic 4-speed manual 5-speed manual|
|Wheelbase||2,865 mm (112.8 in) SEL: 2,965 mm (116.7 in)|
|Length||4,960 mm (195 in) 5,060 mm (199 in)|
|Width||1,870 mm (74 in)|
|Height||1,410 mm (56 in) & 1,430 mm (56 in)|
|Related||Mercedes-Benz W114 Mercedes-Benz R107 Mercedes-Benz W123|
The Mercedes-Benz W116 is a series of flagship vehicles produced from September 1972 through 1979. The W116 automobiles were the first Mercedes-Benz models to be officially called S-Class, although earlier sedan models had already unofficially been designated with the letter 'S' - for Sonderklasse or "special class."
The 'new' S-class generation development began in 1966, which was only a year after the launch of the W108/09. This was the first Mercedes saloon to feature the brand new corporate styling theme which was to be continued until 1993 when the 190 was discontinued. The design, finalized in 1969 was a dramatic leap forward, with more masculine lines that combined to create an elegant and sporty character. The basic design concept was actually inspired from the R107 SL-Class roadster, especially the front and rear lights.
The car was presented in September 1972. The model range initially included two versions of the M110 engine (Straight-six with 2,746 cc displacement) - the 280S (using a Solex carburetor) and the 280SE (using Bosch D-Jetronic injection), plus the 350 SE, powered by the M116 engine (V8 with 3,499 cc displacement). Half a year later two new models powered by the M117 engine (V8 with 4,520 cc displacement) were added to the range - the 450SE and the 450SEL (with a 100 mm longer body).
The most notable W116 was the high-performance, limited-production 450 SEL 6.9, which was introduced in 1975, and became the first production car to use an electronic four-wheel multi-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) as an option from 1978 on. This model boasted the largest engine installed in a post-war Mercedes-Benz up to that time, and also featured self-leveling hydropneumatic suspension.
The 300 SD sedan (USA and Canada only) had a turbocharged 3.0-litre I5 diesel engine developed from the record breaking C111 experimental vehicle.
The 450SEL was named the European Car of the Year in 1974.
Production totaled 473,035 units. The W116 was succeeded by the W126 S-Class in 1979. The W116 was sold throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia.
In 1975, the W116 was upgraded with a new fuel injection system to comply with revised exhaust emission standards in European markets. A slight power reduction was a result of this update. In 1978, a series of engine upgrades restored original performance levels with new fuel injection systems.
|Chassis code||Model Years||Model||Engine||No. built|
|W116.020||1973–1980||280 S sedan||2.8 L M110 I6||122,848|
|W116.024||1973–1980||280 SE sedan||2.8 L M110 I6||150,593|
|W116.025||1974–1980||280 SEL sedan||2.8 L M110 I6||7,032|
|W116.028||1973–1980||350 SE sedan||3.5 L M116 V8||51,100|
|W116.029||1973–1980||350 SEL sedan||3.5 L M116 V8||4,266|
|W116.032||1973–1980||450 SE sedan||4.5 L M117 V8||41,604|
|W116.033||1973–1980||450 SEL sedan||4.5 L M117 V8||59,578|
|W116.036||1975–1980||450 SEL 6.9||6.9 L M100 V8||7,380|
|W116.120||1978–1980||300 SD sedan||3.0 L OM617 I5 turbodiesel (USA and Canada only)||28,634|
The W116 S-Class incorporated a broad variety of Mercedes-Benz safety innovations.
- Four wheel anti-lock brakes were first featured on the W116 S-Class. This system prevents the wheels from locking while braking. The system improves steering control during hard braking situations, and to shorten brake distances.
- Strengthened body structure. The W116 featured a more stable security passenger cell with a stiffened roof frame structure. High strength roof and door pillars, along with other reinforced zones, provided enhanced vehicle occupant protection.
- A padded dashboard, deformable switches and controls, and a four-spoke steering wheel with impact absorber and broad impact cushion aimed to reduce occupant injury during collisions.
- The fuel tank was no longer fitted at the rear end, but was now placed above the rear axle for added protection.
- Wraparound turn signals made it easier to communicate with nearby drivers.
James Bond film For Your Eyes Only
A Mercedes 280SE driven by Emile Locque After the raid on Kristatos' base in Albania, Locque attempts to escape Bond in the car by driving to the top of a cliff, but is shot by Bond, who loses control with the car hanging perilously off the edge. Bond kicks the car off the cliff to finish off Locque.
Mercedes-Benz-S-Klasse-W116 in Octopussy