PKW4221 116 series S-Class Saloons, 1972 - 1980

116 series S-Class Saloons, 1972 - 1980

In September 1972 a totally new car generation of the upper class was presented to the public. For the first time the name "Mercedes-Benz S-Class" was officially used. It replaced model series 108/109 and at that time consisted of Types 280 S, 280 SE and 350 SE. Six months later the S-Class saloon was also available with a larger displacement capacity in the 4.5-liter V8-engine, parallel to the 450 SL and the 450 SLC. At the same time Type 450 SEL was launched with a wheelbase extended by 100 mm. As with its predecessors the rear passengers thus benefitted from the newly gained leg room. Since November 1973 the prolonged version was also available as 350 SEL, since April 1974 finally also as 280 SEL.

A remarkable technical novelty in the saloons of type range 116 was the double-wishbone front wheel suspension with zero steering-offset and brake dive support. It improved the handling characteristics of the car considerably. The rear wheel suspension corresponded for the most part to the construction which had proved itself for years in the "Stroke Eight" models and was also used in the 350 SL.

In terms of passive safety the S-Class also outlined the latest technological development. The many construction details realised in the 350 SL for the first time and for safety reasons now, of course, were transferred as a whole to the S-Class saloons. Thus the fuel tank was not located in the rear end of the car anymore, but above the rear axle and thus protected against collision. Inside a heavily padded dashboard, deformable or conceiling switches and controls as well as a new four-spoke security wheel with impact absorber and broad impact cushion provided for utmost crash protection. Important improvements in comparison to the preceding model range was the even more stable safety passenger cell with stiffened roof-frame structure, high-strength roof and door pillars as well as reinforced doors. The energy absorption of the front and rear deformation zone in the front and rear end was significantly increased by a controlled deformation capacity.

Newly developed cowl panels at the A-pillars, serving as water-shield gutters, guaranteed good visibility in rain and kept the side windows clean in bad weather. Further safety details were wide wraparound direction indicators, well visible also from the side. In addition, broad rear lamps with ribbed surface profile proved to be very insusceptible to dirt.

In May 1975 Type 450 SEL was presented as the new top model of the Type range and as the legitimate successor to 300 SEL 6.3. The powerful 6.9-liter V8-engine, developed from the 6.3-liter unit, achieved 286 hp and a maximum torque of 56 mkg. For the first time in a Mercedes-Benz car a hydropneumatic suspension with level control system guaranteed highest driving comfort. Further optional equipment belonging to the production delivery of the top model included central locking system, air-conditioning and headlamp washer system. As its direct predecessor, the 450 SEL 6.9 was an immediate and full success. Even though it was more than twice as expensive than the 350 SE, as many as 7,380 cars were built within its production time of four years and six months.

Between November 1975 and February 1976 the fuel injection system of the 2.8-liter, 3.5-liter and 4.5-liter injection-engines was changed in order to correspond to the now higher exhaust-emission standards in most European countries. The electronically controlled Bosch "D-Jetronic" was replaced by the newly developed mechanically controlled Bosch "K-Jetronic". In all three cases the conversion was connected to slight power reductions. In the 2.8-liter engine as well as in the 3.5-liter engine the compression was lowered at the same time. In order to facilitate maintenance both V8-engines were equipped with a breakerless transistor ignition and a hydraulic valve-clearance compensation.

Parallel to the 2.8-liter injection engine the compression was also lowered in the carburettor engine. Here, too, this led to a reduced potential of performance. Two years later, since April 1978, the original performance of all three models with injection engine was reached again. With the 2.8-liter injection engine - in contrast to the carburettor engine - the compression was increased to its old value. With the two V8-models the former performance was basically achieved by changing the exhaust-emission system.

In May 1978 the 116 series model range was once more extended. The new member of the family, Type 300 SD, gained as much attention as the 450 SEL 6.9 three years before. The new S-Class model, however, was at the other end of the performance scale and - for the first time in the history of this vehicle category - was driven by a Diesel engine. The 3.0-liter 5-cylinder aggregate which had proven so well in the Types 240 D 3.0 and 300 D was now provided with a turbocharger. This made it possible to increase the performance to 115 hp. The development of this unusual S-Class variant, which was exclusively available in the USA and Canada, had been started with the goal to fulfil the lower consumption figures newly introduced by the US government. The important figure was the so-called "corporate average fuel economy", an invention of the Carter-administration, which designated the average consumption of all car-models made available by a manufacturer. With an extended offer of traditionally economical Diesel models the fleet consumption could be lowered under the legal limit.

A technical innovation of trend-setting importance was available since autumn 1978, world exclusively in the 116 series S-Class models: the antilock system (ALS) which had been developed together with the Robert Bosch GmbH. It guarantees the unrestricted controllability of the vehicle even when slamming on the brakes, thus contributing considerably to active safety. Today it is almost self-evident and also available in small cars. In those days, however, the market introduction of the ALS was a real sensation.

Safety of a different kind was offered by the special protection versions of the 116 series models. Based on the experience gained by the development of the special protection 280 SEL 3.5, the protection technology could be further improved. Altogether 292 security cars were produced of the eight-cylinder models 350 SE, 350 SEL, 450 SE and 450 SEL and delivered to selected clients, among them many authorities in Europe and overseas.

In September 1979, models series 126 was presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show IAA, succeeding the first S-Class type range. The production of model series 116, however, was not finished yet. It ceased only between April and September 1980, depending on the model. The last car of a total of 473,035 built units of this range that passed the final-assembly inspection at the plant in Sindelfingen was a 300 SD.


  • 74236-31
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL
  • EA77F452
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 350 SE bzw. 450 SE Sonderschutz-Ausführung
    MB Baureihe 116 Typ 350 SE bzw 450 SE <Sonderschutz-Ausführung>
  • EA78F397
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 350 SEL bzw. 450 SEL
    350 SEL bzw. 450 SEL
  • EA7911292
    Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse Typ 280 SE der Baureihe 116 - Seiten-Crash, 1979.
    280 SE Seitenaufprall
  • A8105
    Entwicklung der S-Klasse, das 1:5 Modell wird automatisch in Längs- , Quer- und Höhenschnitte abgetastet. 
Mercedes-Benz Baureihe 116, Bauzeit 1972 bis 1980.
    Mercedes-Benz Baureihe 116
  • A8120
    Entwicklung der S-Klasse, das 1:5 Modell wird automatisch in Längs- , Quer- und Höhenschnitte abgetastet. Mercedes-Benz Baureihe 116, Bauzeit 1972 bis 1980
    MB Baureihe 116
  • A8121
    Werk Sindelfingen, 1972
Bei der Festlegung der Radausschnitte für das gelenkte und gefederte Rad berechnet der Computer die sogenannte Radhüllkurve für einen abgespecherten Reifentyp.
    Werk Sindelfingen
  • C8085
    Mercedes-Benz 280 S, 280 SE, 280 SEL, 350 SE, 350 SEL, 450 SE, 450 SEL, 1972 bis 1980
450 SEL mit 6.9 Liter, 1975 bis 1980
Armaturen
    Mercedes-Benz Baureihe 116
  • C8412
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 S, 280 SE, 350 SE und 450 SE Limousine aus dem Jahre 1972 (Warndreieck)
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 S, 280 SE, 350 SE und 450 SE Limousine
  • C8413
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 S, 280 SE, 280 SEL, 350 SE, 350 SEL, 450 SE, 450 SEL, 1972 bis 1980, 450 SEL mit 6,9 Liter, 1975 bis 1980 (verstellbarer Außenspiegel)
    MB Baureihe 116
  • C8414
    Mercedes-Benz 450 SE, 116 series
    Mercedes-Benz 450 SE
  • C8419
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 S, 280 SE, 280 SEL, 350 SE, 350 SEL, 450 SE, 450 SEL, 1972 bis 1980, 450 SEL mit 6,9 Liter, 1975 bis 1980 (Verriegelung der Sicherheitsgurte)
    -
  • C8422
    Mercedes-Benz 280 S, 280 SE, 280 SEL, 350 SE, 350 SEL, 450 SE, 450 SEL, 1972 bis 1980, 450 SEL mit 6,9 Liter
Armaturen
1975 bis 1980
    Mercedes-Benz Baureihe 116
  • C8424
    Vergleich Motoren
Mercedes-Benz von links: 280 SE bzw. 280 SEL (M 110 E 28) und 350 SE bzw. 350 SEL (M 116 E 35)
1972 - 1980
    MB Motoren Baureihe 116
  • C10789
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 SEL und 350 SEL aus dem Jahre 1973, 450 SEL aus dem Jahre 1972 und 450 SEL mit 6,9 Liter aus dem Jahre 1975
    MB Baureihe 116
  • C10794
    Mercedes-Benz 450 SE/ SEL
S-Klasse Baureihe W 116  mit M 117 Motor
Mercedes-Benz 8-Zylinder Otto-Motor M 117 aus dem Jahr 1972
    Mercedes-Benz 450 SE/ SEL
  • C10796
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL Limousine aus dem Jahre 1972
    MB Baureihe 116
  • C10797
    Mercedes-Benz Typ SLC und S-Klasse aus dem Jahre 1980
    -
  • C10798
    Mercedes-Benz SLC und S-Klasse aus dem Jahre 1980
    Mercedes-Benz Baureihe C 107, W 116
  • C14703
    Mercedes-Benz 280 SEL
Limousine aus dem Jahre 1973.
    Mercedes-Benz 280 SEL
  • C14705
    Mercedes-Benz Coupé-SLC, SL-Roadster aus den Jahren 1971 - 1985
S-Klasse-Limousine aus den Jahren 1972 - 1980
    Baureihe 116, Baureihe 107
  • C17997
    S-Klasse Baureihe (W 116) 450 SEL 6.9 mit M 100 Motor. 
Mercedes-Benz 8-Zylinder Otto-Motor aus dem Jahre 1975.
    Benzin Motor M 100
  • C25024
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 SEL und 350 SEL aus dem Jahre 1973, 450 SEL aus dem Jahre 1972 und 450 SEL mit 6,9 Liter aus dem Jahre 1975 (Autotelefon)
    MB Baureihe 116
  • C25894
    Mercedes-Benz 300 SD Turbodiesel Saloon, USA version from 1977
    Mercedes-Benz 300 SD Turbodiesel
  • C27505
    ABS testing at Daimler-Benz AG's Stuttgart-Untertürkheim plant. When braking on bends the ABS maintains the car's directional stability and steerability, provided permissible cornering speeds based on the laws of physics have not been exceeded.
    Baureihe 116 mit Anti-Blockier-System
  • C27510
    Braking better: Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloons of the 116 series on the running-in track in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim in 1979. The vehicle at the top with anti-lock braking system (ABS) remains steerable; the one at the bottom without ABS continues to slide and cannot be steered despite the front wheels being fully turned.
    Baureihe 116 mit Anti-Blockier-System
  • C27511
    ABS testing at Daimler-Benz AG's Stuttgart-Untertürkheim plant. When braking on bends the ABS maintains the car's directional stability and steerability, provided permissible cornering speeds based on the laws of physics have not been exceeded.
    Baureihe 116 mit Anti-Blockier-System
  • SI77668-7
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 350 SEL bzw. 450 SEL
    350 SEL bzw. 450 SEL
  • SI77668-8
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 350 SEL der Baureihe 116
    350 SEL
  • SI77668-9
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 350 SEL bzw. 450 SEL
    350 SEL bzw. 450 SEL
  • 72120-23
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 350 SE Limousine aus dem Jahre 1972.
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 350 SE
  • 72120-42
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 S, 280 SE, 350 SE und 450 SE Limousine aus dem Jahre 1972 (Geschäumte Türbeläge und Fensterschlüssel in der Verbindung mit einer Velours- oder Lederpolsterung)
    MB Baureihe 116
  • 72202-25
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 350 SE Limousine aus dem Jahre 1972 (Rückleuchten)
    MB Baureihe 116
  • 72202-40
    Motorraum, Mercedes-Benz Typ 350 SE bzw. 350 SEL aus dem Jahre 1973
    -
  • 72378-5
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL der Baureihe 116
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL
  • 72378-10
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL der Baureihe 116
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL
  • 72378-11
    Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL
der Baureihe 116
    Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL
  • 72378-15
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL der Baureihe 116
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL
  • 72378-17
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL der Baureihe 116
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL
  • 72378-23
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL der Baureihe 116
    Mercedes-Benz Typ 450 SEL
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