It is no coincidence that Porsche is celebrating the jubilee of the incredible Mercedes 500E sedan, which they even keep in their museum. Thirty years ago, Porsche’s task was to turn the E-Class W124 into a sports sedan powered by a V8 engine.
We recently wrote about the Mercedes-Benz 500E model, which many consider the most perfect sedan ever made, and in the development of which the "rival" Porsche also helped.
Yesterday, 500E celebrated its 30th birthday and thus officially entered the "hall" of oldtimers.
It is based on the W124 generation of the "golden" E-Class, and since it was a high-performance model, Mercedes needed help assembling a large engine into a smaller body.
A wider body was not an option due to the assembly line and here comes the story of Porsche, which was in financial trouble, so the project was welcome for both manufacturers.
Porsche's task was to turn the W124 E-Class into a sports sedan powered by a V8 engine.
In realization, Porsche engineers reworked most of the bodywork. The 500E was about 5.6 centimeters wider than the standard E-Class, and new elements were installed, such as different and more aggressive bumpers and a recognizable rear wing. In addition, most of the work was done in expanding the engine space to fit the 5.0-liter V8 from the Mercedes SL 500.
In addition, for better weight distribution, the battery has been moved to the trunk, and the car has been lowered by 2.3 centimeters compared to the standard model, and larger brakes have been installed. In addition, unlike the standard E-Class, each 500E was a four-seater due to the large rear differential that took the place of the middle seat in the rear.
Air entered the engine compartment through the gaps around the headlights, and the intake was insulated so as not to make too much noise. In its final form, the 500 produced 322 hp and 470 Nm of torque, and on the way to a top speed of 250 kilometers per hour, it "caught" a hundred in just 5.5 seconds.
It was presented in 1990 at the Paris Motor Show, and its production began a little later that year.
In addition to creating the drafts themselves, the making process was quite complex, which made it slow.
Namely, Mercedes delivered body parts to Porsche, and after Porsche assembled those parts, they returned them to Mercedes for painting, and then again finished in Porsche for final assembly.
The process lasted 18 days, and a total of 10,479 copies were made by the end of production.
On the model's 30th birthday, Holscher and Monig drove the 500E:
"The management is phenomenal. The linear acceleration is excellent, the brakes are outstanding and it is my pleasure to drive this car of a very dynamic character. The sound of the V8 engine is inconspicuous, but expressive, "said Holscher proudly, knowing that most of it can be attributed to the work of his colleague and him.