The Mercedes-Benz W111 was a chassis code given to a range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles produced between 1959 and 1971, including four-door sedans (1959-1968) and two-door coupés and cabriolets (1961 to 1971).

Introduced as in-line 6-cylinder cars with 2.2-liter engines, the W111 spawned two lines of variants: entry-level vehicles sharing their chassis and body, but with four-cylinder engines they were designated as the W110. A luxurious version built on the W111 chassis with its body and the six-cylinder M186 engine with six-cylinder fuel injection was designated the W112.

Mercedes-Benz emerged from World War II as an automaker in the early 1950s, with the expensive 300 Adenauers and the exclusive 300 S tourers that gained fame, but it was the simple monobloc Pontons that made up the bulk of the company's revenue.

Pontons replacement work began in 1956 with a design focused on passenger comfort and safety. Ponton's basic cab was enlarged and square, with a large glass greenhouse improving the driver's visibility. A milestone in the car's design was the front and rear crumple zones to absorb kinetic energy on impact. The automaker also patented retractable seat belts.

The body was modern and featured characteristic American-style squiggles that gave the models the nickname Heckflosse - the German for "fintail".

Production history

Mercedes-Benz 220b
Serial production of the 4-door sedan began in August 1959, which made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the fall. Initially the series consisted of 220b, 220Sb and 220SEb. These replaced (W105) 219, (W180) 220S and (W128) 220SE Ponton sedans respectively. The 220b was an entry-level version with little chrome finish, simple hubcaps and a basic interior finish that had no door pockets. Prices were DM 16,750, 18,500 and 20,500, with a gross sales rate of 1: 2: 1.

All modes shared the 2195 cc in-line six-cylinder M127 engine transported from the previous generation, producing 95 hp (71 kW) at 4800 rpm and capable of accelerating the heavy car to 160 km / h (155 if equipped with gearbox optional automatic). The 220Sb featured dual carburetors and produced 110 hp (82 kW) at 5000 rpm, increasing the top speed to 165 km / h (103 mph) (160 km / h (99 mph)) and improving 0-100 km / h (62 mph) acceleration to 15 seconds (16 on 220b). The top 220SEb range included a Bosch fuel injection that produced 120 hp (89 kW) at 4800 rpm, with a top speed of 172 km / h (107 mph) (168 km / h (104 mph) for auto) and a 0 –100 km / h (62 mph) time of 14 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz 220Sb
In 1961, the W111 chassis and body were shared with the even more basic 4-cylinder W110 and a luxurious W112 version built on the W111 chassis with its body and Type 300 6-liter M189 6-cylinder engine with standard power features and a high level of internal and external finishing. The body of the W110 featured a shorter hood compared to the W111.

A 2-door coupe / cabriolet version of the W111 / W112 was also produced.

Mercedes-Benz 220Sb

In May 1965, the 220Sb and 220SEb were replaced by the new 230S. It was visually identical to the 220S, with a modernized 2306 cm3 M180 engine with two Zenith carburetors producing 120 hp (89 kW) at 5400 rpm. The maximum speed is 176 km / h (109 mph) (174 km / h (108 mph) in automatic), the acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h (62 mph) is 13 seconds (15 with automatic transmission). As a successor to the 220b, Mercedes-Benz also introduced the 230, with the 2306 cm3 engine installed in the W110 series car. A total of 41,107 230S models were built until January 1968, when the last of the 4-door windows left the production line.

Coupé and cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz 280SE Coupe (USA)

The boxes almost disappeared in the two-door versions
The design of a replacement for the two-door Pontons started in 1957. Since most of the chassis and powertrain would be unified with the sedan, the scope was focused on the external style. Some of the prototypes and prototypes show that Mercedes-Benz tried to give the two-door car a front style almost identical to what would be realized on the Pagoda roadster, but ultimately favored the work of engineer Paul Bracq. The rear had small tailfins, subtle compared to those of the bodies and evocative of the square style of the W108 / W109.

Production began in the late 1960s, with the coupe making its debut on the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, in February of the following year. The convertible followed at the Frankfurt Motor Show a few months later. Almost identical to the coupe, the soft top roof folded into a recess behind the rear seat and was covered by a tightly fitting leather "boot" in the same color as the seats. Unlike the previous generation of the two-door ponton series, the 220SE designation was used for both the coupe and the convertible; both received the same version of the 2195 cc M127 engine. Prices in 1962 were 32,500 for the coupe and 36,000 NLG for the cabriolet. Options included a sliding sunroof for the coupe, automatic transmission, power steering and individual rear seats.

Mercedes-Benz 220SE Convertible
In March 1962, Mercedes-Benz launched the exclusive two-door 300SE with M189 engine. Like the 300 sedan, it was based on the W111 chassis, but shared Daimler's 2996 cm3 engine and the unique W112 chassis designation, efforts on the part of Mercedes to distance it from the automaker's modest W110 and W111 lines and joints to the prestigious two-door luxury sports tour W188 300S. It was distinguished by a chrome strip and featured air suspension and a higher level of internal trim and finish. Prices were 45,000 and 48,500 for hard and soft roofs, respectively.

In the summer of 1965, Mercedes-Benz launched replacements for the W111 and W112 sedans, the W108 and the W109, respectively. With tailfin fashion well eroded in the mid-1960s, the new design was based on the contained W111 coupe, enlarged and square. Work on a future new chassis that would completely replace the Ponton-derived W111 / W112 and W108 / W109 was already underway. With a concept car of the first S-Class shown in 1967, Daimler refused to develop a two-door W108 / W109 vehicle, continuing the production of the aging W111 / W112 with modest changes. The 220SE was replaced in the early fall of 1965 by the 250SE, which featured the new 2496 cm3 M129 engine. Producing 150 hp (112 kW) at 5500 rpm, it gave the vehicle a significant improvement in top speed, 193 km / h (188 km / h (117 mph) with automatic transmission) and 0-100 km / h (62 mph) time acceleration of 12 seconds (14 with automatic transmission). Visible changes include new 14-inch rims, which came with new hub cabs and beautiful rings, accommodating the largest disc brakes and the new rear axle of the W108 family.

Mercedes-Benz 280SE Coupe
In November 1967, the 250 SE was replaced by the 280 SE. It was powered by the new 2778 cc M130 engine, which produced 160 hp (119 kW) at 5500 rpm. The top speed was hardly affected, but the acceleration from 0-100 km / h (62 mph) improved to 10.5 seconds (13 with automatic transmission). Inside, the car received an option of wood veneer on the instrument panel and other minor changes, including door lock buttons and different heating levers. The hubcaps were changed again to a new one-piece cover, and the outer mirror was changed.

Despite its smaller engine, the 280 SE could outperform the early 1950s, with the M189 equipped with 300 SE, resulting in the retirement of the more expensive model. The coupe and cabriolet maintained the designation of the shared model until they were replaced by a new generation chassis in 1968.

The 280 SE 3.5

Mercedes-Benz updated the W111 280SE to include an optional 3.5-liter V8 engine
A final model was added in August 1969, the 280 SE 3.5, Mercedes' first post-war coupe with more than 3 liters. The car was equipped with the brand new M116 3499 cc V8. It produced 200 hp (150 kW) at 5800 rpm and a top speed of 210 km / h (205 km / h with automatic transmission) and 0-100 km / h (62 mph) in 9.5 seconds (11.5 for the automatic transmission). As one of several changes to modernize the design of aging, a lower and wider grid has been incorporated; this was not a side effect of enlarging the engine compartment to accommodate the V8 despite popular belief. The front and rear bumpers have also been modified with the addition of rubber friction strips; the rear lenses have changed to a flatter cleaning design. This change was made to the 280 SE standard. As the top of its range, the 280 SE 3.5 is seen as an ideological successor to the W112 300 SE,

although the W112 air suspension was missing.

There were plans to place the larger M117 V8 engine on the W111 (the model would have been called the 280 SE 4.5). [Citation needed]

The last 280 SE were produced in January 1971, with the 280 SE 3.5 ending in July. The total production over the decade was: 220 SEb - 16,902, 250 SE - 6,213, 280 SE - 5,187 and 280 SE 3.5 - 4,502 units. Not including the 3,127 W112 300 SE models, the grand total of the 2-door W111 models was 32,804, of which 7,456 were convertible.

The indirect replacement for the Coupé was the C107 SLC, which was an SL Coupé, therefore, it was not linked to the S Class line. The true successor to the W111 / 12 Coupe was the 1981 C126 Coupe. As the R107 SL became larger and more luxurious, it took the top position in the Convertible range, which meant that the four-seat convertible would disappear from Mercedes - Benz for almost two decades, until the A124 in 1992.

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