History: E-Class Coupé with tradition

Mar 10, 2017

As an exclusive and sporty coupé, the latest member of the E-Class family can look back on an almost fifty-year history.

In 1968 Mercedes-Benz presented the first exclusive coupé variant in the medium-class model series. The Coupé models 250 C and 250 CE rounded the model range in the 114/115 series off at the top end. These models were generally known as the "stroke/eight" coupés. The basic technical concept and design of the new models closely followed the saloon models on which they were based. The coupés had the same suspension, drive train and floor assembly as the model 250 Saloon, and even the body of the two variants was identical back to the A-pillars. There were clear differences from the A-pillars to the rear: The Coupé had a more angled windscreen and a 45 mm lower roof than the Saloon, and of course had two doors. Even then, the front and rear side windows were frameless, with no continuous B‑pillar, and fully retractable – a typical Mercedes-Benz coupé feature to this day.

Series 123 coupés, 1977 to -1985

In March 1977, as the successor to the "stroke/eight" coupés of the 114 series, Mercedes-Benz presented the Coupé variant of the 123 series at the Geneva Motor Show. This was likewise closely related to the Saloon in technical and stylistic terms. In contrast to the "stroke/eight" coupés, which were based on the unshortened floor assembly of their four-door counterparts, the wheelbase of the new two-door variants was reduced by 85 millimetres compared to the Saloon. This allowed more dynamic cornering characteristics and more distinctive styling for the coupé variant, and a more homogeneous and generally attractive design compared to the preceding model.

Series 124 coupés, 1987 to -1996

In March 1987 a Coupé variant of the 124 series was presented at the Geneva Motor Show. Like the coupés of the 123 series, this was closely related to the Saloon in technical and stylistic terms. On the basis of the four-door variant's floor assembly, the wheelbase was again shortened by 85 mm in the interests of a coupé-like character. As in the preceding model, the body construction and design therefore represented a completely distinctive variant. Features in common with the Saloon were restricted to the front section and tail lights. One characteristic design feature that marked the autonomy of the coupés versus the other body variants were the protective side strips with integrated side sill claddings.

The major stylistic features of the 124-series coupés remained practically unchanged even over several model facelifts. The most prominent visual change was the redesigned radiator grille in 1993. This became known as the "badge radiator" and was harmoniously integrated into the bonnet with a much slimmer chrome surround; the Mercedes star was mounted on the bonnet, as in the S-Class Saloon.

From 1993 the coupé models in the 124 series were given the designation E-Class Coupé.

CLK-Class Coupés of the 208 series, 1997 - 2002

In January 1997 the Mercedes-Benz CLK celebrated its world premiere as the successor at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. For the first time at Daimler-Benz, the CLK Coupé was developed as a completely autonomous model series. Technically it was in many respects based on the C-Class Saloon, sharing the same floor assembly and major components. Nonetheless, numerous coupé-specific modifications and, not least, the fundamentally new body design reaffirmed the autonomy of the CLK. For the first time it showed a completely new interpretation of the Mercedes "face", which was now characterised by four elliptical headlamps, more pronounced wings and a slim radiator grille.

Moreover, the CLK models were equipped with numerous technical innovations for further improved safety, comfort and economy.

CLK-Class Coupés of the 209 series, 2002 - 2009

Mercedes-Benz continued its longstanding coupé tradition with a stylistically intrigueing and technically sophisticated model in spring 2002. The new CLK Coupé represented a fully autonomous model series in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range, and emphasised this role with design features that were new to the last detail: Striking styling features such as the continuous band formed by the frameless, fully retractable side windows, the louvred radiator grille with a centrally positioned Mercedes star as a typical brand feature, the reinterpreted twin-headlamp front section and the graceful coupé roof marked this CLK Class out as a self-assured character.

A newly developed suspension, more powerful engines and technically refined optional extras from top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz models made for an unrivalled driving experience in this vehicle class.

E-Class Coupé – 2009 - 2017

In 2009 Mercedes-Benz presented the new E-Class Coupé at the Geneva Motor Show, the Saloon having been presented just a few weeks before. This attractive two-door model adopted the trailblazing technology of the E-Class. The Coupé also showed its close relationship with the Saloon in its striking design, with the reinterpreted twin-headlamp front section and prominent lines creating a self-assured, masculine presence. Equipped with drowsiness detection, preventive occupant protection, an active bonnet and up to nine airbags, the E-Class Coupé set the standards in this vehicle class when it came to safety. Adaptive high beam control, traffic sign recognition and an automatic emergency braking system were other new developments for safe driving with which the new Coupé excelled.