Throughout the s, Mercedes-Benz had been producing the coachwork S and SLs and all but hand-built Adenauers alongside conveyor assembled PontonsSL and etc. Unifying the entire Mercedes-Benz range into the fintail German : Heckflosse reduced production onto a single automobile platform.
However, fashion trends in the early s changed rapidly.
Finally, they disappeared completely on the W in The 1972 mercedes 280se 4 5 for sale of the W began under the leadership of Bracq in and ended in The result was a visibly newer-looking, sleeker car with an open and spacious interior. However, the SEL's success convinced Mercedes-Benz to continue to offer a long wheelbase car in its model range.
Engines for the new car were carried over from the previous generation, but enlarged and refined. The SE replaced the carburettors with fuel-injectiondesignated the M It had a modern, mechanical fuel-injection system that adjusted automatically to accelerator pedal pressure, engine speed, atmospheric pressure, and cooling water temperature, to deliver the proper mixture depending on driving conditions.
The headline was the new W and W family, built on a new chassis, but the existing models were given a slight engine upgrade, with the Mbased 2.
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Production of the new engines began in November In Januarythe W model line was joined by the SEL which - confusingly - had the longer wheelbase of the W but lacked the pneumatic suspension and other features of the SEL. Thus the prior wheelbase distinction between the W and W became permanently blurred.
Performance of the cars improved. Thanks to the better cylinder arrangement, cooling and hence economy improved. Performance was another matter. In company engineer Erich Waxenberger transplanted a massive 6. Despite its large size, the automaker claimed a 6. West Germany's stringently applied trade description laws and figures resulted in these figures being under-quoted.
This nomenclature was used by Mercedes-Benz until the introduction of the class system in As new models were being developed the export markets had to be considered, and the United States in particular.
The American car production by the late s had largely switched to V8 powered cars, and Mercedes-Benz had to produce its own eight-cylinder engine to stay competitive. The new engines arrived in late The car was christened the SEL 3.
During summer ofthe M was added to the W lineup in the SE 3. The next year saw the 2-door Ws and the W 'Pagoda' roadsters phased out of production.
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This left only the W and W lines in the Mercedes automobile family. In September the last SEL 3.
A month later, the final SEL 4. The SE and SEL were especially well-appointed, featuring burled walnut dashboards, automatic transmission and power windows. Transmission[ edit ] The standard transmission for Europe was a four-speed manual gearbox.
A four-speed automatic option was also available.
Unusual among mainstream European automakers of the time, Mercedes developed and built their own automatic transmission system. When the V8-engined cars were introduced inthe default transmission was the four-speed automatic, driven via a fluid coupling rather than the more usual torque converter.
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Buyers could still opt for a four-speed manual box, however, and benefitted from a price reduction if they did so.
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