This is a rare facelift model E500 W124 endowed with a 5.0 litre V8 48 Valve engine producing 322 bhp & 480 N·m (354 lb·ft) of torque. A car developed & built jointly between Mercedes Benz & Porsche to beat BMW's hand-built E34 M5, the E500's build quality was the pinnacle of Mercedes Benz quality. Whilst other models of the W124 were built in 3 days, the E500 took 18 days each to build, with the shell being built & painted first, then taken to Porsche for fitting of mechanicals, then back to Mercedes and back to Porsche throughout the build. Each was hand-assembled, so although the E500 resembles it's less endowed siblings, it's got hundreds of discreet differences in how it's built.
It remains a stunningly beautiful and very capable car to drive today. Only 1,855 facelift examples of the E500 were hand-built from 1994 - 1995 and these carried not only bonnet, grille, trunk & trim differences, but more importantly - larger brakes at each corner, courtesy of components borrowed from the R129 600SL (V12 model). The 500E & facelift E500 W124's were only produced in LHD for all markets including the UK (Where less than 150 pre-facelift examples were supplied by Mercedes Benz - UK).
In it's day & even today the Motoring Press shows lavish praise and recommendation for what has become possibly the most iconic & best Q car ever produced:
April 92' issue of Automobile Magazine, "Like a Drug":
"It is important that prospective 500E drivers have impeccable credentials as adults. This car is so quick, so eager, so agile, that it makes immature people drive like idiots. We all fell into that latter category. Example: Early evening, medium traffic, good visibility. I'm minding my own business in the right-hand lane with the cruise control set at 80 mph. Another idiot blasts past in a 5.0 Mustang, and all self-discipline vanishes. I'm on him like a leopard on a tethered goat. He tries to hold me off, but he hasn't a prayer. A small hole opens, I give the Mercedes one more squirt, and the Mustang disappears in my mirror, its headlights getting closer together as though I were watching through the wrong end of a telescope. At three in the morning, in bed staring back at the darkness, I squirm uncomfortably and accuse myself: "Idiot! You know better than that! You could be in jail right now!" David E. Davis, Jr.
AutoWeek May 13, 1996; The 500E is something special, a brutish, beastly Mercedes-Porsche, perhaps the ultimate tuner sedan. Maybe it was the influence of Mercedes' cross-town partner. Porsche didn't just assemble the car. It breathed in life, and there was a thrilling wildness, an edge to the car, just as there was to a 911 Turbo of the same generation."
Here Autocar tests the W124 500E (Pre-facelift) against the modern E63 AMG.
The 500 E was created in close co-operation with Porsche; each & every 500E was hand-built by Porsche, being transported back and forth between the Mercedes plant and Porsche's Rossle-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany during assembly.
Each car took a full 18 days to complete. Called "500E" from 1991 through model year 1993, for model year 1994 it was face-lifted along with the rest of the range and renamed to "E500".
A serious "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"; performance tests of the day yielded impressive results: 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) times of 5.5 to 6.0 seconds and acceleration through the quarter-mile (0.4 km) in 14.1 seconds at 163 km/h (101 mph). The top speed was redline limited at 6,000 rpm to 260 km/h (~160 mph).
With its aggressive stance: 1.5 inches wider track, 0.9 inch lower profile, factory flared arches, side skirts, deeper & wider front bumper and wider tires, the 500 E is easily distinguished from its lesser brethren. Because of its look, limited numbers, hand-built construction and unique pedigree the 500 E was considered a "modern classic", even within Mercedes-Benz soon after production ended in 1995. Today it's considered an iconic model - the very first to sow the seed for bonkers performance Q-car Mercs. With traditional rock-solid build quality that has long since disappeared from MB's accountants realising it was fruitless to make cars built to last so well, this is a model that is much sought after amongst classic performance Benz purists and although rising in values now, is set to skyrocket in the long term. As of June 2011, an example of a 1995 E500 Limited is on display in the new Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen, Germany.
View an original article with pictures taken at the Porsche factory.
This unique left-hand drive Mercedes Benz E500 W124 is likely to appeal primarily to markets where cars are driven on the left side of the road & would probably be destined for Europe where Newera is becoming known by discerning connoisseurs for supply of pristine low mileage, high quality cars with absolutely no underside corrosion. It could equally appeal to UK or other RHD countries, as with the amount of torque it's endowed with, time spent on the opposite side of the road overtaking is a matter of just a few seconds. All of the hand-picked W124 E500's we stocked in the last 2 years have sold to U.K. Collectors so far (Each bought by the first person to inspect, a testament to the quality of our cars).
Having been driven only on Japanese Roads with no salt, sand or grit & super smooth surfaces - this unique E500 is in top condition inside, outside and underneath - despite being manufactured in 1994.
Colour is Grey Metallic (199), which some say is one of the best colours for W125 500 models. Original 16" wheels have been replaced with 17" Evo II wheels (Fitted with brand new tyres) by ourselves. These are the most desirable original Mercedes wheels for this model. They have original Silver finish with lacquered diamond cut finish.
Beautifully finished, this refined road car blends strong performance with solid engineering and luxurious trappings. The 500E is impressively stable at speed, with a rock-solid bearing that inspires confidence. Comfortable and luxurious with sound ergonomics and attention to detail round out the benefits of a car that was built to cruise at Autobahn speeds of over 150 mph hour after hour. Above 3000 rpm or so, the V8 engine feels virtually like a runaway freight train. Just a touch on the throttle pedal is answered by a gush of power, as the V8-powered 5-litre moves away from a stop with no sense of strain. Handling is characterized by quick response and only imperceptible body lean with suspension (Self leveling at the rear) that exudes quality and readily soaks up bumps & road imperfections whilst still offering immense fast progress capability. Braking is powerful and fade-free. Engine sounds are nicely muted, only becoming really audiable when the engine is encouraged to work harder. Occupants get plenty of luxury from factory heated & electrically adjustable leather Recaros sporting a multitude of adjustments, along with good leg & head room. A trip for 4 people to the airport isn't problematic. The trunk / boot ranks as cavernous!
Simple, unobstructed gauges are accompanied by clearly marked controls and sound proofing that is is still considered very good, even almost 2 decades after this car was built.
Aside from very low drag coefficient, even by today's standards - lots of great design features abound on this car, from a time when Benz used to be designed and developed by passionate engineers, not the over powered bean-counters of the last decade which are the cause of decline of Benz quality standards.
Specification includes: 32 valve quad camshaft, 322 bhp 5 litre V8, with switchable 4 speed automatic. Original options include Steel electric sunroof, Dual SRS front airbags, leather steering wheel, ABS, ASR (Automatic Slip Control), power steering, cruise control, etc. Drivetrain includes powerful no-nonsense large diameter fully vented discs (320 x 30 mm vented front & 300 x 22 mm rear) and large horizontally opposed (4 & 2 Piston) ATE calipers. This example continues to use original diamond polished Evo II alloy wheels (Very desirable) of size: 17 x 8.25 +34 shod with new performance tyres of size 245/40R17 at each corner.
Interior comforts: This car shows on a VIN check to have been specified with a long list of options when new. Both front seats have full electrical adjustment with 2 memory settings. These comprise original Recaro heated seats and microfilament rear window demister. Steering wheel & shift knob are leather trimmed and wood veneers are walnut throughout. As with all E500's there's a large electric sunroof, which works perfectly too. The sound system includes a fully working original Mercedes Benz optional CD changer & head unit as well as uprated original speakers (Woofers are located in door pocket sections on front doors). The original first aid kit is still factory sealed, Spec also includes factory tinted electric windows & electrically operated rear screen blind. Recessed reading lights on each c-pilar (Something only Limited models are equipped with). There are remote controlled door mirrors (For both sides), Climate Controlled air-conditioning, Limited dark wood veneer on door trims, dash and centre console. Rear headrests come down for reversing - at the touch of a button on the centre console. All doors (including the fuel cap & boot lid) lock pneumatically. A remote control with integrated key operates the locking system. Note the inclusion of headlamp wash wipe (Factory fitted) and European sized number plate mounts. The original wheel brace, tool kit and spare wheel are complete. We also noticed the original first aid kit has never been opened or used.
Superb Condition: This particular example was supplied from new by Yanase, MB official importer to Japan. It's never seen salt and always been driven on Japan's beautifully kept roads & has been owned by a mature driver (non-smoker) since new, garaged when not in use, so condition is as perfect as can be. With genuine mileage - it's in amazing condition for it’s age. Note the oil has recently been changed – it’s golden coloured and this car’s evidently been well cared for and maintained since new. In any case, as usual with 500's we'll be giving the car a complete & comprehensive service including all fluids, brakes, ignition service parts, etc. This car also comes with original service books, manual, etc. In keeping with low original kms there's an absence of any wear to the pedal rubbers, switch gear, etc. Underside has absolutely zero rust. Even the original exhaust is rust free. All electrics are working perfectly and the car drives absolutely without fault. Transmission is smooth with no shunt, which to us confirms this car's been driven sedately. Interior has no significant wear, as to be expected of original mileage. Note as it's always been garaged, the headlining, leather, etc. are all as well preserved as possible.
The bodywork not having been exposed to UV all of it's life & garaged when not in use is flawless too. When the new owner first sees this car, we know he's not going to be able to believe the amazing condition it's in.
Test Drive: We've driven these before & know them well, this car is perfect in how it drives. Suspension soaks up bumps silently and with a feeling that inspires confidence through solidity and composure. Despite the comfort this car offers, it still handles very well and accelerated indecently rapidly whenever the throttle is depressed, thanks to the large amount of torque this car's engine offers. The transmission is smooth on both slow & high-speed driving, whilst the larger E500 brakes also inspire much confidence. During a hard test drive we had the ABS working and can confirm it all performs just as it should. Make no mistake - This is a very fast GT car with effortless performance. Perfect for sitting on a German Autobahn cruising at 150 mph (240 km/h). This is one of our favourite cars & one we know very well (Which is of vital importance when choosing such cars for stock) not least since we also run a modified W124 series (300D Turbo with E500 body, brakes, suspension & full interior - in Japan) ourselves, plus an E500 in UK of our own. We know just how well built & strongly these W124's are and know this example will easily last for another 2 decades, without breaking a sweat provided it continues to be well looked after as this example has clearly been. These, as all W124's are capable of obscene mileages too, although it would be a waste to make a car as beautiful as this a daily driver in our opinion. This is a collectable Benz built in the same Porsche factory as where the 959's were hand assembled.
When new over 15 years ago - price was around £58,000 in UK, excluding options such as dual SRS airbags, fi, rear centrally mounted subwoofer and some of the other featuresoriginal factory options this car comes with. As one of the last bullet proof Mercedes Benz, such low genuine mileage examples are naurally becoming fast appreciating assets - being sought after by collectors, when in such well preserved condition. This unique E500 W124 Mercedes represents an amazing opportunity as an appreciating classic - currently on route to the UK, this example is priced at £21,595. Without doubt it is the best example that will be for sale in Europe now.
Contact us for further details on how to reserve or to arrange viewing after arrival to the UK.
Don't delay - The best E500 W124 are destined to appreciate considerably being the only Porsche built (by hand!) Mercedes ever made. We are seeing prices for these rise sharply in Japan, where the very best examples exist, but now can only seldom be found, such as this example.
Although we aim to always have at least one top quality E500 in stock, they are selling faster than we can find them. And it is very difficult to find good low mileage examples such as this.
Newera Imports - Established 1998. Premier source of the best hand picked specialist cars from Japan. As recommended by Import magazines, car clubs and enthusiast owners.