Mercedes announced the W126 series in late 1979 as a 1980 model and it replaced the W116 series. The cars featured improved aerodynamics, redesigned engine blocks, and a whole lot of new features. These cars were manufactured from 1979 until 1991 with a mid-cycle update.
Mercedes introduced their 1971 patented driver-side airbag in 1981 and passenger-side airbags later in 1988 in their W126 line of cars. The cars also came with seatbelt pre-tensioners and traction control.
The E-Class made its appearance for the first time with the facelifted W124 series in 1993. All the sedans/saloons were named E230, E300, and so on instead of the old naming style of 230E, 300E, and so on.
Mercedes also offered customers a variety of the W124 series of vehicles such as the:
• Saloon (W124)
• Coupé (C124)
• Convertible (A124)
• Estate (S124)
From 1991 to early 1995, Mercedes also offered a limited sports edition of the W124 sedan. This was created and assembled with help from Porsche and was called the 500 E (E 500).