Two heads are better than one, they say, but when this is applied to the car-making industry, the result is a machine with astounding power and enthralling appearance. The E500, a collaboration model between Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, was a high-performance version of the W124 four-door sedan. The eighteen days of making each unit, with each transported back and forth between two continents, turned out to be a good way of making the model the best that it could be. Despite being short-lived, the unit still had its share of the spotlight in the Benz history.
1990 – 1993: A supercharged W124
Initially called the 500 E, this model had an aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine, which was better than the W124 models by having 32 valves instead of 16. Generally, this unit was better than the best W124 models in that its engine could draw out 322-horsepower and 354-pound-feet of torque similar with the engine of the powerful W124 models; however, the difference was that the 500 E could run ten seconds faster at its top speed with a record of 5.5 seconds in 100 kilometers. Aside from being faster, the units also had a better overall performance. Braking was improved with the use of 300-mm discs with 4-piston calipers, while the rear brakes were 27-mm. In terms of fuel efficiency, the unit could spend 23 miles per gallon of fuel on the highway, while 15 miles per gallon in the city. The units could also accommodate four passengers with its leather seats, and they had a CD changer and an integrated cellular phone aside from the full features of the W124.
1994 - 1995: A drastic departure from the old style
Called the E500 model, the second generation of this Benz-Porsche baby saw the metamorphosis of the unit in terms of style. Two-tone interiors were available, and bird's-eye maple wood was used. Sun blinds, heated and memory seats, and a climate control feature were available as options. The sound system also received an upgrade. Also, there were airbags for the driver and the passenger side, cladding and bodywork upgrades, and two-tone sport line steering wheels. Some of the exterior changes that made these units indistinguishable from the previous version were the restyled headlights, trunk lid, bumper, and grille. The anti-lock braking system of the E500 prevented the wheels to lock up under heavy braking by pumping the brakes. Also, there was a brake assist system, a suspension with a stabilizer bar, an additional AIRMATIC air suspension with a damping system, and an anti-knock control for the engine.