25 years ago: The 210 model series E 50 AMG high-performance saloon premieres

25 years ago: The 210 model series E 50 AMG high-performance saloon premieres

Sep 24, 2020
  • The then V8 top model of the E-Class strengthened the role of AMG as a sports car and performance brand of Mercedes-Benz
  • High-performance car in the spirit of the legendary 500 E
  • Premiere at IAA from 14 to 24 September 1995

Stuttgart. This saloon is a self-assured statement by Mercedes-Benz for sportiness in the executive class: the Mercedes-Benz E 50 AMG premiered in the autumn of 1995 at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main (14 to 24 September 1995). 25 years ago, the 255 kW (347 hp) high-performance vehicle illustrated the philosophy of the brand to purposefully establish AMG as a sports car and performance brand.

The response from the experts was very positive: “Automobil Revue” from Switzerland attested in edition 52/1996 that the E 50 AMG had “exclusivity and an unquestionably sporty temperament”. The trade magazine “mot” enthused in edition 12/1996 about the M 119 V8 engine, refined by AMG, with 4,973 cubic centimetres of displacement: “The machine powers the E-Class up to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds and, with great refinement, renders all the tones of a powerful V8 song.” Finally, the North American magazine “Road & Track”, in its July 1996 edition, makes reference to the legendary Mercedes-Benz 500 E, as it is also powered by a 5-litre version of the M 119: “But if you really put your foot down on the gas pedal (it has been adjusted for graceful starts, not for turning heads), the spirit of the 500 E emerges and transforms the four-door sedan into a rocket.”

Vehicles from Affalterbach

The E 50 AMG was created in Affalterbach based on the also powerful Mercedes-Benz E 420. The new vehicle was a star in this as yet short history of high-performance cars developed together by Mercedes-Benz and AMG. Previously, from 1993, there had been the C 36 AMG in the 202 model series C-Class as well as in the 124 model series E 60 AMG saloon and the E 36 AMG model as a coupé and estate. The E 50 AMG already made its special place amongst the business saloons of the 210 model series clear with its design: the modified front apron not only reduced the front axle lift, but with the front fog lamps it also took up the theme of the round lights realised in the new eyes of the 210 model series. The side sill panel and the modified rear apron with an integral double exhaust also contributed towards the optimised aerodynamics.

Engineers applied a performance enhancement to the engine. This included larger combustion chambers, expanded inlet ports with respective valves, new springs for inlet and exhaust valves, redesigned inlet and outlet camshafts as well as the tuning of the electronic engine management by AMG and Bosch. This allowed the engine output to increase, whilst, at the same time, the emissions were less than half of the permitted limits valid in the European Community from 1996. AMG also addressed the twin pipe exhaust system, which was optimised with component parts from the S-Class and received a rear silencer with exhaust tailpipes in an AMG design.

The short rear axle ratio of i = 3.06 underlines the sporty character of the E 50 AMG and ensures an excellent acceleration of the E-Class top model. It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds. Changing gears is taken care of by a five-speed automatic transmission with an electronic control system. It is almost a third lighter than the four-speed automatic transmission in the E 500 124 model series and ensures flowing gear shifts by retracting the ignition before each gear change.

Technically and aesthetically high-level

Further hallmarks of the E 50 AMG include the ASR acceleration skid control as a standard feature, the AMG sports suspension with harder shock absorbers and reinforced stabilisers as well as the brake system developed especially for this high-performance vehicle. This system is made up of two-piston sliding-caliper disc brakes with ventilated special discs boasting a diameter of 334 millimetres at the front und the brake system of the SL 600 129 model series with fixed-calliper brakes and brake discs with a diameter of 300 millimetres at the rear.

The interior reflects the high technical level with two-tone leather appointments (including steering wheel and gear lever) as well as trim elements in black bird’s-eye maple. The dials of the speedometer with the AMG logo reaching up to 280 km/h make the performance potential of the E 50 AMG clear, albeit the vehicle is actually electronically limited to 250 km/h. After one and a half years in production and 2,960 vehicles produced, the E 50 AMG was replaced in autumn 1997 by the E 55 AMG (260 kW/354 hp) as the new top model in the 210 model series.


Mercedes-Benz 210 model series E 50 AMG, studio shot.
Mercedes-Benz 210 model series E 50 AMG, driving shot from rear with model name on the boot lid.
Mercedes-Benz 210 model series E 50 AMG, studio shot.
High-performance cars from the history of Mercedes-AMG. Front right: 210 model series E 50 AMG introduced in September 1995. Front left and centre: 300 E 6.0 AMG “The Hammer” (W 124) and 300 SEL 6.8 AMG (W 109). Behind, from left to right: SL 55 AMG (R 230), 202 model series C 36 AMG and SL 73 AMG (R 129).
Mercedes-Benz 210 model series E 50 AMG, exterior.
Mercedes-Benz 210 model series E 50 AMG, exterior.
Mercedes-Benz 210 model series E 50 AMG, exterior.