" . . . not strong contenders in terms of performance"???
Isn't this the motor which, according to _Road and Track_, got an M-B publicity man in trouble with his bosses when he said at the press introduction: "Mercedes-Benz finally gets the one thing it always lacked: a BMW engine!"? I have a friend who has a '79 grey-market 280TE (may be for sale in a year or so) and it has always had plenty of zooom for my taste -- but maybe that's only in contrast to my '85 300TD.