Thread: M104 engine?
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Old 09-18-2002, 10:56 AM
suginami suginami is offline
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
Yeah, it's amazing that a 1996 E320 has the same 0-60 time as a 1995 (W124) E420, although the E420 beats it in the 1/4 mile by a 1/10 of a second.

However, the comparison of a W210 E320 to a W124 93-95 300E 3.2 / E320 sedan isn't made. They list the performance of the '95 E320 convertible, which is 465 lbs heavier than the sedan, a 13% weight increase, which is considerable.

I'm willing to bet the 0-60 times of the sedans would be nearly the same.

Case in point - the performance of the '87 300E is listed at 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds. The 93-95 E320's have more weight than the early W124's, but considerably more horsepower, and are thus the fastest of the 6-cylinder W124's.

It appears the fastest 300Es would be the 86-88 models. In 89, the gearing for 2nd gear was raised and 1st consequently lowered. Up until 90, all these cars (with exception of the wagon) used a 3.07 rear axle. In 90, the axle was switched to something around 2.89. 90 was the slowest year because it still had 2nd gear start. 91-92 got 1st gear start, making them a lot faster off the line than the 90, but the 86-88 could still smoke them pretty much. 93-95 got the M104 engines and a 2.64 (I think) axle in rear with 1st gear start. These years were the fastest.

In order of performance, the ranking would look like this (from fastest to slowest).

93-95 M104 3.2L - 300E 3.2 and E320
93 M104 2.8L - 300E 2.8 (and 94-95 E280 in Europe)
86-88 M103 3.0L - 300E
89 M103 3.0L - 300E
91-92 M103 3.0L - 300E
90 M103 3.0L - 300E

Last having a better drag coefficient would certainly help performance, but it shouldn't be no more than a few 1/10.

I will buy it the the '97's would be even faster because of the 5 speed transmission.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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