|Produced tot.:||2729 units|
|Engine:||M127, R6, 12-valves, with fuel injection|
|Engine capacity:||2195 cm³|
|Power:||115 hp at 4800 rev.|
|Max. speed:||172 km/h|
|Dynamics:||0-100 km/h – 14 s|
|Average fuel consumption:||14 l/100 km|
|Dead weight:||1495 kg|
|Notes:||Exported to USA.|
W111 was called to replace previous Mercedes Benz volume models – Pontons, which were at the 1956 already archaic, both in construction and design. The basic Ponton cabin was widened and squared off providing larger glass area much improving visibility.
Design work led by Bela Barenyi focused on passenger comfort and safety. Remarkable milestone in car design were front and rear crumple zones that would absorb kinetic energy from impact. The automaker also patented retractable seatbelts and put into practice disc brakes on the front axle. The exterior was designed for the European and North American markets. The body was modern for the time and featured characteristic tailfins that gave to W111 models their nickname — the fintail (German: Heckflosse).
In 1961 there has been carried out first facelift - fintail range was filled with three new models, a simplified 4-cylinder W110 (budget model, called “kleinflosse”), an identical, but fitted with a big-block 3 litre engine W112, and a 2-door coupe/cabriolet of the W111/W112. Exterior styling conducted by new engineer Paul Bracq became more conservative - though officially still called a fintail the rear end design had no chrome fin highlights on two-door bodies and fins itself became almost subtle. Initial models 220b/Sb/SEb on W111 chassis as flagships were superseded by top of the range air suspended 300SE coupes and cabriolets on W112 chassis in 1962.
Next facelift was carried out in 1965 – new sedans W108/W109 were introduced, though two-door W111/W112 vehicles remained in production. However both models were modernised; the 220SE was superseded by the 250SE which featured the new 2496 cm³ M129 engine, producing 150 horsepower at 5500 rpm, which gave it a significant improvement in top speed and acceleration. Visibly the changes only affected the new 14-inch rims with new hub cabs; this was to accommodate the larger disk brakes and the new rear axle from the W108 family.
In November 1967, the 250SE was superseded by the new 280SE. Top speed by increasing engine volume was hardly affected, the acceleration though improved. Inside the car received different wood veneer on the dashboard and other minor changes. The 300SE, based on early 1950s M189, was also dismissed. The modern 280SE was able outperform the 300SE despite the smaller engine. The coupe and cabriolet was back to a single model.
A final model was added in August 1969 the 280SE 3.5. The car was fitted with the brand-new M116 V8 engine. To accommodate the large engine, the car's front grille was widened and front bumpers were modified. This change was carried across the standard 280SE. By the end of production of two-door W111 for nearly two decades the convertible disappeared from Mercedes-Benz's line-up completely – resurrection was welcome only in 1992 by launch of successor, Mercedes-Benz A124.
Thanks to respectable and solid appearance, smooth ride and numerous comfort features W111/W112 Mercedes models are appreciated by collectors which love to drive their cars.