At the start of its career and particularly in Germany, the largest ever S-Class did not have an easy time – despite the car’s undeniable qualities. A valedictory appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 25 August 1998 under the headline: “The end of the good patriarch. Sentimental farewell: The S-Class was always better than its reputation.”
This obituary written by Wolfgang Peters included the lines: “…No other car offered such ride comfort and suspension, and no other car in this size category could be driven in such safety and with such agility at the same time.
The S-Class was a giant that had been taught to dance on the points of its toes. […] The new S-Class promises to be lithe and lissom: Some of us are missing the fatter version already.”
406,532 series 140 saloons had been produced
After a period of seven and a half years the production of the 140 models at the Sindelfingen plant had stopped and only the armoured versions and the Pullman saloons continued to be built.
By September 1998, a total of 406,532 series 140 saloons had been produced, of which 28,101 units had diesel engines.
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