Mercedes SEC/CL (C 140, 1992-1998): Klassiker der Zukunft?

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Das optisch umstrittene Luxus-Coupé wurde vor 30 Jahren vorgestellt

Mercedes SEC/CL (C 140, 1992-1998): Klassiker der Zukunft?
© Motor1.com Hersteller Mercedes SEC/CL C 140 (1992-1998)

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Unsere geschätzten Leser haben bestimmt schon einmal die Rubrik “Kennen Sie den noch?” studiert. Dort stellen wir Autos von früher vor, die inzwischen fast vergessen sind. Doch was ist mit den Modellen, die durchaus noch zahlreich im Straßenverkehr umherfahren? Jene Typen, die jeder kennt, die schon deutlich über 20 Jahre, teilweise aber auch viel weniger auf dem Buckel haben.

Werden sie einmal Oldtimer? Das birgt Zündstoff für kontroverse Diskussionen. Einige dieser Modelle wollen wir in unserer Reihe “Klassiker der Zukunft?” vorstellen.

Global Tech News Daily

Ingenieurskunst in Perfektion, aber zur falschen Zeit: Nach dem BMW 8er (E31) musste auch Mercedes feststellen, dass die frühen 1990er-Jahre keine optimale Zeit für große Luxus-Coupés waren. 

Mercedes SEC/CL (C 140, 1992-1998): Klassiker der Zukunft?
© Motor1.com Deutschland Mercedes SEC/CL C 140 (1992-1998)
Mercedes SEC/CL (C 140, 1992-1998): Klassiker der Zukunft?
© Motor1.com Deutschland Mercedes SEC/CL C 140 (1992-1998)

Global Tech News Daily

Mit selbstbewusstem Design betraten die SEC-Luxuscoupés der Baureihe 140 vor 30 Jahren als weitere Topmodelle im Pkw-Programm der Marke neben der S-Klasse die automobile Weltbühne. Ihre Weltpremiere erleben die eleganten Zweitürer auf der North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) vom 11. bis 19. Januar 1992 in Detroit. Das Europadebüt folgt auf dem Genfer Auto-Salon vom 5. bis 15. März 1992.

Die Zweitürer basierten auf den Luxuslimousinen der Baureihe 140, setzten sich stilistisch aber deutlicher von diesen ab, als das bei den Coupés und Limousinen der Vorgängerbaureihe 126 der Fall gewesen ist. Speziell die großen, grimmig schauenden Scheinwerfer sorgen für den Spitznamen “Mörderbiene”. 

Der 600 SEC ist 1992 das teuerste Serienautomobil aus deutscher Produktion. Es kostet im Februar 1992 mit seiner opulenten Ausstattung – ohne weitere, zusätzlich auf Wunsch erhältliche Posten – 220.020,00 DM. 2022 gehören die SEC-Coupés zu den besonders exklusiven Erstanwärtern für das begehrte H-Kennzeichen, das Automobile 30 Jahre nach ihrer ersten Zulassung erhalten können.

Technologisch ganz vorn sind kurze Zeit später die Luxuscoupés unter anderem bei der Einführung des Elektronischen Stabilitäts-Programms ESP: Das wegweisende Assistenzsystem wird von Mercedes-Benz gemeinsam mit Bosch entwickelt, 1994 in Coupés der Baureihe 140 als Weltpremiere vorgestellt und erlebt 1995 in den exklusiven zweitürigen Reisewagen seine Markteinführung.

Mercedes SEC/CL (C 140, 1992-1998): Klassiker der Zukunft?
© Motor1.com Deutschland Mercedes SEC/CL C 140 (1992-1998)

Generell lässt sich Mercedes beim C 140 nicht lumpen: Das reicht von den Doppelverglasungen der Scheiben für optimale Akustik und Sicherheitsgurten mit Gurtbringern über die elektrische Sitzeinstellung (mit Memoryfunktion im 600 SEC serienmäßig) und Klimatisierungsautomatik mit getrennten Zonen für Fahrer und Beifahrer (serienmäßig im 600 SEC) bis zum aufwendig abgestimmten Fahrwerk: Dieses besteht aus einer neu entwickelten, schwingungstechnisch von der Karosserie entkoppelten Doppelquerlenker-Vorderachse und einer hinsichtlich der Radführung grundlegend überarbeiteten Raumlenker-Hinterachse.

Zunächst werden die beiden Varianten 500 SEC (V8-Motor mit 4.973 Kubikzentimeter Hubraum und 235 kW/320 PS) und 600 SEC (V12-Motor mit 5.987 Kubikzentimetern Hubraum und 290 kW/394 PS) angeboten. Die Motorisierung entspricht den jeweiligen Limousinen der S-Klasse der Baureihe 140. Ab 1994 ergänzt ein dritter Typ mit 4,2-Liter-Vierventil-V8-Motor die Modellpalette der Luxuscoupés.

Diese tragen zu dem Zeitpunkt aber schon nicht mehr die Bezeichnung SEC, sondern werden seit der Einführung der neuen Mercedes-Benz Nomenklatur für sämtliche Personenwagenbaureihen im Juni 1993 als S-Klasse Coupés geführt. Von 1996 bis zum Ende der Produktion im Jahr 1998 heißen die noblen Zweitürer schließlich CL-Klasse.

Mercedes SEC/CL (C 140, 1992-1998): Klassiker der Zukunft?
© Motor1.com Deutschland Mercedes SEC/CL C 140 (1992-1998)

Dass die SEC-Coupés ihren Spitzenplatz mit mehr als nur technischer Exzellenz, Leistung und einem stolzen Preis verdienen, macht nicht zuletzt die Bewertung der Zweitürer in internationalen Medien deutlich: “Einem König angemessen (und mit einem fürstlichen Preis versehen)”, schreibt das Fachmagazin „Road & Track“ in seiner Ausgabe vom April 1993 über den Mercedes-Benz 600 SEC.

Die FAZ würdigt den gleichen Typ im März 1993 sogar als “Kaiser der Autobahn” in einem Fahrbericht, der überschrieben ist mit “Seine Majestät das Coupé lassen bitten”. Allerdings zollt der Autor auch der Dynamik des großen Coupés seinen Respekt: “Überraschend flink wuchtet sich der voluminöse Wagen [auf der Landstraße] um die Kurven, als wiege er nur die Hälfte.”

Klassische S-Klassen im Fahrbericht:

Insgesamt werden innerhalb von sechs Jahren genau 26.022 Coupés der Baureihe 140 im Werk Sindelfingen gebaut. Davon entfällt fast ein Drittel auf das V12-Spitzenmodell (8.573 Fahrzeuge). Deutlich mehr als die Hälfte der Kunden entscheidet sich für die Variante mit 5-Liter-V8-Motor (14.953 Fahrzeuge).

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