Perhaps I'm missing something here but I cannot recall there ever being
a 400E (they did make a 500E in very small numbers - these were rocket
ships and quite rare)
You're not thinking of a 420SE are you, these are the W126 series
whereas your mates 300TE is a W124 series.
The W124 400E was rushed into the production as to counteract the sale
success of Lexus and Infiniti in the early 1990s. Mercedes-Benz made at
least a thousand changes to the W124 chassis just to fit the V8 motors
as they weren't designed for the V8 motors in the first place.
Whilst the 500E had a proper brake system to cope with heavier motor,
the early 400E wasn't fitted with stronger and higher performance brake
system. My understanding is that the early 400E was prone to overheat
easily in the warm days.
Both deficiencies have been remedied in the subsequent 400E and E420.
Yes, like 300CD before, 400E initially was for US market.
I would suggest W124 E420 from 1994 on. They are much more refined and
updated with changes to the design: new grille, proper headlamps (more
close to European output), better integrated bumpers and full lower body
cladding in body colour, some minor changes to the interior, etc. The
motor displacement is increased to 4,2-litre as well.
I've personally drove both E320 and E420 of same year. Both are fairly
similar other than bit more oompah and spirited in the latter.
Naturally, the latter is much more thirsty than six-cylinder E320.
Don't think about the W210 E420 as it is the first year of the new body
chassis. Lot of mechanical and quality control issues. Same for E430
with new 4,3-litre V8 motor.
Before you pass the cash you ought to do your pocket book a favor and at
least drive a E320 or two. It uses a bit less fuel and is the more
standard car so it tends to be cheaper to fix when fixing is needed. The
V-8 is a good machine but does one really need its extra cost?
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.