335bhp Turbo Technics 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300TE-24 S124

335bhp Turbo Technics 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300TE-24 S124

300TE-24 biturbo Manufactured in 1992, this 124-series 300TE-24 was gifted a twin-turbo set up by Hughes of Beaconsfield, agent of Turbo Technics, after two years on the road – we took it for a blast in 2009. Words Kyle Molyneux. Images Craig Pusey.

From the archives Turbo Technics 300TE-24

The Q-car. A cocktail of profuse performance shaken over ice with a cool and introverted appearance to distract from what truly lies beneath.

With that in mind, the Anthracite Grey 300TE-24 gently idling on owner Robert Sehota’s driveway surely adheres to the Q-car code. Apart from the aftermarket, yet still tastefully discreet, five-spoke alloys, and side and rear sills – all from Carat Duchatelet – few would guess this old Benz had something up its sleeve. However, I have it on good authority that Hughes of Beaconsfield, a Mercedes-Benz dealer and once exclusive fitting agent of Turbo Technics conversions – a reputable UK tuning outfit throughout the 1980s and 1990s (and today a turbocharger and supercharger design specialist that has just celebrated its 40th birthday) – has breathed its magic on it. Sure, this particular 1992 300TE-24 has the Sportline spec so it rides 31mm lower, and oh, there’s a new exhaust protruding from the rear, but for the most part it looks like any other ordinary 124-series Estate car. Until you lift the bonnet, that is.

Residing alongside the six-cylinder, 24-valve M104 unit, two Garrett T2 turbos complete with blue silicone hoses sit ominously on top of the Turbo Technics-designed cast iron exhaust manifolds. A new Turbo Technics air filter and an intercooler system fed with air channelled from behind the front spoiler are yet more alien objects in the sea of German engineering ingenuity.

The M104’s head gasket remains untouched, but Turbo Technics lowered the compression ratio by shortening the con rods, whilst machining the piston crowns and modifying the throttle body at the firm’s Northampton HQ in order to accommodate two extra fuel injectors to cope with the added demands of the turbos. The car’s standard Mercedes-Benz fuel system has been retained, with an additional fuel pressure regulator and Turbo Technics’ own piggyback Digital Control Unit (DCU), which works together with a MAP sensor to feed extra fuel when the engine is running on boost. A safety fuel cut-out has been incorporated into the ignition system to safeguard against an ‘overboost’ situation which could damage the engine.

A standard 300TE-24 produces 217bhp with 195lb ft of torque and sees off 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds (with a five-speed auto as pictured). Not slow, but not awe inspiring either. Equipped with TT’s £5,995 (plus VAT) conversion, however, this 124 generates up to 335bhp plus 325lb ft of torque!

Finding a nearby dual carriageway and planting my right foot flat, the 300TE-24 squares its shoulders and lunges forward, perceptibly gaining a second wind at 4,000rpm, all but confirming an unofficial 0-60mph time of around seven seconds, and clocking 50-70mph in well under four seconds, by our estimations. Off the straights, the stiffer Sportline springs and shocks do a good job of keeping the seven-seater in check around the bends, although the car does feel more at ease with a point-and-shoot approach to driving with intent.

With Turbo Technics recommending the use of super unleaded fuel, the 300TE-24 is not cheap to run. However, the tuner did say that with sensible driving, fuel economy (18.6mpg EEC urban cycle in standard guise) is hardly affected by the conversion at all, and with the standard Mercedes-Benz servicing intervals remaining the same, you can understand why the twin-turbo kit appealed. And still does.

Carat Duchatelet styling made this 124-series Estate even more mouth-watering.

A pair of Garrett T2 turbochargers nestle next to the M104 straight-six.

Equipped with TT’s £5,995 conversion, this 124 generates up to 335bhp plus 325lb ft of torque!

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