News | Concept Cars | Strange Vehicles | Sports Cars | Modified Cars | Motorcycles | Boats | Aircraft | Submarines

Home > Sports cars > Rare and classic cars > Mercedes-Benz C 111



Mercedes-Benz C 111



Mercedes-Benz C 111-II

Mercedes-Benz C 111

Mercedes-Benz C 111

Mercedes-Benz C 111

Mercedes-Benz C 111

Mercedes-Benz C 111

Mercedes-Benz C 111

Mercedes-Benz C 111

Mercedes-Benz C 111

Year (of specifications) 1969 - 1979 prototypes
Engine various, including Wankel rotary
Transmission -
Max speed 250 mph (V8 petrol engine)
0-60 mph -
Horsepower 190 - 350 hp
weight -







C 111 was the designation of the futuristic study displayed by Mercedes-Benz in September 1969 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA). In the spring of 1970, an even more elegantly clad C 111-II made its appearance at the Geneva Motor Show, prompting interested parties to send blank checks to Stuttgart to secure one of these cars for themselves.

However, it had never been planned to produce the new Gullwing in series, and the Mercedes-Benz C 111 was not to appear in showrooms. It was to serve as an experimental car. Designed to to test glass-fiber-reinforced plastics as a bodywork material, and a variety of unusual engines.

The first Mercedes-Benz C 111 of 1969 was powered not by a conventional reciprocating-piston engine but by a Wankel – or rotary-piston - engine.

The performance of the C 111, even with the three-rotor engine, was convincing right from the start. In 1969, the Wankel engine developed 280 hp from 600 cubic centimeters of chamber volume per rotary piston and gave the car a top speed of 260 km/h; with this engine, the car accelerated from standstill to 100 km/h in five seconds. The C 111-II of 1970 was powered by a large four-rotor Wankel engine which developed 350 hp and gave the car a top speed of 300 km/h. The second C 111 accelerated from standstill to 100 km/h in highly respectable 4.8 seconds. While some of the engines in the C 111-I cars had still featured dual ignition which was difficult to adjust, the four-rotor engine was equipped with single ignition exclusively. Both engines were direct-injection units.

The development department of Mercedes-Benz eventually succeeded in solving the engineering-design problems involved in the rotary-piston principle, especially in engine mechanics, but the problem of the Wankel engine’s poor degree of efficiency, due to the elongated, variable combustion chambers of the rotary-piston principle, was not to be overcome with technical modifications. This problem was simply inherent in the design: in a Wankel engine, the fuel burns within the space between the convex side of the rotary piston and the concave wall of the piston housing rather than the cylindrical combustion chamber of a reciprocating-piston engine. The variable, anything but compact combustion chambers of the Wankel engine were responsible for poor thermodynamic fuel economy as compared to a reciprocating-piston engine, resulting in significantly higher fuel consumption for the same output. The engines of the first two C 111 versions were straightforward gas-guzzlers. And since the pollutant content in the exhaust gas of the Wankel engines was also too high, Mercedes-Benz discontinued work on this type of engine in 1971, in spite of its impressively smooth running characteristics and compact size.

In 1976, due to the oil crisis and the need for more frugal engines, Mercedes-Benz engineers installed a three-liter diesel engine with five cylinders in the C 111-II for the first tests. In the car, now called C 111-IID, the OM 617 LA engine developed as much as 190 hp, thanks to turbocharging and intercooling, as opposed to the 80 hp output of the production engine which powered the Mercedes-Benz 240 D 3.0. In June 1976, the Mercedes-Benz C 111-IID reached spectacular speeds on the test track at Nardo near Lecce in Italy. In the course of 60 hours, four drivers established a total of 16 world records – thirteen of these applying to diesel-engined cars and three to cars in general, irrespective of their type of engine. During the tests, an average speed of 156 mph (252 km/h) was recorded.

In 1977, encouraged by the record breaking C 111-IID, Mercedes-Benz set about creating a car designed specifically for establishing speed records. Designated the Mercedes-Benz C 111-III the new car was narrower than the first C 111, had a longer wheelbase and improved aerodynamic properties, thanks to complete streamlining and rear airfoils. The 230 horsepower diesel engine managed to propel the C 111-III to over 186 mph (300 km/h). With this new car Mercedes-Benz established nine absolute world records in the late 1970s.

The last version of the sports car, the Mercedes-Benz C 111-IV presented in 1979, broke the track record by reaching a speed of 403.978 km/h. This time, it was no longer a diesel engine working under the plastic skin but a V8 gasoline engine with a displacement of 4.5 liters and an output of 500 hp. The shape of the bodywork was equally a far cry from the first version. Ten years on, and the bodywork crafted with esprit and courage in 1969 had become a slim, elongated rocket with two airfoils and massive spoilers.






Home - About - Contact - Privacy Policy
CC 2005 - 2014 diseno-art.com