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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Mercedes-Benz C-111 research car series

The Wankel engine, or more popularly known as the rotary engine, was first developed by a German engineer named Felix Wankel in the 1920s and receiving a patent in 1929, and coincidentally at that time, Wankel was working at NSU where his engine was developed furthermore.
Three generations of the Mercedes-Benz C111 research car series, ie 1969 Mercedes Benz C111-I (left), 1970 Mercedes Benz C111-II (middle), and 1969 Mercedes Benz C111-I first prototype (right) posed together. (Picture from: Pinterest)
In the ensuing years, NSU licensed the Wankel engine design to various car companies around the world, including AMC, Mercedes-Benz, Citroen, General Motors, Nissan, Suzuki, and Toyota, etc. And as we all-know that Mercedes-Benz also installed the Wankel engine for the first of its C111 series in 1969.
At that time, the German automotive giant was experimenting with several new engine technologies, including Wankel engines, diesel and turbochargers, and by using the C111 platform as their testbed model. Other experimental features applied to the C111 include gullwing doors and luxurious interiors with leather trims, as well as air conditioning.
1970 Mercedes Benz C111-II used a four-rotor Wankel engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/39UjCxk)
The C111 series is a series of experimental cars produced by Mercedes-Benz in the 1960s to 1970s. The first version of C111 (called C111-I) was completed in 1969. Officially presenting the C111 at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) 50 years ago in September 1969, the futuristic design of this high-performance car got a three-rotor Wankel engine. The super sports car research of 1966 revealed the reason for the revitalization of the Mercedes-Benz design language three years later.
1978 Mercedes Benz C111-III Rekordwagen used a diesel engine with five pistons. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2V9c9Fz)
The C111-II, which was updated with a four-rotor Wankel engine for everyday use, was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1970. The demand for sports cars from Stuttgart surged. Although in the end this car remained a research vehicle and did not enter the production series.
Instead, a series of record-breaking vehicles were built from 1976 onwards. The first is the C111-II D used a 3-liter 5-cylinder engine equipped with turbocharged and air-cooled engines. It manufactured since June 12, 1976, Mercedes-Benz scored a total of 16 world records with this vehicle on the test track in Nardò (Italy).
1979 Mercedes Benz C111-IV Rekordwagen used a 4.5-liter V8 petrol engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2RnpjgZ)
The 1978 C111-III (turbo diesel) and the 1979 C111-III (V8 petrol engine) that were aerodynamically perfected broke the spectacular record in Nardò where the C111-III with a new diesel to set the record in April 1978 with a speed of 321.9 kph and C111-IV 'Rekordwagen' followed in May 1979 with a world record of 403, 978 kph.
The appearance of the C111 research car family marked the Mercedes-Benz's "125 Years of Motorsport" back in 2019. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | MERCEDES-BENZ | DRIVETRIBE]
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