Mercedes-Benz C111

The Mercedes-Benz C111 was a series of experimental automobiles produced by Mercedes-Benz in the 1960s and 1970s. The company was experimenting with new engine technologies, including Wankel engines, diesel engines, and turbochargers, and used the basic C111 platform as a testbed. Other experimental features included multi-link rear suspension, gull-wing doors and a luxurious interior with leather trim and air conditioning.

Mercedes-Benz C111/II
Mercedes-Benz Museum C111 200901241511.jpg
Mercedes-Benz C111/II at the Mercedes-Benz Museum
Production1970 (16 cars produced)
DesignerBruno Sacco
Body and chassis
ClassSports car
Body style2-door berlinetta
LayoutLongitudinal, Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
DoorsGullwing doors
Engine2.4 L Four-rotor Wankel engine
  • 392 N⋅m (289 lbf⋅ft) torque at 4000 - 5500 rpm
Power output257 kW (345 hp) at 7000 rpm
Transmission5-speed manual
Wheelbase2,620 mm (103 in)
Length4,440 mm (175 in)
Width1,800 mm (71 in)
Height1,120 mm (44 in)
PredecessorMercedes-Benz SL-X
SuccessorMercedes-Benz CW311
Mercedes-Benz C112
Suspension layout of the Mercedes-Benz C111 with independent multi-link on the rear axle
C 111-II
C 111-III
C 111-IV


The first version of the C111 was completed in 1969. The car used a fiberglass body shell and with a mid-mounted three-rotor direct fuel injected Wankel engine (code named M950F). The next C111 appeared in 1970. It used a four-rotor engine producing 257 kW (350 hp). The car reportedly could reach a speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).[1]

The company decided not to adopt the Wankel engine and turned to diesel experiments for the second and third C111s. The C111-IID produced 140 kW (188 hp) and was based on the 240D W115 model OM616 engine. The C111-III was powered by a 170 kW (228 hp) at 4,500 rpm straight-five OM617 turbocharged diesel that broke nine diesel and gasoline speed records. With more aerodynamic bodywork that gave it an air drag coefficient of 0.191,[citation needed] the C111 eventually reached 322 km/h (200 mph) at the Nardò Ring in 1978, and averaged 16.0 liters/100 km at 316 km/h (14.7 mpg at 195.4 mph) over a 12-hour cruise. A later 373 kW (500 hp; 507 CV)[clarification needed] 4.8 L twin KKK-turbocharged V8 version set another record, with an average lap-speed of 403.78 km/h (250.958 mph). This was achieved by Hans Liebold in 1 minute, 56.67 seconds on May 5, 1979.[2]

Total production was 16 cars: 13 first and second generation Wankel engined cars, 2 diesel engined third generation cars used in the Nardo record attempt, and a single V8 engined fourth generation car.[3]

Mercedes-Benz introduced the C112 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1991 as a proposed production sports car. The car used a mid-mounted 6.0 L V12 engine. After accepting 700 deposits, the company decided not to proceed with production.



  1. ^ "Mercedes-Benz C 111".
  2. ^ "Storia - Nardò Technical Center". Home - Nardò Technical Center (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-07-06. Con un motore biturbo V8 da 4,82 litri e una potenza di 373 kW (500 CV) a 6.200 giri/min, la Mercedes-Benz C111-IV raggiunge la velocità di 404 km/h. Con questa vettura l'ingegnere capo Hans Liebold percorse il "giro lanciato" sul circuito di Nardò in 1:57 min.
  3. ^ "1970 Mercedes-Benz C111-II - Jay Leno's Garage". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13 – via


  • Clarke, R.M., ed. (1987). On Mercedes 1963-1970. Road & Track Series. Cobham, Surrey, UK: Brooklands Books. ISBN 1-869826-41-8.
  • ——————, ed. (1980). On Mercedes Sports & GT Cars 1970-1980. Road & Track Series. Cobham, Surrey, UK: Brooklands Books. ISBN 0907073395.
  • Frère, Paul; Weitmann, Julius (1981). Mercedes-Benz C111: Experimental Cars. Lausanne: Edita. ISBN 2880010977.
  • Kalbhenn, Wolfgang; Heidbrink, Gerhard; Hack, Joachim (2021). Mercedes-Benz C111: Fackelträger, Traumsportwagen und Rekordjäger [Mercedes-Benz C111: Torchbearers, Dream Sports Cars and Record Hunters] (in German). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 9783613041370.
  • Wirth, Thomas (2012). Mercedes-Benz Supercars: From 1901 to Today. Atglen, PA, USA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 9780764340901.

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