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 gullwing doors
and a luxurious interior with leather trim and air conditioning
The first version of the C111
was completed in 1969. It used a fiberglass
body shell and had a three-rotor direct fuel injected Wankel engine
mounted in the middle
. The next C111 appeared in 1970. It used a four-rotor engine producing 370 hp (275 kW). The car could reportedly hit 290 km/h (180 mph).
The company decided not to adopt the Wankel engine and turned to Diesel
experiments for the third C111. With its 230 horsepower (170 kW)@ 4,400-4,600 5-speed manual straight-5
turbo-Diesel, the C111 broke nine diesel and gas speed records. With more aerodynamic
bodywork that gave it an air drag coefficient
of an incredible .191, the C111 eventually hit 200 mph (322 km/h) at Nardò
in 1978, and averaged 14.7mpg@ 316 km (195.4 mi) over a 12 hour cruise. A later 500 hp (372 kW) 4.8 L twin KKK-turbocharged V8
version set another record, with an average lap-speed of 403.78 km/h (250.958 mph). It was achieved by Dr. Hans Leibold in 1 minute, 56.67 seconds on May 5, 1979.
Mercedes-Benz introduced the C112
at the Frankfurt Motor Show
in 1991 as a production supercar
. It used a 6.0 L V12
engine mounted in the middle. But after accepting 700 deposits, the company decided not to proceed with production.