The legendary Mercedes-Benz C 111-II turns 50

50 years ago, exactly in 1972, Mercedes reached the Geneva Auto Show with a vehicle that became an out of series, the Mercedes-Benz C 111-II.

Its design is quite extravagant for what we are used to seeing Mercedes nowadays, but in that year, when it shared the stand with a Mercedes SL and another Mercedes S600 -which had a much more conventional design-, it definitely stood out like a nugget of gold in the middle of pieces of coal, and obviously the cameras were completely focused on the first.

Beyond its razor-sharp fiberglass-reinforced bodywork and gull-wing doors that stood out throughout the event, the most exciting thing about this German sports car was under the hood, where a four-wheel Wankel engine is found. rotors of just 602 cc, the same one that generated 350 horsepower and 392 lb-ft of torque, something huge when you think that the fastest production car of that time, the lamborghini miura P400S, made just 370 horsepower using a huge block 3.9-liter V12.

This is actually the second model in a complete family of test vehicles that Mercedes-Benz has developed, and in fact its predecessor was the first model to be designed entirely through computer software.

Shortly after his introduction, the german brand allowed a very select group of journalists to do a few laps at the Monthoux circuit, where the brand proposed a test to its development manager, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, who should carry a stick of butter on his chest and drive at full speed around the circuit , then check its status. The result was amazing, the Wankel engine got so little warm that the stick of butter remained practically untouched.

All of the above combined to see the German brand receiving huge offers, even with blank checks. However, the firm remained firm in its ideals of only using the vehicle as a test car and not marketing it in any way.

In total, 13 units of the C111-I and II were produced, which were soon followed by two series III units, which had a 228-horsepower turbodiesel engine.