It’s Been Fifty Years Since the Stunning Mercedes-Benz C111-II Concept Was Unveiled

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Revealed as a sequel to the Mercedes-Benz C111 that made a debut at the 1969 Frankfurt show, the C111-II never went past the concept stage. Fifty years later, it’s hard not to marvel at the prototype that never reached the market. CarSwitch.com, an online marketplace where you can buy certified used Mercedes in UAE as well as other cars for sale, did some research to share the details with you.

The Mercedes-Benz C111 range was a test platform for new ideas

The Mercedes-Benz C111 series was more of an experimental lineup and allowed the automaker to test out new engine technologies such as diesel engines, Wankel engines, and turbochargers. Rotary Wankel engines were thought to be the next big thing at that time and Mercedes needed a test platform to explore the new engine.

Other than that, it also included experimental features such as gull-wing doors, multi-link rear suspension, and a premium interior.

The C111 flaunted glass-fiber bodywork, orange paint, and roof-hinged gullwing doors. Powering it was a three-rotor Wankel engine that churned out 280-horsepower.

The C111-II was unveiled in 1970. It featured a four-rotor engine that could produce 350 horsepower. The vehicle could apparently touch a speed of 300 km/h and it could go from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.

The design was also upgraded for a better field of vision. The aerodynamics were improved by cutting down the air resistance coefficient by 8 percent compared to the progenitor.

The C111 was also the first car in history to be designed fully on a computer. Not only this allowed the engineers to predict dynamic loads, but it also sped up the whole project by four months.

After the C111 was showcased, many affluent consumers were itching to get their hands on it, with some offering blank cheques. But, of course, the concept cars were not for sale.

For the subsequent iterations of the C111, the Wankel engine was replaced by diesel engines. That’s because rotary engines didn’t really live up to the hype and were plagued by issues such as poor emissions, unimpressive fuel economy, and unreliability.

In all, Mercedes-Benz made 16 C111s, out of which 13 were the first and second-generation C 111, with most of them being the C 111-II.

In 1991, the C112 was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor show as a proposed production sports vehicle. It features a mid-mounted 6.0 L V12 engine. The company received 700 deposits for the car. Later on, it decided against making a road-ready version of the car.

So, why was the C111 never made into a real car? Well, first off, as mentioned before, it was more of an experimental platform. Secondly, the company began avoiding high-performance sports cars after the 1955 Le Mans Disaster. The C111 also had a fiberglass and plastic design which wasn’t ideal from the point of view of safety.

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