Mercedes C111

The 1969 Mercedes C111 was a research project, undertaken by Mercedes to develop new technologies. The company wanted to produce a rotary engined car, so research was under taken into the Wankel engine. The C 111 of 1969 featured a 3 rotor Wankel engine and developed 280 bhp, with a top speed of 160mph. The C111 was first displayed by Mercedes-Benz in September 1969 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA). The C 111-II was introduced to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1970, to much aclaim. It was fitted with a four-rotor Wankel engine with an output of 350 hp and improved engine torque. It gave the car a top speed of 180mph and 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds. The second car featured revised suspension configurations, allowing for wide tyres and the body work was made from plastic to reduce weight and improve aerodynamic efficiency. However, the Wankel engine had a high fuel consumption and emissions. Any hope the car would be put into production was stopped by strigent emission legislation in many countries and the 1973 oil crisis.






Mercedes C111-II at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in 1969


Mercedes C111-II during testing


Mercedes C 111-I


Mercedes C 111-I


Mercedes C 111-I


The Mercedes C111-II during the design stage