Nov 19 2013
But the C111-III did not represent the end of the story. A world circuit record of 355.854 km/h had been in existence since August 9, 1975, established by Mark Donohue with a Porsche 917-30 racing car from the American Can-Am series, that had 1,000 HP , at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Though not recognized by FIA, it was a highly desirable world record, and after the successes with the C 111-III, the Mercedes-Benz engineers felt that it was within reach. Just another 100 HP would do – but could no longer be squeezed out of the near-production diesel engine. They had to return to gasoline engines in order to do the job.
The final version of C111, named C111-IV, was presented in 1979. This version of the C 111 was no longer, purely, a research vehicle, but one that achieved top-class sporting performance. The shape of the bodywork was equally a far cry from the first version and compared to C111-III, further aerodynamic refinements, featuring distinctive spoilers, a changed front end and a second tail fin were added. The Cd had a value of 0.195. Ten years on, and the bodywork crafted with esprit and courage in 1969 had become a slim, elongated rocket with two airfoils and massive spoilers in a silvery livery.
As for the engine, the team opted for the 4.5 litre V8 petrol engine from large-scale production, raised its displacement to 4.8 liters (4820 cc) and equipped the unit with 48 sodium-cooled valves, two KKK turbochargers ( Kuhle, Kopp & Kausch) and a triple-plate clutch that was capable of coping with 600 Nm torque and 367 kW / 500 HP at 6200 rpm.
With 500 HP under the hood, achieved at relatively low expense, the C 111-IV set out in Nardo on May 5, 1979 to have a go at the world circuit record. After a smooth run, a new record of 403.978 km/h had been established.
Over and above this, the car improved upon the record marks over ten and 100 kilometers as well as over ten and 100 miles.
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase 2720 mm
Front track 1260 mm
Rear track 1320 mm
Length 6200 mm
Width 1715 mm
Height 1045 mm
Comments Drag coefficient = 0.195
It was a suitable end to a generation of innovation and experimentation. Another chapter from Mercedes history could be duplicated in the record books.