1978 Mercedes-Benz C111-IV

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

1979 Mercedes Benz C111-IV far    1979 Mercedes Benz C111-IV team

Over and above this, the car improved upon the record marks over ten and 100 kilometers as well as over ten and 100 miles.

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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
Seats 1

It was a suitable end to a generation of innovation and experimentation. Another chapter from Mercedes history could be duplicated in the record books.

1979 Mercedes-Benz C111-IV_03  mercedes-benz_c111-iv_concept_2   Mercedes-Benz_C111-IV    wallpaper_8717