Back in 1969, Mercedes-Benz presented the C111. To be precise, the C111 was not only one car, but an entire series of cars, which were used from the late 60’s as a test bed for new technologies, but we will concentrate on the first two C111, the ones that were equipped with a Wankel engine!
The C111 were extremely and incredibly over engineered vehicles. They were entirely made of fiberglass, having gullwing doors. The first prototype had a three-rotor Wankel engine mounted in the center and an incredibly low aerodynamic drag coefficient, that for the era was at the cutting edge of technology. Its suspension comprised double wishbones at the front and a multiple link suspension at the back.
The extremely low weight combined with the Wankel engine and the five-speed gearbox gave enviable performance to the C111-I.
The C111-II (the second prototype) was equipped with a four-rotor Wankel engine, producing 350 hp with 391 Nm torque,that enabled it to reach 100 km/hour from a standstill in 4.8 seconds, with its top speed reaching 300 km/h.
However, the oil crisis of 1973, the increased emissions of the Wankel engine and its high consumption, made the company to focus on continuing various versions codenamed C111, this time focusing on diesel engines.