C 111 experimental car presented in Frankfurt

  • Date
    11 - 21 September 1969
  • Description
    The International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main is the venue for the debut of the Mercedes-Benz C 111 experimental car, which is fitted with a 280 hp / 206 kW three-rotor Wankel engine and a plastic body. Other new arrivals include the passenger car models 300 SEL 3.5 (W 109) and the 280 SE 3.5 Coupé and Convertible (W 111), all powered by a 3.5-litre M 116 V8 engine developing 200 hp / 147 kW. The electrically-driven OE 302 test bus also celebrates its premiere. The electric motor is fed by a battery charged by a diesel generator set – an early example of hybrid drive technology. Daimler-Benz presents the first automatic transmission for commercial vehicles at the show: the W 3 D 080 three-speed automatic transmission with torque converter, offered as special equipment for urban buses. The new long-haul trucks LP 1632 and LP 2032 introduce the hydraulically tilting cab to the truck range. They are powered by the entirely new V10 diesel engine OM 403. The 320 hp / 235 kW direct injection unit is the first model of the new OM 400 V-engine family. The Unimog range gets a new 100 hp / 74 kW flagship model in the form of the U 100 road tractor from the 416 series.
Mercedes-Benz LP 1632,
 forward-control platform truck with tipping cab, 1969
Mercedes-Benz LP 1632
The C 111’s circuits on the Hockenheim Ring can be seen as an indication of its future career, for the test vehicle used to assess Wankel engines is used as the basis for several record-breaking cars in the years that follow. The C 111/IID (1976) and C 111/III (1978) models with their 5-cylinder diesel engines are the first, eventually followed by the C 111/IV with its 4.5-litre V8 engine (1979).
Mercedes-Benz C 111
For comparison, first row: Mercedes-Benz C 111/I with 3-rotor Wankel engine, an MB 280 SE 3.5-litre Convertible. Second row: 300 SEL 3.5-litre Sedan and a 280 SE 3.5 litre Coupé, on the Untertürkheim test track, 1969.
Mercedes-Benz C 111/I, W 109, W 111
IAA Frankfurt, 11 – 21 September 1969. Presentation of the Mercedes-Benz C 111/I with 3-rotor Wankel engine, 1969.
IAA Frankfurt, 1969
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet, W 111
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
The open-air party for four passengers is over: After the 280 SE 3.5 convertible, Mercedes-Benz offers no more open four-seaters for the time being. Instead, the tradition of open vehicles with convertible soft top is continued by the two-seater SL sports cars – until the 300 CE-24 convertible makes its appearance in the 1990s.
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet, W 111
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupé, W 111
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupé
Mercedes-Benz Coupé W 111/112
Mercedes-Benz Coupé W 111/112
IAA Frankfurt, 11 – 21 September 1969. Presentation of the Mercedes-Benz C 111/I with 3-rotor Wankel engine, 1969.
IAA Frankfurt, 1969
Mercedes-Benz 3.5 litre V-8 petrol engine, M 116 E 35, 1969
Engine M 116
In addition to the 300 SEL 3.5, Mercedes-Benz also offers the 109 series saloon with a 6.3-litre (300 SEL 6.3) or 4.5-litre engine (300 SEL 4.5, only for export) in 1970. The V8 engines’ output varies between 198 hp / 146 kW and 250 hp / 184 kW.
Mercedes-Benz W 109
Diesel-electric: The Mercedes-Benz OE 302 test city bus was powered by electricity, its batteries being charged by a diesel engine. This vehicle marked a new start in hybrid drive development in 1969.
Mercedes-Benz OE 302