Drive for greater efficiency: 125 years of engine technology at the Techno Classica 2008


DIESOTTO and BLUETEC: State-of-the-art engine technologies from Mercedes-Benz
Special display: Mercedes-Benz SL-Class from 1957 to 2008
From Mannheim to Pforzheim and back: Celebrating 120 years of the journey by Bertha-Benz
World’s leading show for vintage and classic automobiles

Sustainability is the central theme of Mercedes-Benz at the Techno Classica 2008 – the leading classic car show worldwide – held this year from March 26 – 30 in Essen. Exhibits spanning seven decades document the on-going developments of engine technology, from the earliest years of the four-cylinder to the Mercedes-Benz F 700 research car, whose DIESOTTO drive system delivers high output coupled with low consumption and low emissions – signaling the way ahead for the future of the internal combustion engine.
A special display focusing on the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class completes the brand’s appearance at this year’s Techno Classica. Its development is documented by a display of five cars representing each of the model series to date.
The Benz Patent Motor Car also serves as a reminder of the famous journey undertaken by Bertha Benz and her two sons in 1888 from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back – an impressive tribute to the efficiency of her husband’s invention. This year’s Mercedes-Benz stand occupies an area covering approximately 1,000 square meters – 4,500 square meters including partners from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center and brand clubs.

125 years of engine development: Drive for greater efficiency

The engine is the car’s heart. Ever since the invention of the high-speed gasoline engine by Gottlieb Daimler in 1883, development has focused on a single principal goal: that of making engines more efficient while consuming less fuel. Seven exhibits – all equipped with four-cylinder engines and dating from 1904 to the present day – document the progress made by the inventors of motorized transport in the intervening period. The 28/32 hp Mercedes Simplex of 1904, for example, developed 32 hp (24 kW) from its 5.3-liter displacement, with consumption estimated at over 20 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers; just over 80 years later, the output achieved from the 2.3-liter four-valve engine in the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 of 1985 was 185 hp (136 kW), with an average fuel consumption measured at 11.6 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers (20.28 mpg).
Over past decades, Mercedes-Benz has regularly applied new drive technologies to the goal of improving efficiency – technologies either introduced by the brand into series production, as with the supercharged engine of 1923 and the diesel engine of 1936, or made available for volume production, as with the four-valve technology of 1983.
When it comes to efficiency, Mercedes-Benz CDI (Common Rail Direct Injection) technology has been setting new standards since 1997. The innovative technology made its debut in the C 220 CDI, whose original engine developed 125 hp (92 kW) from a 2.2-liter displacement and boasted average diesel consumption of 6.1 liters per 100 kilometers (38.56 mpg). In addition to increased power output per liter of displacement, the new engine also had improved effective torque, above all at lower engine speeds. But development did not stop here: the latest-generation C 220 CDI now boasts output of 170 hp (125 kW), while consuming no more fuel than the original lower-output model of 1997.

Exhaust gas aftertreatment has also been part of the drive for greater efficiency. A decisive factor where gasoline engines are concerned was the introduction in the 1980s of the closed-loop three-way catalytic converter; and for diesel engines, the way ahead towards very low emissions has been clearly signaled by
Mercedes-Benz BLUETEC technology. One current highlight of engine technology is the DIESOTTO drive by Mercedes-Benz, which combines the advantages of gasoline and diesel engines. Fitted to the F 700 research car – with roughly similar dimensions to the S-Class – a 1.8-liter four-cylinder DIESOTTO unit supported by a hybrid electric motor develops an output of 238 hp (175 kW), with fuel consumption of just 5.3 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers (44.38 mpg).
With original cars from more than 100 years, Mercedes-Benz demonstrates the great progress made in engine development at the Techno Classica 2008. The cars on display are described below.

28/32 hp Mercedes Simplex, 1904: The first modern car. 1901 was the birth year of the first modern automobile. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft offered several vehicles with innovative features under the brand name Mercedes. The four-cylinder engine of the 28/32 hp model, introduced in 1904, developed around 32 hp (24 kW) from its 5.3-liter displacement – which, although modest from a present-day perspective, made it one of the more powerful automobiles of its day.
6/25 hp Mercedes, 1924: Supercharged for increased output. A perfect example of how to boost the efficiency of the internal combustion engine is to be found in supercharger technology. The system used a blower powered by the engine to force the gasoline-air mixture under pressure into the cylinders, improving cylinder charge and at the same time increasing output. The first production passenger car to feature supercharger technology was the 6/25 hp Mercedes of 1923, which used a supercharger to develop 38 hp (28 kW) from a displacement of just 1.6 liters – 50 percent more than without supercharger.
Mercedes-Benz 260 D, 1936 (W 138 series): The first diesel passenger car. 1936 witnessed the unveiling of a sensation: the Mercedes-Benz 260 D, the world’s first standard-production diesel passenger car. Diesel technology had previously only been tried and tested in commercial vehicles. Compared with the equivalent gasoline model, the 230, the diesel version consumed considerably less fuel, which was also significantly cheaper than gasoline. As a result, cars with compression ignition engines rapidly became favorites among taxi drivers and many private buyers alike.
Mercedes-Benz 180, 1955 (W 120 series): The modest
The restart of the automotive industry following the Second World War was a modest affair. Mercedes-Benz resumed production in 1946 with the fuel-efficient four-cylinder 170 V model. A slightly more advanced engine was the 1.8-liter unit built for the 180 model, whose “three-box body” concept heralded a new era of functional design in 1953. Its sister model, the 180 D, was even more economical and, with its output of 40 hp (29 kW), capable of very acceptable performance.
Mercedes-Benz 220 D, 1969 (W 115 series): Diesel makes up ground. The Mercedes-Benz upper mid-range series bearing the suffix “/8” – a reference to its year of introduction, 1968 – was renowned for reliability, safety and comfort, not to mention legendary fuel economy, particularly among the diesel models. In terms of output, too, the diesel had made up a lot of ground: The 2.2-liter four-cylinder unit of the 220 D, the most common of the /8 models, developed an impressive 60 hp (44 kW).
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16, 1985 (W 201 series): Outstanding efficiency. The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 of 1983 was a model of high-level power output: 185 hp (136 kW) from a 2.3-liter displacement are respectable figures even by today’s standards. This was largely due to the boost in efficiency made possible by four-valvetechnology, first introduced in 1906, which helped Mercedes-Benz achieve a general breakthrough with its “sixteen-valver”. The 190 D, the diesel version in what was then the equivalent of the compact class, may have seemed a little lacking in power on direct comparison of technical specifications – but it set new standards in terms of fuel economy.
Mercedes-Benz S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID (W 221 series): Clean premium class. The S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID, scheduled for market launch in 2010, combines several technologies designed to boost efficiency and cut emissions. Its four-cylinder diesel engine with CDI direct injection technology develops 204 hp (150 kW) from a 2.2-liter displacement. Thanks to its use of BLUETEC technology and supported by a 20 hp (15 kW) hybrid module, this S-Class is one of the most efficient and environmentally compatible premium-class automobiles in the world. Peak torque of 560 Newton meters also guarantees a maximum of driving pleasure and dynamism.

SL: Sporting tradition

Other exhibits at the Techno Classica narrate the history of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. The first production model – the 300 SL featuring those famous gullwing doors – became an icon as soon as it made its debut in 1954. In 1957 came the open-top 300 SL roadster which was produced until 1963. Timelessness is also an attribute of the current SL: Mercedes-Benz recently gave the roadster a major facelift – perfectly timed to coincide with the advent of the 2008 open-air season – in order to present the SL as the last word in technology and design.
Three generations separate the first SL and the current version of the luxurious roadster. One thing they have in common, however, is that they were all classics in their own lifetime and remain collectors’ items particularly prized by enthusiasts today. The SL is a car that continues to fascinate. Roadsters from all SL model series built to date are represented at the Techno Classica 2008.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, 1958 (W 198 II series): Open-topped dream car. The original 300 SL, with its gullwing doors, is an automotive icon. But the rich and beautiful demanded an open-top version – which Mercedes-Benz launched in 1957. The 300 SL roadster was as much at home on the world’s boulevards as it was on the long-distance highways, combining sporting performance with a high degree of comfort. Today it is one of the most sought-after classics worldwide.
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL, 1968 (W 113 series): The Pagoda. The second-generation Mercedes-Benz SL got its nickname from the shape of its hard-top – the filigree lines of its roof were said to resemble a pagoda, and yet it offered great stability. The Pagoda SL set new benchmarks in terms of comfort and everyday practicality – without compromising on dynamism. It was a line followed by all vehicles in the SL series – after all, the letter combination stands for “sports, light”.
Mercedes-Benz 500 SL, 1985 (R 107 series): The best-seller. The SL 107 series, introduced in April 1971, shaped a whole new era of Mercedes-Benz passenger car design and served as a pacesetter for numerous safety innovations. With its timeless and almost classical lines, its appearance was more harmonious – and above all more representative – than the Pagoda’s. This was reflected in the popularity of the series: With constant updates, over 237,000 units were built over an 18-year period.
Mercedes-Benz SL 500, 1998 (R 129 series): The sculpture. In March 1989 a new SL made its debut. Once again it showed the expert hand of the
Mercedes-Benz design team – who with simple yet eye-catching lines created a veritable sculpture on wheels. At the same time, the SL featured numerous innovations – many in the interests of safety, such as integral seats, redesigned anti-buckle A-pillars for protection in the event of a rollover and an automatically extending rollover bar.
Mercedes-Benz SL 500, 2008 (R 230 series): The latest classic. Is it possible to keep on recreating an icon? Yes, it seems – if its bears the name SL. The feat was achieved once again by Mercedes-Benz in 2001 when it launched the latest version of the roadster. For the first time, this model gave the class a vario roof, enabling the vehicle to turn at will from roadster to coupe. Model year 2008 saw Mercedes-Benz equip the car with an advanced front-end design, as well as many innovative technological features. The SL remains as youthful as ever.

Mercedes-Benz at the 2008 Techno Classica:

Technical specifications

125 years of engine development: Drive for greater efficiency
28/32 hp Mercedes Simplex:

Year of construction: 1904
Cylinders: 4 (in line)
Displacement: 5315 cc
Output : 32 hp (24 kW) at 1200/min
Top speed: 60 km/h
Production period of model: 1901 to 1905

6/25 hp Mercedes:
Year of construction: 1924
Cylinders: 4 (in line)
Displacement: 1568 cc
Output: 25 hp (18 kW) at 2800/min, with supercharger 38 hp (28 kW) at 3200/min
Top speed: 100 km/h
Production period of model: 1921 to 1924

Mercedes-Benz 260 D (W 138 series):
Year of construction: 1936
Cylinders: 4 (in line)
Displacement: 2545 cc
Output: 45 hp (33 kW) at 3000/min
Fuel consumption: 11 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (21.38 mpg)
Top speed: 90 km/h
Production period of model: 1936 to 1940

Mercedes-Benz 180 (W 120 series):
Year of construction: 1955
Cylinders: 4 (in line)
Displacement: 1767 cc
Output: 52 hp (38 kW) at 4000/min
Torque: 11.4 mkg (112 Nm) at 1800/min
Fuel consumption: 8.7 liters per 100 kilometers (27.04 mpg)
Top speed: 126 km/h
Production period of model: 1953 to 1957

Mercedes-Benz 220 D (W 115 series):

Year of construction: 1969
Cylinders: 4 (in line)
Displacement: 2197 cc
Output: 60 hp (44 kW) at 4200/min
Torque: 12.8 mkg (126 Nm) at 2400/min
Fuel consumption: 8.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (27.67 mpg)
Top speed: 135 km/h
Production period of model: 1968 to 1976

Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 (W 201 series):
Year of construction: 1985
Cylinders: 4 (in line)
Displacement: 2299 cc
Output: 185 hp (136 kW) at 6200/min (with catalytic converter 170 hp/125 kW at 5800/min)
Torque: 235 Nm at 4500/min (with catalytic converter 220 Nm at 4750/min)
Fuel consumption: 11.6 liters of premium per 100 kilometers (20.28 mpg)
Top speed: 230 km/h (with catalytic converter 220 km/h)
Production period of model: 1983 to 1988

Mercedes-Benz S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID (W 221 series):
Year of construction: 2007 (prototype)
Cylinders: 4 (in line)
Displacement: 2.2 liters
Output: 204 hp (150 kW) plus 20 hp (15 kW) from hybrid module
Torque: 560 Nm (combined)
Fuel consumption: 5.4 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (43.56 mpg)
Top speed: 240 km/h
Production period of model: from 2010

SL: Sporting tradition
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster (W 198 II series):

Year of construction: 1958
Cylinders: 6 (in line)
Displacement: 2996 cc
Output: 215 hp (158 kW) at 5800/min
Top speed: up to 250 km/h (dependent on rear axle ratio)
Production period: 1957 to 1963

Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (W 113 series):
Year of construction: 1968
Cylinders: 6 (in line)
Displacement: 2778 cc
Output: 170 hp (125 kW) at 5750/min
Top speed: 195 km/h (with automatic transmission)
Production period of model series: 1963 to 1971

Mercedes-Benz 500 SL (R 107 series):
Year of construction: 1985
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 4973 cc
Output: 223 hp* (164 kW*) at 4700/min
Top speed: 215 km/h*
Production period of model series: 1971 to 1989
* version fitted with catalytic converter

Mercedes-Benz SL 500 (R 129 series):
Year of construction: 1998
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 4966 cc
Output: 306 hp (225 kW) at 5600/min
Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)
Production period of model series: 1989 to 2001

Mercedes-Benz SL 500 (R 230 series):

Year of construction: 2008
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 5461 cc
Output: 388 hp (285 kW) at 6000/min
Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)
Production period of model series: from 2001

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