Auto 2000 – the Parent of the Mercedes Research Cars

Mercedes Auto 2000
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Presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1981, the Auto 2000 was a bench for engine testing and provided a very low Cd of only 0.28.

 At the end of the ’70s, The Federal Ministry for Research and Technology launched the Auto 2000 Project, in which several carmakers participated. The targets were very ambitious for those times: a fuel consumption up to 9.5 l/100 km for vehicles with a kerb weight between 1,250 and 1,700 kg and 11,0 l/100 km for vehicles with a kerbweight up to 2,150 kg. In adition, the car must accomodate four passengers and provide a payload of more than 400 kg.

Presented at the 1981 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Auto 2000 concept had a very low Cd of only 0.28 and was tested with three different engines:

  • A 3.8 litre V8 engine with cutoff system (four cylinders were temporarily shut down at partial loads). This system was used in different periods of times by Mercedes.
  • A 3.3 litre six cylinder bi-turbo diesel, which only needed 7.5 l/100 km at a speed of 120 km/h.
  • A gas turbine, which has a lot of qualities like low weight, compact dimensions, optimum torque curve and no need for water cooling.
    All engines were mated with a 4 speed automatic gearbox. In Auto 2000, Mercedes tested full seats for the driver and the front passenger with the seat belts built in the seats.