After a successful 1990 racing season in Group C with the C 11 race car developed by Mercedes-Benz with the Swiss Sauber team, the Mercedes-Benz engineers wanted to push their limits and that’s how the C 112 prototype became a reality.
Looking for a way to test active dynamic handling systems for series-production cars, they came up with the C 112, a high-performance sports car. The challenge? To stretch the physical limits while transferring this performance to the road and meeting the highest levels of active safety.
In order to do that, C 112 was powered by a six-litre V12 engine that generated 408 hp and a maximum torque of 580 Nm, sent to the rear axle through a six-speed manual transmission.
In addition, C 112 benefited from a active rear-wheel steering system and showcased the Active Body Control system that would make it into production in the 1999 Mercedes-Benz CL (C 215 series).
Aerodynamics played an important role in the concept’s design, as the fully adjustable front spoiler and rear airfoil were adapted to the particular driving situation to ensure the optimum compromise between low air resistance on the one hand, and high downforce on the other.
Since we mentioned design, it is worth noted that the Mercedes-Benz C 112 is regarded as the return of the gullwing door. The C 112 was the first vehicle since the C 111 to feature gullwing doors, a symbol of Mercedes-Benz sports cars. In case you didn’t know, the 300 SL coupe (W 194/198 series from 1952 and 1954 respectively) was the first Mercedes-Benz model to have them.