Forgotten Studies: German Giants

Hair, 5. April 2018

In 1991, the German manufacturer sunbathing in euphoria: Germany was reunited, the former East Germany, a new market was created. The new self-confidence showed up in mighty new launches such as the Mercedes S-class, model series 140. What does anyone know today hardly still: in 1991, also the year of the German super sports cars. While Porsche has balanced the financial abyss, showed each of Audi, BMW and Mercedes is a dream car.

BMW M12/C12 Nazca: Strong Design debut

We begin our journey through time chronologically, namely, at the Geneva motor show in March 1991. There, the BMW Nazca M12. The Name is somewhat misleading, after all, is responsible for the 4.39-metre-long and 1.10 meters flat flounder Italdesign, the company of Giorgio Giugiaro. The Design is the debut work of Fabrizio, the then 26-year-old son of the great master. The carbon fiber construction, the doors are: open conventionally, but the window pan in the best Gullwing-style to the top.

A successor to the BMW M1?

Below the stunning cover that hides the M12 a name twelve-cylinder with 300 HP, how you get to know him from the 750i and 850i. Background of the Nazca M12 Considerations of BMW for a potential successor to the M1. Is nourished the project in the autumn of 1992 at the auto show in Tokyo: The Nazca C2 is a quasi-imitation is the inculcation M12. In the C2 Alpina 355 HP tuned V12 lets go of his 470 Newton-meters of torque with manual six-speed circuit on the rear wheels. Add to that a wider track, longer Spoiler and less weight, namely, about 1,100 kilograms. But BMW gets cold feet, to seal the memories of the M1, of which only 460 copies. In 1993, Italdesign, may show only an open Version of the Nazca C2.

Audi Avus: Radical Lightweight

Also in 1991, Audi has gathered enough self-awareness, in the autumn of the year in Tokyo, a real firecracker pop out: With the Audi Avus no one expects. The 4.47-Meter of the Central engine is a super athlete long, its appearance is vaguely reminiscent of the silver arrows of the 1930s. Named after the legendary city circuit in Berlin, is chock-full of high-gloss polished Avus with two things. The Aluminium body is there. It lowers the weight to 1,250 kg and prejudice the concept, which is implemented from 1994, at A8. On the other, there is a twelve-cylinder in W-arrangement with 509 HP. Add to this a manual six-gear transmission and all-wheel drive. This should be enough for three seconds to 100 kph and a top of 340 km/h. However, the Audi Avus is deliberately intended as a study. Only ten years later, a six-liter W12 with 420 HP under the hood of the A8.

Mercedes C 112: The missed opportunity

Finally successful in Motorsport: 1991 Mercedes basks in the success of the sports car world championship. A group C race car was built, the Sauber-Mercedes C 11. Many findings for series vehicles can not be derived. In order to test active dynamic handling systems for large series, the super sports car Mercedes C 112. He is the Star of the Frankfurt motor show in 1991, where he shows, to some extent, the rapid expression of the six-liter V12 with 408 HP, which will debut in the same year, in the gigantic new S-class. In contrast to the 600 SE and the C 112 has a manual six-speed circuit. With its electro-hydraulic gull-wing doors the C arouses 112 memories of the famous 300 SL from the 1950s, and never in series-built C-111 Wankel engine in 1970, became the dream car of a Generation.

Super sports car with a delay

Five seconds to 100 kph and a rumored peak of 310 km/h along with the extravagant Design that around 700 orders for the C 112 are received at Mercedes. In addition to the name, this is a Parallel to the C 111, two decades earlier. And as this is also the disappearance of the C 112 ultimately, again in the basement, possibly because Mercedes the W140 S-class corners have to much of a beating, and from that point on modesty. Many of the technology components of the C 112 but again, in 1999, for example, the active suspension named Active Body Control (ABC) or one year prior to the adaptive cruise control. Not the rear-wheel steering, but the actively controlled rear spoiler could prevail. He served in the C 112 as an air brake for an emergency and to increase the pressure on the rear axle. In the series, he is the 2003 SLR McLaren, the first super sports car to get Mercedes to market trust.(rh)