Last month the Mercedes-Benz C-Class set a new course record at the annual Colorado Springs Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event for diesel-powered vehicles. Uwe Nittel drove the Mercedes ‘near-production’ C250d 4Matic around the infamous 12.4-mile long course in a time of just 11 minutes 22 seconds!
The car’s interior had been stripped-down prior to the race to keep weight at a minimum and a full roll cage and fire extinguishing system had been added as a safety measure. Other modifications also included the installation of ‘beefier brakes’ and a set of ultra-high-performance tires but other than this the motor featured a standard bone-stock engine and transmission.
The C250d models are powered by a turbocharged 2.1-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower and an impressive 369lb/ft of torque! The car is controlled with a seven-speed automatic transmission which sends the power to all four wheels.
The Mercedes test driver, Nittel, has stated that “Shoving a series-production diesel sedan with an automatic transmission up Pikes Peak sounds like a crazy idea, but it was a lot of fun. It shows that the preconceived notions about diesel engines are no longer relevant.”
Turbocharger and diesel technology has developed greatly over the last 30 years and has become a popular feature among competition vehicles in race fraternities’ across the automotive industry. Mercedes have claimed that when the C250d is driven appropriately it can return up to 34 mpg making it more efficient than many of the market’s hybrids!