• On the road with Mercedes-Benz dream cars.

When dreams become reality.

The term “dream car” triggers desires and yearnings. And yet Mercedes-Benz has always turned this concept into tangible reality for its customers. This capability has been part of the company's understanding of itself for more than 130 years. Mercedes-Benz Classic demonstrated what this means at the Immendingen Test and Technology Centre on the occasion of the Classic Insight “Dream Cars by Mercedes-Benz”.

Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC, model series 126, Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II, model series 201 and AMG 300 E 6.0 (The Hammer), model series 124 (left to right).

From a personal dream to an individual dream car: Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC, model series 126, Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II, model series 201 and AMG 300 E 6.0 (The Hammer), model series 124 (left to right).

Detailed picture of the Mercedes-Simplex.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the systems incorporated in this model built by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft were so simple to operate compared to other cars that it was nicknamed the “Simplex”.

Focus on dream cars.

The first part of our story was about daring to make your own motoring dreams come true. In this, the second part,  the focus is on dream cars that exactly fulfil those longings. They are of double importance in terms of brand heritage. A customer's wishes are more than just demands aimed at the engineers, constructors and designers. They are also an incentive and communicate decisive impetus for new developments. Take 1899, for instance, when racing enthusiast Emil Jellinek, an entrepreneur, urged Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft to produce a more powerful, state-of-the-art car for racing. 

Jellinek’s impetus and Maybach’s practical application.

Emil Jellinek bought his first Daimler car as early as 1897. But this successful businessman had more ambitious dreams: from 1898 onwards, he was increasingly active as an entrepreneur, propagating and selling Daimler cars, especially in the highest echelons of society. For sales promotion purposes, he also registered the cars for racing events – most notably the Nice Race Week – where he participated under a pseudonym: he used his daughter's first name. The “Monsieur Mercédès” pseudonym was on everyone's lips in motoring circles. 

In April 1900 it also became a product designation when Jellinek and DMG entered into an agreement on the distribution of cars and engines. Among other things, it was decided to develop a new type of engine that would “bear the name Daimler-Mercedes”. It was Wilhelm Maybach, chief designer at Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, who developed exactly this car: an elongated slim design with a low centre of gravity and a high-performance engine. The new brand was born with the Mercedes 35 PS, and one year later the Mercedes-Simplex family went into series production.

Jellinek’s impetus and Maybach’s practical application.

Emil Jellinek bought his first Daimler car as early as 1897. But this successful businessman had more ambitious dreams: from 1898 onwards, he was increasingly active as an entrepreneur, propagating and selling Daimler cars, especially in the highest echelons of society. For sales promotion purposes, he also registered the cars for racing events – most notably the Nice Race Week – where he participated under a pseudonym: he used his daughter's first name. The “Monsieur Mercédès” pseudonym was on everyone's lips in motoring circles. 

In April 1900 it also became a product designation when Jellinek and DMG entered into an agreement on the distribution of cars and engines. Among other things, it was decided to develop a new type of engine that would “bear the name Daimler-Mercedes”. It was Wilhelm Maybach, chief designer at Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, who developed exactly this car: an elongated slim design with a low centre of gravity and a high-performance engine. The new brand was born with the Mercedes 35 PS, and one year later the Mercedes-Simplex family went into series production.

The 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 40 PS on the road at the Classic Insight “Dream Cars by Mercedes-Benz” in Immendingen.

Following the flow of history: the 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 40 PS on the road at the Classic Insight “Dream Cars by Mercedes-Benz” in Immendingen.

Good racing bike speed.

Take a seat on the bench – the engine is running. Before we drive off, we take a last look at the group of drip feed lubricators. They are lined up side-by-side like organ pipes, the amber-coloured lubricant behind the glass showing occasional bubbles – the viscosity and quantity are evidently as they should be. Then we leave the car park and turn onto the narrow road that runs between trees and hedges. On the straight, the Simplex can accelerate up to a good racing bike speed, but on the bends, centrifugal force becomes very noticeable. It is a fascinating thought that Wilhelm Werner won the hill-climb race from Nice to La Turbie in 1901 with the immediate predecessor of this vehicle at an average speed of 51.4 km/h.

This impressive limousine.

No, this luxury is not infinite, but from the viewpoint of the driver it appears almost to be the case: the paint finish of the 6.24-metre Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman saloon (W 100) is a glossy jet black seen in the exterior mirror. And behind the driver's seat, there is the panorama of a first-class passenger compartment embellished with fine velour. Let us slip into the role of the chauffeur, place both hands on the large steering wheel with the filigree wreath and horn ring. Just apply gentle pressure to the gear selector lever of the automatic transmission, discreetly accelerate, and this impressive limousine rolls out onto the high-speed circuit. 

Cockpit of a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limousine.

The luxury limousine as a workplace and travel space: the cockpit of a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limousine.

The Mercedes-Benz 600, shown here as a 1980 Pullman saloon, met the highest standards of comfort, safety and performance.

The yardstick for motoring luxury: the Mercedes-Benz 600, shown here as a 1980 Pullman saloon, met the highest standards of comfort, safety and performance. 

The ultimate in motoring design.

The Pullman glides gracefully around the circuit to the heartbeat of its powerful V8 engine. The representative saloon takes the high-bank curve right down in the lower section while the sports cars at the upper edge revel in balancing the forces between lateral drift and gravity. However, nobody should be deceived by this limousine with its enormous 3.9-metre wheelbase. In the early 1960s, Mercedes-Benz engineers made their dream of the ultimate car come true when they designed the Type 600. This included not only the many hydraulically controlled comfort features from opening and closing the doors to power steering and central locking, this top-of-the-range model, built between 1963 and 1981, also offered performance at sports car level.

Mercedes-Benz 230 E.

A dream car straight out of the middle of the brand’s range – that is what this upper medium-size saloon from Mercedes-Benz represented. The 230 E was not one of those breathtaking sports cars, nor was it up among the cars of the highest luxury class. And yet many thousands of people dreamt of owning just such a car: modern, technically and stylistically pleasing, able to blend the traditional values of the brand with the demands of the times. The 123 model series launched in January 1976. The forerunner of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was equally well received by experts and customers alike. The first annual production was sold out remarkably quickly and buyers had to wait a year or more for their dream cars.

The 230 E that we have been given to take out on the country road course in Immendingen this morning is around 40 years old. The car feels familiar and timeless as we drive – as if it is taking the long-overdue transition from a recent classic to a thoroughbred classic in its stride with a relaxed smile. Every bend in the road in the soft light underlines the fact that anyone who made their dream of a 123 model series saloon come true in the 1970s was contributing to the fulfilment of many motoring dreams at the heart of the brand.

Mercedes-Benz 230 E.

A dream car straight out of the middle of the brand’s range – that is what this upper medium-size saloon from Mercedes-Benz represented. The 230 E was not one of those breathtaking sports cars, nor was it up among the cars of the highest luxury class. And yet many thousands of people dreamt of owning just such a car: modern, technically and stylistically pleasing, able to blend the traditional values of the brand with the demands of the times. The 123 model series launched in January 1976. The forerunner of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was equally well received by experts and customers alike. The first annual production was sold out remarkably quickly and buyers had to wait a year or more for their dream cars.

The 230 E that we have been given to take out on the country road course in Immendingen this morning is around 40 years old. The car feels familiar and timeless as we drive – as if it is taking the long-overdue transition from a recent classic to a thoroughbred classic in its stride with a relaxed smile. Every bend in the road in the soft light underlines the fact that anyone who made their dream of a 123 model series saloon come true in the 1970s was contributing to the fulfilment of many motoring dreams at the heart of the brand.

The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II was the road-legal model based on the 1992 DTM championship car.

High-speed time travel: the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II was the road-legal model based on the 1992 DTM championship car.

Master car genes.

Would you take an exclusive racing car out on the road? In 1990, motorsport fans came very close to fulfilling this dream – on the basis of the successful, large-run compact models in the 201 model series. The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II was the road-legal model of the DTM touring race car of the same name that Klaus Ludwig drove to win the first championship title for Mercedes-Benz in 1992. 

Super sports car of its time.

The “EVO II” was produced in a small series as a high-performance car. The otherwise very low-key “Baby Benz” finally transitioned into this super sports car of its time. The path was prepared by the other versions with four-valve technology from the 190 E 2.3-16 (1984) on. On the handling circuit in Immendingen, a compact racing track with steep gradients, the car is out together with modern high-performance sports cars from Mercedes-AMG. The comparison with the top of the current range is like time travel at top speed. However, the suspension of the production EVO II differed significantly from that of current Mercedes-AMG sports cars on the demanding track.

A flight of fancy: the legendary type designation 2.5-16 referred to the four-valve technology in the 2.5-litre engine, the massive rear wing identified this as the EVO II development.

A flight of fancy: the legendary type designation 2.5-16 referred to the four-valve technology in the 2.5-litre engine, the massive rear wing identified this as the EVO II development. 

In 2003, the Vision CLS combined the fascination of the coupé with the comfort of the saloon and established a new body form.

A dream-walker between two worlds: in 2003, the Vision CLS combined the fascination of the coupé with the comfort of the saloon and established a new body form.

Beauty takes on a new form.

Mercedes-Benz did not simply launch a new concept car at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in 2003 – this was a car that bridged the gap between two previously clearly separate body forms – coupé and saloon. The Vision CLS stands before its admirers, as fascinating now as it was 17 years ago. Back then, the developers put their dream of a four-door coupé into practice with this concept car. And from 2004, the Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupés of model series 219 went into production.

The consistency with which this concept car unites the persona of the two traditional lines – both stylistically and in terms of design – is matched by its clear interpretation of the idea of motoring luxury. This extends to such details as the interaction between light leather and oak in the interior. 

G-Class to the power of two.

Need to be able to keep driving when you can't normally carry on? Mercedes-Benz made this dream come true four decades ago with the G model. This legendary off-road vehicle premiered in 1979. Since then, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has developed into a legend both on and off the road. Which cross-country vehicle could be even better than a Mercedes-Benz G-Class? A G-Class of course – a G 500 4x4² from 2015, to be exact. 

Almost half a metre off the ground, the floor of our vehicle passes over rocks, gravel and the concrete corrugations of the off-road test track in Immendingen. The portal axles from the three-axle G 63 AMG 6x6 provide spectacular driving characteristics in this special edition of the G-Class. The G-Class – with its self-confident paint finish – takes the steep ups and downs in its stride. Even the largest axle articulation with one wheel high in the air will not stop it if all three locks are engaged. Dared to dream? Dream achieved!

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 14.12.2020.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

8 Alle technischen Angaben sind vorläufig und wurden intern nach Maßgabe der jeweils anwendbaren Zertifizierungsmethode ermittelt. Es liegen bislang weder bestätigte Werte vom TÜV noch eine EG-Typgenehmigung noch eine Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.